Friday, May 4, 2012

Contest Answer: here's where the photo was taken.

On Wednesday I published a photo taken in Kerrville of a rather stern looking woman.  It was among the items I received from the Morris family.  Most of the items in the box were from around 1910-1920, though there were some much later items, too.
Rusty Meyners was the first to correctly identify the location where the photograph was taken.
I believe the woman in the photo might be Mattie Morris, the wife of George Morris.  They owned the St. Charles Hotel in downtown Kerrville.  I'm hoping someone will be able to confirm that the woman is Mrs. Morris.
The St Charles Hotel was on the corner of Water and Sidney Baker Streets, opposite Pampell's.  Today it is the entrance to "Peterson Plaza," and a stone gateway is under construction.
I believe the photos were taken from the roof of the St. Charles Hotel for two reasons: 1) the line of hills in the background, and 2) the houses behind the girl in the last photo.  The house to the right of the girl sure looks like the A. C. Schreiner home to me.
Click on any image to enlarge
Mrs. Mattie Morris (I think) on the roof of the St Charles Hotel, Kerrville,
probably around 1920.  The hotel was on the corner of Water and Sidney Baker streets.
A view of the St Charles Hotel, looking toward the river.
Pampell's is visible in the photo at the right.
Notice there is no bridge on Sidney Baker Street yet.

Young man, roof of St. Charles Hotel, around 1920.
I believe his back would be toward Sidney Baker Street.
Young woman, roof of St. Charles Hotel, with Pampell's to the left, and
the A. C. Schreiner home to the right.


  1. Hi Joe,

    Did anyone guess correctly?

  2. The second photo is an excellent view of the hotel.

    How strange it looks to see Sidney Baker come to an end and not continue over the river.

    I love old photos like these.

    Thanks Joe.

  3. Joe, I disagree about the orientation of the pic with the young man. I believe his back is toward Water, though not quite at the front of the front of the hotel. I base that on the shadows, the wires and light fixture over his head, and the floor patterns compared with the other two pics, as well as what looks like the meadows across the river behind him. I believe him to be standing to the left of where the photographer was in the original pic of the stern woman. We know that she and the young woman have their backs to Sidney Baker and if I'm right, the shadows are consistent with a morning photo-shoot, probably in the spring. It's still hard to precisely place the observation deck in relation to the rest of the hotel roof but you can see one of the chimneys at the young mans left elbow. I can only guess the young woman climbed over the wall behind him to pose there, rather than a more remote part of the roof. If so, this is probably all taking place at the eastern or central part of the roof where trees obscure the exact location of this deck in the aerial shot and because the orientation of the Pampell's roof also argues against the south-west corner.

    1. Well, it's hard to say. I think you might be right, with the sun in the boy's face. This shot was probably taken in the morning. But there's a chance it was taken mid-morning. I thought the hills behind the boy looked like the hills around Trinity Baptist Church and Hilltop Village, but I could be wrong. I agree about the chimney behind the boy.
      I've found a reference in an old Kerrville Mountain Sun about Mrs. Morris "opening up the roof garden" at the St. Charles. But I don't have a definite spot where this "roof garden" might have been on the building (other than at the top!).

  4. Joe, do you have a date on the aerial photograph? I figure it can't be any earlier than mid-1926 since the Arcadia is visible and complete.

  5. Wow, I see the Feed Store & train tracks. I remember when I was young, & we would park behind Schreiner's; we just took those old un-used train tracks for granted. I would often hang out at that Feed Store w/ Jasper Henderson, who worked there, while waiting for Mom to get off work at the Hospital, which I guess replaced the Hotel you are referring to. This Feed Store really brings back some memories about Kerrville, while I was growing up!!

    V Karen Kilgore-Howard


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