The Summer When It All Began
June 8, 2013 § 1 Comment
This is the week of one anniversary at the Lawrence/Dana-Thomas House that usually goes unnoticed. Susan and her mother moved into the house 109 years ago. A small headline in the June 12, 1904, Springfield Sunday Journal proclaimed, “Mrs. R. D. Lawrence and Daughter in New Home.” The brief story that followed read:
Mrs. R. D. Lawrence and her daughter, Mrs. Susan Lawrence Dana, have moved into their new residence at Fourth Street and Lawrence Avenue. On account of the style of its architecture this house is probably the most interesting in the city. Mrs. Lawrence and Mrs. Dana will hold a bazar next winter, under the auspices of the King’s Daughters, when the public will have an opportunity to inspect the building.
Adjacent to the news story is the ad by Myers Brothers department store (which many of us still remember) pictured below. Targeting the male readers of the Journal, the ad gives us a glimpse of the well-dressed man’s apparel that summer. He wore “unlined suits made with reinforced shoulders, hand turned collars, moulded chests. [The suits did] not wilt, wrinkle or wither as the inferior makes invariably do.” A gentleman visiting the ladies at Fourth Street and Lawrence Avenue would have completed his ensemble with a “neat appearing and comfortable” panama hat from Puerto Rico or Japan.
I am sure that most of our 2013 male visitors at the Dana-Thomas House would not trade their jeans, shorts, T shirts, or ball caps for the “cool summer suits” and straw hats that the guests of Mary and Susan wore as they visited the new Lawrence House in 1904.