Views From a Passing Train — 1902
by Paula Bosse
Pacific, looking west toward Bryan, 1902 (click for larger image)
by Paula Bosse
Franklin Davenport Edmunds (1874-1948) was a Philadelphia architect whose hobbies were travel and photography. A 1902 train trip to Mexico took him through Texas, during which there as a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it stop in Dallas.
Who’s Who in Philadelphia, 1920
On the way to Mexico, he stopped in St. Louis for a while (where he took several photos on Feb. 12), passed through Arkansas (on Feb. 13), apparently saw very little of Dallas as he rolled through, and then took a lot of photos when he reached San Antonio (by Feb. 14). He then continued on to a vacation of at least two or three weeks in Mexico, where his camera was never far from his side.
The two photos that were taken as he passed through Dallas (which I’m assuming were snapped from the train) were probably taken on Feb. 13 or 14, 1902.
The location of the photo above is not noted, but it appears to be Pacific Avenue looking west. Peter S. Borich’s sign-painting business was on the northeast “corner” of Bryan and Pacific (at the point of the diagonal intersection). The photo shows the back and side of his building. It’s hard to see them, but there is a wagon with a team of horses at the Bryan St. intersection. Behind Borich’s is a blacksmith shop, and across the street, there are several furniture stores. Straight ahead is an almost mirage-like smoke-spewing locomotive heading toward the camera. (Unless Edmunds was standing in the middle of Pacific, I’m guessing he was taking the photo from the rear of the train.)
Seconds later, the train would have pulled into the old Union Depot (located about where Pacific would cross present-day Central Expressway).
Even though not identified in the photo description, the distinctive old Union Depot is instantly recognizable (an unrelated photo taken from about the same spot can be seen in this one from the George W. Cook collection at SMU’s DeGolyer Library). Again, the photo appears to have been taken from the train.
Edmunds took a ton of photos on this trip, but, sadly, he seems to have merely passed through Dallas without wandering around to explore its streets (which I would think would be interesting — if not downright exotic — to a Philadelphia architect) — I’m not sure he even got off the train to stretch his legs! But I’ve never seen these two photos, and they’re pretty cool. So, thanks, Frank — you should have hung around a little longer.
Both photos by Franklin Davenport Edmunds are from the Free Library of Philadelphia. The Pacific Avenue photo can be accessed here; the Union Depot photo, here. Other photos he took in Texas during the 1902 trip (and a few from a previous 1899 trip) can be viewed here.
A biography of Edmunds can be read at PhiladelphiaBuildings.org here.
A detail from the 1905 Sanborn map showing the businesses located at Pacific and Bryan, with Borich’s business circled in red and the camera’s vantage point in blue, can be seen here.
Below, a detail from a map (circa 1890-1900), showing the locations of the two photos, with the Pacific Ave. location circled in green and the Union Depot location in yellow.
And, lastly, a present-day image showing the same view as the top photo (from Google Street View).
My previous post, “The Old Union Depot in East Dallas: 1897-1935” — a history of the station with several photos — can be found here.
Images larger when clicked.
Copyright © 2015 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.
Wonderful reseach and write-up Paula! This one hit pretty close to home. Looking at the Sanborn map I can see my dad grew up about six blocks east of the old East Dallas Depot on Swiss Avenue just several doors west of College Avenue and what was then Mill Creek before they put it under ground. Thanks for digging up these old photos from a passer by over 100 years ago.
Thank you, Danny. Those Sanborn maps are very useful, although it takes a while to navigate through them on the Dallas Public Library site.
These are very rare never seen images that have come up and the old Deep Elm station looked that way….
.The more images you see of that are the less that folklore and the real events come too life……Deep Elm a freight and second class passenger stop……while your use of the 1890’s Dallas map is excellent choice….there is the 1893 Sand born map but this is a great map for this location….again this is cutting edge Dallas history source, you have pulled out of the air and made a great story of……
Here is a more dramatic view of a T&P train passing through Dallas on Pacific Ave:
The lady needs an umbrella to fend off the coal cinders!
The view of Old Union Depot in your article is looking from the east towards the west along the T&P tracks. Note the gazebo structure.
The view in the George Cook collection photo that you reference is looking from the north toward the south. That is an H&TC train.
I note in the background a business that says Occidental Bar, I think.
More and more views are showing up of Old Union Depot as more photograph collections become digitized!
Dennis’ comments encouraged me to look at the Sanborn map (1905), which even depicts the gazebo. It also indicates a world-class array of saloons radiating in all directions from the station. As a kid the adjoining section of Elm seemed a little louche to me, but it was squeaky clean by comparison!
[…] “Views From a Passing Train — 1902.” Pacific Avenue (which was once a railroad thoroughfare for the Texas & Pacific Railway) […]
[…] The company occupied several locations over the years — the location in 1902 can be seen here, at the right, looking west on Pacific (from the Flashback Dallas post “Views from a Passing Train — 1902”). […]