Collection: James Whitlow
Scanned by James Whitlow
700 Bales of Cotton
Some of the most impressive street scenes in early times are those surrounding the harvest. There are several pictures we will be showing in future articles of wagons loaded with cotton in both Hoxie and Walnut Ridge streets.
The back of the card is postmarked December 11, 1908, and has a 1 cent stamp on it. Although hard to read, it appears to have been addressed to a Dr. M. Williams, in St Louis, Missouri, and reads:
Dear Meyer, This is how it looked here last month, had 700 bales in the yard awaiting shipment. Best regards to all. Monte
1908 Downtown Walnut Ridge
Based on the description above, this picture would have been taken in November of 1908. Although you cannot see it in the picture, these cotton bales would have been in the front yard of the Iron Mountain Depot, which had just been built the same year, 1908, to replace the old Iron Mountain Hotel.
The photographer would have been standing near the corner of West Elm and SW Front Street, shooting north toward Main Street.
Present day, these bales would be in the parking lot of the Chamber of Commerce (Old Depot), just north of the Guitar Walk.
On the left part of the picture, someone has written S. N. Pitzele & Co. The two long buildings there at the corner of W Main and SW Front were a General Store and Warehouse owned by S. N. Pitzele, which at the time competed with Bloom’s Department Store.
The Pitzele & Co store (both buildings) burned to the ground in January 1931. Ironically, Bloom’s Department Store and several other buildings on Main Street had burned to the ground just TWO months earlier in November 1930. Coincidence?
In the parking lot of Pitzele’s Store you can see more bales of cotton. Today, that is the parking lot behind Goin Postal. Pitzele’s Store is now R&R Sales and Service and more parking.
If you look closely at the back of the Pitzele Warehouse, near the ground, you’ll see a sign saying “Cooper Pharmacy”. Cooper Pharmacy was owned by Moses Cooper, and was located in the Hotel Rhea, which is not visible, but would have been just off to the left of this picture. The Hotel Rhea faced Main Street.
If you look closely in the center of the picture, you’ll see the Streetcar on SW Front Street. It has either just come around the corner from W. Main and heading to Hoxie, or has come from Hoxie and is heading to the Frisco Depot on W Main (now where the walking track crosses Main Street).
Just behind the Streetcar, you can see a large billboard painted on the side of a two-story building on the corner of W. Main and NW Front Street. The partially obscured sign says “Drugs”, and was the home of the Cozy Corner Drugstore, owned by Moses Cooper’s brother Bob Cooper. This two-story building was destroyed sometime after this picture and was replaced with an almost identical sized building, which currently houses All Star Music and a private residence upstairs.