From the Saint Albans Museum:
This photograph is one that it is easy to identify as the scene has not changed a great deal since it was taken.
It was probably taken from a second story window in what is commonly known locally as the Ralston Building, which today is occupied by a yarn and antique shop, and the kitchen supply store named As the Crow Flies.
The building at the left is familiar to everyone. At the time of this photo what is now Jeff’s was known as the The Corner Store run by the Twitchells. Above the store was attorney, W D Wilson’s office. Note the building directly behind the store has not had upper floors added yet. And Taylor Park still graces the scene at the right.
Were you to look out that window today probably the biggest change you would notice would be the disappearance of the Welden House Hotel. It was being built at the time of the American Civil War, but in 1897 it would be completely gutted by fire, and eventually demolished. Other hotels would replace it, but they too would also be destroyed by fire, and none of them would have the presence of the Welden House.
We have all become familiar with the “Jeff’s” building and its current appearance, but in its earliest form it looked entirely different and was “modernized ” to its current look after the Civil War.
Contact the Museum at 527-7933 or at our website at stamuseum.org to learn more about this photograph or others from our extensive collection.