Saturday, July 23, 2011

Eagle Hose

We have tried to figure out where in our village this shot was taken .... well...where it was shot....and when.  So many mysteries.

We went to a clothing expert of sorts who places the dresses at about 1900.  Perhaps they were shopping at the one local millinery store we know of from then, Ms. M.K.Baileys over on Main Street or perhaps from a catalogue long gone and forgotten.  We do note a few things in the photograph to give us a clue, one being the prominent sign "carriages" dead center and, on close look, the fire crew is leading horse drawn fire wagons in the back but all that is pretty dim.

Looking closely, we noted a wire in the top left of the photo. AHA.  Well at the time in question, we found a Greenport Telephone directory and found three "livery" listings (no carriages) but figured we were on the right track.  One belonged to Mr. H.E. Young on Front Street, another "Young", this time Leander J. on Railroad Avenue and the last being G. Thomas Black's establishment on Central Avenue.  All of these establishments were on the wire - all connected - no cell phones even imagined, no text, just a lone operator at a switchboard plugging in connectors that lead to the lines, what few there were.

We don't think that this is Front Street because it had buildings lining it for a long way.  We also don't thing that this is Central Avenue although that is our second choice but would have to wonder that zig-zag parade route would take Eagle Hose into that part of town.  We think this is on railroad avenue up a bit from front and that would make some sense if not for the fact there is no railroad avenue in Greenport but the old railroad yard was at the end of the present 3rd street so we think this might be along that way. The telephone to the station would make sense as it would to the livery - always a great business at that time - "can you bring our carriage out and have it ready at 5pm sharp".

The pride on the faces is without mistake.  Membership in an organization like this carries that with it as a given.  The drums rat-a-tat-tat, the cornets fan faring and the bass brass ompahing must have been a smash on parade.  Ladies in their finery and fashion, parasols to the sun, leaves aglow with sunlight and something coming over the telephone wire, the parade is underway, out quickly and watch it.

Operator:  Number please
Us:  the Leander Livery on Railroad please.
Operator:  Please hold the line.

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