A Look Back
This shot is from circa 1905 from the intersection of S. Granite Ave. and Galena St. looking south. The dark building at the far right is Hi Jewell's original photo studio.
Many readers may have already seen the blog posting created by Paul Dorpat, featuring Granite Falls, at http://www.pauldorpat.com.
We've had a lot of fun tracing the history of our downtown, and gained a lot of experience looking for items in the background of pictures that can help to date and locate them precisely. The pictures we have of City Hall over the years make a great example of how things evolve.
The first picture is a shot taken circa 1905 from the intersection of S. Granite Ave. and Galena St. looking south. The dark building at the far right is Hi Jewell's original photo studio.
You can see the tower holding the warning bell a half block in the distance on the west side of Granite Ave. and in the far distance (about three blocks), you can see the tower of the school built in 1893 on the southeast corner of S. Granite Ave. and Pioneer St.
That was, for decades, the property used for Granite Falls schools, and was where the large brick school was built in 1910.
To make way for that school, the original school was moved north two and a half blocks and across the street, where it became a combination City Hall and firehouse.
The second picture taken in the winter of 1911/12 shows a large engine being hauled down S. Granite Ave. in front of the "new" City Hall.
Notice the old warning tower is still in place, but the warning bell moved to the tower of City Hall. The front door was wide enough to accommodate the small fire equipment of the day.
But by 1940, the building was essentially "used up", and awaiting demolition.
In the winter of 1911/12 a large engine is being hauled down S. Granite Ave. in front of the "new" City Hall.
The Granite Falls Fire Department is shown in front in the fourth photo , with Chief Hi Jewell near the front of the fire engine.
If you look carefully, you can see the hand-cranked Sterling fire siren on the passenger side (the driver would be too busy to crank). You can actually crank a Sterling in today's museum!
In photo three with help from the WPA, Granite Falls had a new City Hall by 1942, although you can see it still had doors for fire equipment. Over the years, it has been remodeled, but still stands as our City Hall today.
For information on City Hall, or many other downtown Granite Falls buildings, you can take a self-guided cyber tour at http://www.myoncell.mobi/13606544362.
Click on the "arrows" on each tour stop to go directly to a short slide show describing the history of each building.