So I’m still working on figuring out this photo of the three Swenson girls and my mom, Janice Burrell.
Mom assures me that her cousin Jane looks more like her older sister (Beverly, in back), than like her twin, so Jane is on the right and Joan is on the left.
The next question is where was this photo taken?
At first I thought the building in the very far left might be Phillips Middle School – once known at the High School. But that street is not Fifth Avenue North.
It does look like a school, however.
So, I went to the Webster County Historical Society and Webster County Genealogical Society and talked with people at both locations. After looking through city directors (1940, 1941 and 1944), looking at maps and photos of defunct schools in Fort Dodge, I still hadn’t figured out my mystery.
And the city directory was partly to blame.
The address for the Swenson family in 1940 was 216 Park Boulevard. The problem is, there is no Park Boulevard in Fort Dodge. I looked at old maps, at Google maps, at the aforementioned photos and still couldn’t figure it out.
When I was talking to Sue at the Genealogical Society, though, somehow something clicked. I checked the 1940 city directory again, but this time I looked at the reverse listing – by street. I found Park Boulevard. There was a note that said the street was renamed from 17th Street (North 17th or South 17th, depending on location in relation to Central Avenue.
Therefore, the address was 216 South 17th Street in today’s terms. And at that time (around 1941, I’m guessing), the old Arey School would still have been standing. I didn’t find any photos of that school, but there must be some somewhere.
And I haven’t driven down the street yet to see if the rest of the details match.
But, I am excited to have figured this out (assuming I’m correct). those “ah-ha” moments are always nice.