Mystery Photo: Halloween

Reader Terry Stone sent us the following comprehensive response to last week’s Mystery Photo, including arrows pointing to specific things in the picture:

Based on what I’m seeing, this image was most likely taken in the fall of 1949. It was an extremely cold year in Goldendale, which explains the warm garments being worn, and the town was hit with quite a barrage of snowstorms and sub-zero temperatures commencing not long after this photo was taken, according to family members around at the time. My understanding was that a few snowstorms had already come to the area. Around this particular day, my grandparents, Fred and Lessie Stone, would have been rushing quickly to finish their house on Pipeline Drive, where my wife and I live today. They barely got moved in that year before the worst of the winter weather hit and had trouble keeping the house warm enough to prevent pipes from freezing because they had not quite completed the hot-water heat system, which we still use today with almost all of the original equipment installed 71 years ago.

The photographer would have been facing roughly east, standing on West Main Street, about one-half block west of the intersection with North Columbus (back then, U.S. Highway 97, which came through town). What the specific context was, other than Halloween and something probably run by the American Legion, I cannot say. I was born six years after the photo was taken, and I do not recall such events being held when I was a child in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

In the image, I can identify the following numbered items/people:

1)    Fred P. Stone, my grandfather (married to Lessie Stone), wearing the Bear-Bryant-style fedora hat. I recognize both the hat and coat after having been around those garments for so many years. I also recognize the unique way my grandfather stood because he was only able to hear out of his right ear (and barely that even with a hearing aid, which was a very primitive instrument back then). Canting his body in such a manner and slouching just a bit (he was 6 feet tall) allowed him to gather sounds better, or at least he thought it did.

2)    Freida L. Stone (later Freida Batten), my aunt and the daughter of Fred and Lessie Stone, hanging on to my grandmother’s elbow. I recognize her hair style, and I doubt anyone else would be standing that close to my grandmother.

3)    Lessie Stone, my grandmother (married to Fred Stone) and Freida’s mother. I recognize the stylish felt coat she liked to wear to events, as well as one of her distinguishing long and beautifully-colored silk scarfs she always wore to compliment her outfits and discreetly keep her carefully-coiffed hair in place.

4)    Stone’s Second Hand Store, located just one building east of the corner of East Main and Chatfield Streets. My grandmother owned this business. The building no longer exists.

5)    Fred Stone Plumbing, Heating, and Appliances, located at the corner of East Main and Chatfield Streets. My grandfather owned this business. Only the back portion of the building exists today. You can see a better photo of this corner taken by my grandfather and hanging inside the Bake My Day Cafe on East Main.

6)    This is my grandparents’ 1949 Chevrolet, a very new vehicle at the time. They purchased it from the local Chevrolet dealer.

7)    Dorothy Garner, who was my third-grade teacher.

Other buildings I can identify in the image:

  • Building with “CAFE” sign over the top was Mac’s Cafe.
  • Building with “BEN F. BUSH CO.” was the local variety store. It later became Niemi’s Variety Store.
  • Building with “Rexall” sign out front was McKee’s Pharmacy.