A Snow Day in 1954 Opens A Door to the Past


A SNOW DAY in Baltimore, MD in 1954, 

This photo captures a moment in time 60 years ago. 

I am using this photo and a few others to help me step back in time to catch a story.

Traffic is stopped at the corner of Monument and North Broadway. A woman walks down the center island probably on her way to Hopkins Hospital from Hampton House, the nurses home, which faces the hospital.

The picture fits today in 2014 as we have snow on the ground.


 In less than a block the woman will enter the hospital grounds through this gate That small older building which is squatting at the side of the driveway is the Gate House Shop. In the 1950s there was no shop in the hospital This is where people stopped for cards, small gifts and other personal items. It is not there today. As happens,  it fell to progress.

My husband Jim Schoettler was a first year medical student when he took these pictures. He was standing on the balcony at the Phi Chi Fraternity House at 606 North Broadway. That old red brick three story house faced the hospital and stood next-door to the nurses' home. 

Jim lived in the fraternity house when he was a First year student.

As you can tell from this photo his room must have been on the top floor. The upper colder reaches were usually where the lower classmen ended up. When he talked about it to me I imagined a small "garrett" room.

It is very like Jim to have noted his shooting location on the back of the photos. I am so glad to see his familiar handwriting on them - its like being close, almost touching him.


These pictures were taken 7 months before I arrived in Baltimore from North Carolina to enter Nurses's Training at Hopkins. The old house was torn down before I got there. All I saw at 606 North Broadway was an empty lot. But I heard a lot about it. Jim told stories of the guys who lived there and the comforts and discomforts of the house.  

When Jim and I met, he had just returned from a summer visit to his home in California. There was a new Phi Chi House located at the corner of Monument and North Washington Street. It was much smaller - a store front building with an apartment and a few bedrooms upstairs. He and two classmates, both fraternity brothers,  had relocated to an apartment over a corner store-front on North Broadway - a block from the front gate of the hospital. 

I think we still have the range finder camera he was shooting with in those days - but I doubt there is any film available for it. Did you notice the familiar pinked edges of the photos of those days - and the lovely black and white - -

I hope I can find someone who recognizes the cars -

 These photos were among the box of Jim's papers that I found recently. I don't remember ever seeing them before - but I am grateful to have them now.

I look at this picture and it brings back memories of  another snowy day after I was settled in the Nurses' Home in 1955 when the world looked just like this. Photographs, especially those old black and white ones, can bring back a scene, a feeling, a moment in time in a very real and vivid remembering. The time and place come back to life - at least for me and my imagination. 

Photos feed my imagination and make me want to think and seaeerch for more. 

Catch the images and memories  Tell the story.

This is a start - 

Do you do that? 

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