January 23, 2006

Another Trip Through The Photo Archive

While browsing eBay, I came across an auction for a reproduction of an 1870s map of Anaheim. The preview image was frustratingly small and content-free, so I started browsing around to see if I could find a copy of the map in an online archive. I couldn't find a better image, but I did find that you can purchase a copy of the same map from my alma mater's Bancroft Library — as a poster (in one of five different sizes), T-shirt, or card. Go Bears!

After that, browsing further around the Bancroft's web site eventually led me into a chain of links that led back to the Anaheim Public Library's "Digital Anaheim" photo archive.

When we moved to Anaheim, one of the gee-whiz features was knowing that it was a city founded by Germans, who came here to make wine. For a while, they were able to do pretty well at it, until catastrophic disease amongst the vines lowered vineyard yields to the point that the land was converted over to the orchards that Orange County became more famous for. Unsurprisingly, there are numerous pictures of Anaheim's founding industry in the archives.

Producers: We've got the:

Part of a letter, dated Nov. 15, 1885 and written in German, on the letterhead of B. Dreyfus & Co. ("Growers Of And Dealers In California Wines and Grape Brandies".) I can't make out much beyond the salutation, because it's in frightening archaic German handwriting (too old to be the even-more-frightening Sütterlinschrift...)

Retailers: Long before the Wine Exchange, Anaheim had the Orange County Wine Company. (According to another picture, we're viewing their "Family Liquor Department". Did families just send Junior and his wagon over with empty bottles for a refill from the casks?) Alternatively, you could visit (their arch-competitors?) the Fisher Wine Company — check out those giant "Port" casks!

And before those two, we had the mysterious "Wine Rooms", dated ca. 1870.

This is labelled as a plat map of Anaheim, but if you look at the enlarged image, it's much worse: a map of the gradual death of Anaheim's vineyards during the 1880s, full of notations like "Zinfandel Set '80; Disease Noted Aug '85; Mostly Dead Jan '87".

House-Related: Unfortunately — despite the fact that he seems to be one of the patriarchs of an old Anaheim family — the Digital Anaheim archive doesn't have any pictures of John Taggart, the man who (as far as we can tell) built our house. There is, however, a circa-1917 picture of the Taggart Motor Company, selling Studebakers and Chevrolets in a building that's still standing today (nowadays, it's a Mexican hair salon with a Day-Glo yellow facade).

Posted by Kevin at January 23, 2006 09:37 AM

Hi Kevin and Shelby

I wonder if you can help me. I've been trying to find a contact email for you but this seems to be the only way to get in touch.

I work for a charity in the UK and we are currently working on a small book/CD-Rom for primary school teachers. The author found a photograph from your website which he would like to include on the CD. It appears on your page about the Minatur Wunderland in Hamburg and shows container ships in the harbour. Would you be happy for us to use your photo in our publication and if so would you be able to send me a larger electronic copy?

I hope to hear from you soon!

Best wishes,

The Geographical Association

Posted by: Anne Greaves at January 24, 2006 03:39 AM
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