About 110 years ago? | Tom Camfield

Tom Camfield
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Posted 10/29/21

EARLY CLAY STREET (Uptown, looking west). Actually, it probably was a bit like 35 years or so before my own arrival in Port Townsend that this upper-photo postcard was purchased on a downtown …

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About 110 years ago? | Tom Camfield

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EARLY CLAY STREET (Uptown, looking west). Actually, it probably was a bit like 35 years or so before my own arrival in Port Townsend that this upper-photo postcard was purchased on a downtown street — then later mailed off with a 2-cent stamp affixed.

The card is postmarked July 1918; I arrived in town in March of 1929.

This street scene is one in a series of postcards produced by “E.M.M. Photos” during the late 1900s The lower waterfront view is one of numerous postcards produced by Torka Studios about the early and mid-1900s

The old school was built in 1864 (and burned late in 1943) and the Starrett House, built around the late 1890s, had grown lush landscaping greenery by the time this photo was taken. So the photo is given an arbitrary estimated date of 1910.

J. M. McMurry (sic) was another prolific but relatively short-lived professional photographer of around 1900, while Paul M. Richardson flourished with Elite Studios.through the late 1900s, 1920s and into the ‘30s.

Others of more limited renown with cameras during the early 1900s were H. H. Wilcox, James G. McCurdy and George Welch. Through the ‘30s and ‘40s was George McCleary and the ‘50s through the ’80s or so, Burette Redding (and Claude Pray). Estimates are based on personal knowledge, more or less basically, and include Hugh and Helen Swearingen though the late ‘60s and John Kreidler in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s. (And myself, of course, with The Leader from the mid-‘50s well into the 1980s and assisted for a time photographically, in the late going by George Leinonen.)

In the Clay Street area featured here, the old school (with bell tower) is seen toward left. On the near side of the school is the current Trinity Methodist Church. At center right, the most picturesque of the several homes is the Starrett House. Other old landmarks of 110 years or more ago may be picked out dimly.

My grandfather Ernest Lyman Camfield must have arrived in town
to help with building of the new paper mill by Memorial Day 1927. That was the same day that Donald Trump’s father Fred was getting his own real estate career under way in New York City.


I do enjoy the parallel timing of my own family’s lifetime with some that are better known — but while Donald’s and my father’s shared pretty much the same birthday, the Camfields have gotten by just well without the racism, male Alzheimer’s, unscrupulous pursuit of money, etc. that is found associated with the Trumps. 

Fred Trump lived from 1905 until 1999. Following are a couple of short paragraphs included in the long section under his and his son Donald's names in Wikipedia.com. Donald Trump was born June 14, 1946, as I was finishing my junior year of high school.

As noted in Wikipedia,“On Memorial Day in 1927, over a thousand Ku Klux Klan members marched in a Queens parade to protest ‘Native-born Protestant-Americans’ being ‘assaulted by Roman Catholic police of New York City.’ The 21-year old Fred Trump and six other men were arrested. All seven were referred to as ‘berobed marchers’ in the Long Island Daily Press. Trump, detained ‘on a charge of refusing to disperse from a parade when ordered to do so,’ was dismissed. Another of the men, arrested on the same charge, was a bystander who had had his foot run over by a police car.

”According to the police, the five remaining men were certainly Klan members . . .

“In 2015, newspaper articles about father Trump's arrest at a 1927 Ku Klux Klan parade resurfaced in light of his son’s presidential campaign. In 2018, a New York Times exposé revealed that Trump and his wife provided over $1 billion (in 2018 currency) to their progeny overall while effectively evading over $500 million dollars in gift taxes. The elder Trump illicitly contributed several million dollars to Donald between 1987 and 1991, and shortly before his death, while suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, transferred the bulk of his apartment buildings to his surviving children.
Several years later, they sold these for over 16 times their previously declared worth . . “

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  • Thomas Camfield

    Thanks, Brian. I left this blog hurriedly submitted and somewhat at the mercy of failing eyesight and other frailties of advanced age. You appear to have advanced me forward with merely the minor misspelling of the first name of photographer Burdette Redding (who actually was past your time in the scheme of things).

    Thursday, November 4, 2021 Report this

  • MargeS

    I always thought it was interesting that Burdette's wife was named Gordona Redding. JCHS Research Center has a lot of his photo's, so glad his children donated them. marge

    Monday, November 8, 2021 Report this

  • Thomas Camfield

    Sorry to have missed Veterans Day', largely because I couldn't come up with an appropriate illustration—but I'm still working on the town's second Medal of Honor winner and also the town founder who served aboard "Old Ironsides."

    Wednesday, November 10, 2021 Report this