History & Tourism

A Postcard To The Architect

2 Mar , 2020  

Timing sometimes comes into play here at 1812Blockhouse. This weekend, the serendipity was startling and a wee bit mysterious.

On Sunday, we ran our latest post in the Landmarks of Mansfield series, this one focusing on the beautiful Mansfield Savings Bank Building at the corner of Fourth and Main. That same afternoon, an 1812 reader — in fact, the sister of the Publisher of 1812Blockhouse — happened to be looking through a box of family photographs which were interspersed with paper “ephemera,” that is, announcements and news clippings and, as it turns out, postcards.

One showcased an actual photo of four individuals in white clothing. On the reverse was a bit of writing, and the name and address of the intended recipient. That read:

Mr. Vernon Redding
Architect
Mansfield, Ohio

Vernon Redding was the architect of the Mansfield Savings Bank and the other buildings referenced in Sunday’s article. In short, he was the best-known Mansfield architect of the late 19th and early 20th century, a talent responsible for several important commissions in the city and across north central Ohio.

Back to the postcard. Because of the exactness of old postmarks, we know that it was mailed at 7:30 PM on August 17, 1906 from Atlantic City, New Jersey. The mailing side also identifies the studio where the photo was taken — Hilton Studio, South Carolina Avenue & Boardwalk.

Yep, “that” Boardwalk, as in Monopoly.

The question remains as to who the individuals are in the photograph. The writing is a bit hard to decipher, but appears to say, “A “fair sample” of wife and children also sister — Why don’t you let us hear from you occasionally? Yours, E.E.N.”

Who was E.E.N.? No idea. In 1906, Redding would have been 38 years old and was living at what was then numbered as 180 Marion Avenue with his wife Harriet, daughter Helen, and step-daughter Mildred. No “E.E.N.” there. Quite likely, it was a family friend who was either having a long-term vacation or living in Atlantic City.

It anyone has additional information, please feel free to drop us a line at: [email protected]  Many thanks to Jane Baker for the postcard.

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