Today ended the second week of History 407: Research Methods in Local History. What a great day we had! The course met at the old Schade Brewery building in the West Central neighborhood, near Riverpoint campus. We explored the lobby and the historic photograhs there, then headed over to the Jensen Byrd. Students worked in teams of two, one with a clipboard and the other with a camera to record the signs the we found. Then the teams fanned out and explored the neighborhood.
Afterwards we had some beers at Ugly Betties and talked about what we had found and how to improve our data collection. Some of the observations:
- An amazing number of legible signs still exist, and they are cool as hell
- There are also many traces of signs that are no longer readable--we will look for historic photos to try and figure out what they said
- Photographing the signs is tricky, some are up high and at angles where they are not visible directly below, other are obscured by power lines and the like
- Signs for hotels and tobacco produces predominated with about five of each
- Working in teams is definitely the right way to proceed, not only so one can take pictures and the other notes but also to help one another deciper faded lettering
- We cannot wait to get into the archives and begine researching the stories behind the signs, which we will find in city directories, property record cards, register nominations, and more
Below is a slideshow of some pictures I took. The first half are from a few weeks ago when I was scouting for this class, today's photographs begin with the Schade brewery.