Misc Photos From The 50s Page Two

Early recycling without government intervention

Charleston WV

This is the alley between Capitol & Hale Streets.  You can see the Kanawha Valley Bank building in the background.  The man in this photo is most likely what we called a Bum back in those days.  Today we call em Homeless.  However, there's one big difference:  Most of the Bums in my day actually WORKED,  at least part of the week. 

I can remember setting on my porch on Smith Street watching these huge carts go by,  being pushed by men a fraction of their size,  loaded down with cardboard and other items.  Those huge carts normally had real automobile axles and car tires!  The carts were so heavy,  that the men had to balance them just right in order to push them. I watched many a man up in the air holding onto the handle because the front of the cart was so heavy.  They were on their way to what we call today... "the recycling center" on Dryden Street just off Capitol Street next to the railroad tracks.  Most often,  they were doing this just to get money to buy alcohol,  and take a couple of days off.  Then, back to work.


Charleston WV

Kanawha Boulevard Near Capitol Street

Charleston WV

Here you see Kanawha Blvd in the mid 50s. The black car in the center is turning onto Capitol Street. All of the buildings beyond that car have been torn down to make way for the bank, which now takes-up the entire block. Some of the businesses you can see include WKNA Radio,  Arthur Murray Dance Studio,  Park Hotel,  Johnston Cleaners, Keller's, Cavender Furniture.

Capitol Street

Charleston wv

Capitol St. in the late 60s. The only business left today in this photo is the Peanut Shop,  which ironically opened it's doors on the day I was born. ( 1950 )  It's obviously winter,  and some demonstration appears to be happening at what is now the Public Library.  I'm guessing it was something put-on by the Charleston Fire Dept.

405 Washington Street West

Charleston WV

This old building is standing in the exact spot where the "RX-By Tel" Pharmacy on West Washington St. stands 


To the right of this building you will see a driveway.  It's still there today as an alley



The Park Ave Pillars

Park Ave Pillars

The old pillars at Park Ave and Washington Street West were probably removed in 1954

The old pillars at Park Ave were actually once the gates to the Glenwood Estate, which is still there today.  They were built by William Preston for James Laidley, father of the late George S. Laidley, for many years city superintendent of schools.

William Preston was born in Sileby England in 1794,  and died near the mouth of Tyler creek, in Kanawha County, Feb. 5, 1855.

One of his first jobs was to build the Littlepage Mansion in 1845. It was built for a man who had come out from the easternpart of Virginia. His name was Thornton and he was a son of one of the three Thornton brothers who married the three Gregory sisters, who were first cousins of  George Washington.  (Thornton would not live in the house and before it was finished, he sold it to Littlepage)

Laldley had' William Preston build the stone pillars, at Park Avenue and West Washington street, and between them he hung the gate which opened into his driveway.   When the city changed the old driveway and straightened it into Park Avenue, the stone pillarswere moved by H. B. Agsten a few feet from where they stood originally. They were three feet square, some 12 feet tall and were surmounted by stone stars,  cut out of solid foot-square stones.  While the stars would seem to have been put on for mere ornaments,  the fact that a similar stone though smaller, was placed over the main entrance to the Littlepage mansion..  and so it appears that Preston had adopted this sort of star as an emblem of his own to mark his workmanship. Glenwood was built in 1890 and the stone pillars were
probably built about the same time.  Preston's family still lives in the Kanawha Valley.

Photo courtesy of Nancy Williams


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