Sunday, July 1, 2018

Women walking south on 400 block of Merchant St., circa 1905

Women walking south on west side of 400 block Merchant St.
circa 1905
courtesy Ambridge Borough

This early Ambridge photo shows two unidentified women walking south on the 400 block of Merchant St., still unpaved. The photo is undated, but based on the buildings already constructed on Merchant, I'd put the year around 1905.

On the right, behind the group of three men, are the buildings that I believe were 454, 458, and 462 Merchant St., now razed. According to a 1905 Sanborn Insurance map, those buildings were then occupied by a grocery, "news" (perhaps Jacob Henrici's book store?), and drug store respectively.

In the background, you can see the 5th St. side of the original Ambridge Savings and Trust Co. building. It's the building behind the two women's hats. It also was razed and is now the location of the drive-through of WesBanco bank.

For more vintage views of the 400 block of Merchant, check out the blog post, "400 block of Merchant Street: vintage views," from October 30, 2014.

When I posted the photo, I wondered where these women might be going to or coming from.

My first thought was "church." The three men across Merchant from the women are wearing suits. And so many churches held services in the Ambridge Savings Trust Co. building early in their history.

There doesn't seem to be much activity on Merchant. There may be a carriage or wagon peeking out between the two women. There are a few other walkers: in addition to the two women and three men that are easy to see, there's another man in front of the buildings on the right. And there are more people on the sidewalk in the far background.

But I don't really have anything else to go on right now.

I also wonder if this photo was taken the same day as the one of two men at the top of the October 31, 2017, blog post, "400 block of Merchant St., 1904, 1909, 1910, and 1915." That photo is dated 1904. Some of the same buildings are in both photos and the street is unpaved in both.

On the other hand, the street and sidewalk look cleaner in today's photo. Plus the west side of the street looks somewhat more developed, since I can see the fronts of the buildings that once had balconies.

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