Farm Wagons At Biltmore Village, North Carolina

Old photo, Biltmore Village, NC. Circa 1905 – 1910.

Price:  $20.00        Size:  3 and 1/4 x 3 and 1/4″

At first glance, one might think this photo was taken on a special occasion, because of the striking contrast between the line of three oxen-driven covered wagons and the row of Dutch Colonial Revival style homes and manicured lawns in the suburban-looking setting. But rather than some type of commemorative event, it may have just been a “working day” wagons-carrying-supplies scene in Biltmore Village, NC. Note the partial glimpse of horse and rider on our right. And with scrutiny one can make out the vague image in the middle vehicle of a driver wearing a hat.

The book, Around Biltmore Village, (see p. 38) by Bill Alexander provides a couple of photos of this same street, Brook St., circa 1906 and 1909. Those are Linden trees in the images (and we hope they’re still there.) The rental houses in the village were referred to as “cottages” which seems unusual but then decidedly not…..when viewed in relation to the Biltmore Estate mansion built by George W. Vanderbilt, II. The village was a planned community for the estate workers, and was also designed to be an aesthetically pleasing entrance to the estate, modeled to have the feel of an English village. Biltmore Village was formerly known as Best but also referred to as Ashville Junction and Swannanoa Bridge. Today, Biltmore Village is a part of the city of Ashville, and is a popular shopping, dining, art, spa and historical destination. Below, another photo (Wikepidia Commons) from around the same time period.

Sources:  Alexander, Bill. Around Biltmore Village. Charleston:  Arcadia Publishing, 2008. Web accessed November 11, 2017.

Biltmore Estate. n.d. (accessed November 11, 2017).

File:Biltmore, NC-Lindon Trees (5167651749).jpg. Original Collection: Arthur Peck Collection, P99, Item Number: P099_C_278. (accessed November 11, 2017).

6944 Wyoming Street, Dearborn, Michigan

Old photo, 6944 Wyoming Street, Dearborn, MI. January 25, 1967.

Price:  $6.00             Size:  5 x 5″

Like the prior post’s two photos, this one might have been taken by or for a real estate company. It shows a small restaurant, what one would affectionately call a hamburger joint, at 6944 Wyoming St., Dearborn, Michigan, one block south of Warren Ave.

The sentry

We see faces and figures almost everywhere and this is a good one:  The partial image of a sentry-type guy standing straight (as sentries do) and looking to his right. The manhole cover is his armor and he is guarding the restaurant. 🙂

Various name changes

October 13, 1955, Detroit Free Press ad, waitress wanted, restaurant name not given.

Tone’s Grill, 1 block south of Warren – waitress and counter help ads April 5, 1956 – October 5, 1959. Tone’s was owned by Anthony Basso per city directories (1955 – 1956). And there’s an Anthony Basso entry for Tony’s Grill in 1953, which may or may not have been at the same location.

February 1, 1978 – July 3, 1978 restaurant for sale ads

DC Coney Island in 1990 Free Press ads for newspaper box stands

Kas’s Coney Island – most recent name found, about September 10, 2010 – November 12, 2013. No longer in business.

June 2017 photos

The sign in the window shows for sale; these photos below were taken from our visit to the area in June 2017. For how long the business has been vacant we’re not quite sure, maybe 2013-ish, per an Mlive business entry search. Anyway, you can still read the faint “Coney Island” on the big hanging sign, which was probably for one of the more recent incarnations, and the interior is neat, cool that is….There’s the old 1950s counter with the metal edging (I have the same type in my kitchen only my counter is yellow) the old counter stools, the Semper Fi U. S. Marines plaque proudly displayed off to the side next to the small U. S. flag, the definitely older country scene on the wall (1920s? maybe) and the two wall plaques. We’re betting the decor was still in place from Tony’s era. (We kinda feel like we know Tony a little, now. A cool guy.)

The display, above left is a shorter version of J. P. McEvoy’s popular poem, circa 1925:

“Guest, you are welcome here,

Be at your ease;

Get up when you’re ready,

Go to bed when you please;

Happy to share with you

Such as we’ve got:

The leaks in the roof

And the soup in the pot…

You don’t have to thank us

Or laugh at our jokes,

Sit deep and come often…

You’re one of the Folks.”

The one above right, shows a saying (how can we argue with it?!) by an unknown author and states:

“The man who invented work

Made one bad mistake:

He didn’t finish it!”

Sources:  R. L. Polk & Co.’s Dearborn (Wayne County, Mich.) City Directory, 1953. Vol. 11. p. 37. (

R. L. Polk & Co.’s Dearborn (Wayne County, Mich.) City Directory, 1955. Vol. 12. p. 678. (

Waitress wanted ad. Detroit Free Press, October 13, 1955. Thursday, p. 48. (

Counter and grill service ad. Detroit Free Press, April 5, 1956. Thursday, p. 42. (

Waitress for counter and grill ad. Detroit Free Press, October 5, 1959. Monday, p. 31. (

Restaurant for sale. Detroit Free Press, January 31, 1978. Monday, p. 27 and July 3, 1978. Monday, p. 29. (

News boxes west of Woodward. DC Coney Island. Detroit Free Press, January 27, 1990. Monday, p. 27 and February 25, 1990. Sunday, p. 40. (

Kas’s Coney Island. (accessed October 8, 2017).

J. P. McEvoy. n.d. (accessed October 8, 2017).

13925 Tireman Avenue, Dearborn, MI

Two vintage photos, February 25, 1959. Tireman Avenue, Dearborn, Michigan.

Price for the set:  $6.00           Size: 5 x 5″ each

Braccy….Bracey Trucking…note the lettering starting with B…on the roof, top photo

February 25, 1959. These photos may have been taken for a real estate company, if not real estate maybe for a photography class or something along those lines. In any case, they show the Dearborn side of Tireman Avenue, between Maple Street (Decatur Street on the Detroit side) and the railroad tracks. The tracks run across Tireman today so unless they were moved or the image got reversed or the photographer was looking into the 14000 block (golly, this is getting convoluted) it would seem like the top view was standing west of the tracks looking east, with Tireman further on the left but out of the picture. It’s just fields and parking lots now, but time-traveling back to the mid to late 1950s, 13925 Tireman was found as a listing for Braccy Trucking (then Bracey Trucking). And on the 1940 Federal Census for Dearborn, Albert Braccy is listed as truck driver in the lumber supply industry, born in Italy about 1893, with wife, Lucy, born in Vermont (but read on) about 1898. Lucy is the owner of a trailer camp. Their address on the 1940 is 13717 Tireman, though in 2 and 1/3 pages of census records everyone is listed either at 13717 or 13723, all owned, no rentals. (This is something we’ve not come across before.) On the 1930 census for Detroit (5920 Renville St.) the couple is listed with their seventeen-old daughter, Sophia. All three family members were born in Italy. Albert at this time is a manager for a coal company.

Tireman at the railroad tracks in 2016, looking east.

City directories

1955 – Braccy Trucking, 13925 Tireman Ave., Dearborn. Albert Braccy living at 9141 Littlefield, Detroit.

1956  – Bracey Trucking, 13925 Tireman Ave., Dearborn. Albert Bracey, residence Detroit.

1958 – Bracey Trucking, 13925 Tireman Ave., Dearborn. Albert Bracey, residence Detroit.

Sources:  Year: 1940; Census Place: Dearborn, Wayne, Michigan; Roll: T627_1826; Page: 81A; Enumeration District: 82-26. (

Year: 1930; Census Place: Detroit, Wayne, Michigan; Roll: 1061; Page: 18A; Enumeration District: 0738; FHL microfilm: 2340796. (

R. L. Polk & Co’s Dearborn (Wayne County, Mich) City Directory, 1955, Vol 12. p. 69. (

R. L. Polk & Co.’s Yellow Pages, Dearborn (Michigan) 1956. p. 156. (

R. L. Polk & Co.’s Dearborn (Wayne County, Mich.) City Directory., 1958, Vol. 14. p. 160. (

Google map image and satellite view, July 2016. (

Canadian National Railways Steam Engine 6218

Two vintage black and white steam engine photos, October 1966.

Price for set:  $10.00         Size:  3 and 1/2 x 5″ each.

October 1966, she’s a beauty….

The CN Steam engine 6218 (4-8-4). She’s moving away from us, toward our left. Note the engineer (?) in the first photo, with his head out the window – he’s easy to miss, as he blends in a little. This steam locomotive was built in 1942 by the Montreal Locomotive Works, was retired in 1959, then rebuilt and restored in 1963 and used for rail fan trips before being finally retired in 1971, obtained by the town of Fort Erie, Ontario in 1973 and moved in 1974 to the Fort Erie Railway Museum. Restoration of the engine and caboose has been badly needed for some decades. The most recent article we found on the subject, “RFP to plan 6218 restoration”  is dated Feb. 22, 2017 and appears in the online magazine Heritage Rail Alliance. And for more photos (1966 through 2010) see

Acme Quality Paints, Inc.

That’s an Acme Paint sign in the background of both snapshots, but you can see it better in the shot on our right. Since these photos were found (at an antique store) on our last Detroit trip, and Acme Quality Paints started and had plants in Detroit (as well as other states) plus the fact that some of the photos in the railroad pictures link above were taken in October in Detroit, it’s a better guess than most that the photos’ location could have been Detroit. But maybe this post will jog some memories and someone can let us know, for sure.

Sources:  4-8-4. n.d. (accessed October 1, 2017).

“RFP to plan 6218 restoration.” September 22, 2017. Heritage Rail Alliance ( Accessed October 1, 2017.

Pictures of CN 6218. (accessed September 30, 2017).

Thompson, Kenneth, “Acme Paints, 75, Is ‘Here to Stay,’ ” Detroit Free Press. March 15, 1959, Sunday, p. 14. (

Railbirds, Kent, 1925

Old photo, Kent, 1925.

Price:  $2.00               Size:  4 and 3/8 x 2 and 3/4″

I thought railbirds would be railroad workers, but no. The definition of railbird from is:

Noun, informal

  1.  a horse-racing fan who watches racing or workouts from the railing or along the track.
  2. any kibitzer or self-stylized critic or expert

Origin:  1890-95, Americanism; rail + bird in sense of “frequenter,” as in jailbird, yardbird.

The term is also used today for billiards and poker spectators. But the estimated time frame for the word origin, 1890 – 1895, seems accurate at least as far as old newspaper mentions go. Prior to 1890 – ’91 one can find many articles and clips on an actual bird called a railbird (rail-bird, rail bird). From the Reading Times, 1869:

“Railbirds have been less numerous this season on the Delaware marshes….”

And from the Ashtabula Weekly Telegraph, 1879, a good description of the feathered ones:

Which Kent?

Back to the photo….Kent, 1925, but which Kent? Ohio….England….or other? And it could have been taken at a horse racing event, either that or it was just a clever caption, because the guys (all but one) are perched (back to the bird theme, no pun intended) on an outdoor railing. We can read wording behind them that says “Billiards.” And there’s some lettering on the awning, but not enough to figure out a business name. But the guys’ boots…almost all the same, that makes it seem like they were workers of some type.

Sources:  railbird. (accessed September 19, 2017).

Reading Times (Reading, Pennsylvania) October 13, 1869. Wednesday, p. 2 (

“English Rail-Birds in Monroe County.” Ashtabula Weekly Telegraph (Ashtabula, Ohio) December 5, 1879. Friday, p. 4.

Lingering In La Porte, 1917

Old photo, August, 1917, La Porte, Indiana.

Price:  $4.00           Size:  3 and 1/4 x 2 and 1/4″

La Porte, 1917…..

A group of guys seated (and one standing) around a corner shop window. You can just barely see the image of the photographer in the window’s reflection. What was the story with this photo? Were the men waiting for the shop to open, waiting for public transportation, were they day-workers waiting to get hired, or maybe they were waiting for their wives to finish shopping (ha ha) or other….? We don’t know, but at least we have the stamp on the reverse showing:

“Developed and Printed at Canfield’s Pharmacy. No. 12,  Aug 6 1917. La Porte, Indiana. The Kodak Store.”

Bub At Shaft House, Houghton, 1937

Photo, Autumn 1937, Houghton, Michigan

Price:  $6.00       Size:  2 and 3/4 x 4 and 1/2″

Another for Copper Country….

Just when I was about to give up looking for a match for this mine shaft, I came across an old photo and postcard. See Mindat’s No. 1 Shaft, Isle Royale Mine. True, the structure showing in that photo is too far in the background to pick out much beyond its outline, but that, along with the old postcard captioned,  “Houghton Mich., Rock House, Isle Royal Mine”  (appearing twice in the Google image search, below) seems to verify the i.d. of the mine, or if not verify, then drive up really close to it 😉 verification-wise, that is. Bear in mind that the postcard was colored, and also (per its reverse) was printed in Germany, for sale in the U. S., so circa 1907 – 1914, and our photo is from 1937, so there could have been some changes by the latter date, then too, any difference we might perceive could be due to the different angle. (i.e. where’s the chimney on the structure on the far left?)

On some last notes….

“Bub” wasn’t found in records, but it’s always worth a quick search; sometimes one gets lucky. And….what was set on top of our photo (or what was it set in) to give it the odd, sort of interior frame? The shape looks familiar, like we could just put our finger on it, but not quite.

Sources:  Isle Royale No. 1 Shaft, Isle Royal Mines, Houghton, Houghton Co., Michigan, USA. (accessed September 10, 2017). search for “images of postcards of Isle Royale Mine Houghton MI.” (accessed September 10, 2017).

Company Photo, Covina, California, 1912

Old photo, January 10, 1912. Covina, California. Photographer unknown.

Price:  $20.00        Size including matting:  About 12 x 10″

In honor of American workers, for Labor Day….

Well, there’s actually no guarantee for this being a company photo, but it’s maybe a good guess. We definitely have a date and place from the writing on the back:  February 10, 1912, Covina, California. Of course, that’s neither here, nor there, in the question. But what might make one think this is a group of employees, with maybe a boss or two in there, are the aprons some of the girls and guys are wearing, and the hand punch on a string, around the neck of the young man, third from left, front row. Could this be a photo from The Stronghold, a denim company out of Los Angeles, established 1895? That’s probably stretching it, but it is interesting to see The Stronghold label on the guy’s overalls, far left. But what is he holding up in his left hand?

Tempy (Franklin) Gentry And Carrie Gentry

Photo, Temperance Gentry and granddaughter, Carrie. Circa 1905. Photographer unknown. Possible location:  Shelton, NC.

Price:  $15.00           Size including matting:  5 x 7 and 1/4″

These are kin (I have southern roots so the vernacular comes natural) to Cay Ricker from the prior post (Cay, at least the name appears to be written as such) is cousin to Lula Gentry. Lula is possibly Sara Lula Ricker who marries Starling R. Gentry. Their daughter is Carrie Gentry who marries Thomas William Tribell. Carrie is the little girl in this photo, with her grandmother, Temperance Franklin who married Andrew Jackson Gentry. We were lucky to find all three photos with names and relationships on the back of each. Tempy, is written here as “Tempty” and maybe she was called both, we wouldn’t know, but Tempy seems to have been a common nickname for Temperance, according to many other family trees. And it’s a beautiful photo of two lovely ladies, seated outside, and posing for the camera. Carrie holds what looks to be a round fan.

Carrie, born June 13, 1900, in White Rock, North Carolina, is the daughter of Starling R. Gentry and Sarah Lula Ricker.

Tempy was born Tennessee, September 1852, according to the 1900 Federal Census for Shelton, Laurel Township, Madison County, North Carolina. She appears there with her husband, Andrew Gentry and six of their children. Next door, or at least, next on the census taker’s entries, were three other Gentry families, including Carrie’s immediate family, though Carrie is not listed there, she would have been one day old. (By, the way, Tempy’s husband, was the enumerator of this census.) Tempy, per Ancestry trees, is the daughter of David Franklin and Rhoda Shelton.

Sources:  Register of Deeds. North Carolina Birth Indexes. Raleigh, North Carolina: North Carolina State Archives. Microfilm. (

Year: 1900; Census Place: Shelton Laurel, Madison, North Carolina; Roll: 1205; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 0074; FHL microfilm: 1241205. (

Cay Ricker, Mobile, Alabama

Oval photo of Cay Ricker. Circa 1908 – 1909. Brown’s Art Studio. Mobile, Alabama.

Price:  $15.00          Size including cardboard matting:  About 3 and 1/2 x 7″

An oval portrait of a handsome young man, identified on the back as ,  “Cay Ricker, cousin of Lula Gentry.”   His jacket has a military look to it. (This seemed a natural segue from the prior post. 😉 ) The photography studio name and location is embossed on the front of the frame:  Brown’s Art Studio.

Brown’s Art Studio was found in city directories in 1908 at 21 N. Conception. The 1909 shows this address under photographer name J. F. Brown.

Cay’s ancestry is more of a puzzle, but his cousin Lula is possibly the Sarah Lula Ricker who married Starling R. Gentry (parents of Carrie Gentry, the little girl in the next post). Cay, if we’re reading it correctly from the back of the photo, could be a middle name (very common in the Southern states) or a nickname.

Sources:  Delchamps’ Greater Mobile City Directory, 1908. p. 938. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Delchamps’ Greater Mobile City Directory, 1909. p. 981. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.