Tuesday, April 15, 2008

"Block" Buildings on Postcards Circa 1908

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It was a common practice in the early 1900s, when new towns were springing up across the country, for a business to use a city block for their building while renting out the excess space to other businesses. These were not unlike the current fad of outdoor malls. Often on the early postcards you will see a reference to the "Moody Block" or something similar and you will often see that title on the top of the front of the building. The circa 1908 postcard today is an excellent example of that practice and features the impressive "Coon Block" in downtown Estherville Iowa. You can see the name prominently displayed near the top of the building and businesses reading left to right of Nau Brothers Clothing, Williams & Anderson and the Bank of Estherville. Above these street level stores were offices for lawyers, doctors and such and often meeting places for fraternal organizations such as Masonic lodges, the Elk's Club or the I.O.O.F. Go back and check your post cards for these blocks and frequently you can find the date of construction included. This post card can be found in my Iowa listings along with 10,000 more postcards on my website at Moody's Postcards.

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