Downtown Bradley, late 1950’s

Shown below are four black-and-white photos taken in “downtown” Bradley, apparently in the 1950s.  I don’t know who took these photos, but they were apparently taken on the same roll of film.  The photos are actually copies of copies and, therefore, rather grainy, and one is slightly out of focus.  After each of these photos is a color photo taken from approximately the same location and angle on June 15, 2008.

The first photo is of Fourth Street (Highway 160).  The Coca-Cola sign on the building on the left says “J. M. Drake.”  The building on the left must have been demolished not very many years after this photo was taken.

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The second photo shows a group gathered around a ladder, perhaps, judging from the jackets some are wearing, putting up Christmas lights.  Again, the building in the background must have been demolished not very many years after this photo was taken.

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The third photo shows the view from just east of the railroad depot on Fourth Street/Highway 160, looking west.  It also shows what was then the front entrance to the depot.  The building in the background was demolished in 1978.

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The fourth and last photo shows the building in which George Bell later published the Bradley Pioneer for 16 years.  It was demolished in the mid-1980’s.  The Bradley Public Library was located in the right side of this building for many years.  The sign on the side of the building says, “Jones Plumbing and Electric.”  To the right of that building is Alvin Owens’ barber shop.

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These photos remind me of a book that, as a boy, I spent literally hours poring over at the Bradley Public Library.  It was a large (perhaps 24 inches by 30 inches) scrapbook or photograph album put together by the Bradley B. & P. W. Club.  It contained many, many wonderful photographs of Bradley as it appeared in the 1950s.  I’ve often wondered whatever happened to that scrapbook.  If any of the readers of this site know of its present location, I would be most interested to learn its whereabouts.

 

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