“Logan Foto 393”
The only label on the photo is “Logan Foto 393” which presumably means it was taken by someone from the Charles Logan Camera Shop which was located on San Joaquin Street in Stockton. There is no labeling on the photo indicating the date.
The building in the background is St Johns Church and the photo was taken from southwest corner of the intersection of El Dorado Street and Miner Avenue in Stockton. The cornerstone for this church was laid in April of 1892 and construction was completed the same year (1). Since it appears the church is nearly or completely finished, the date of the photo would have to be 1892 or later.
There is a posting to the Spooner collection in the Golden Nugget Library of the same church. Copyright for the collection is 1894 so the photo was taken
probably taken shortly after the dedication. The trees in the foreground of both photos (they’re between street and curb) appear to be consistent, with the
one nearest the intersection in the flood photo having a trunk diameter about a third larger. There also is vegetation at the base of the building in the flood
picture that is not in the Spooner photo but this variation could be due to seasonal planting.
Conclusion: the flood photo was taken later than the Spooner collection photo. However, during this timeframe Stockton had flooding virtually every year so it is difficult to refine the date of the photo based on the flooding.
The vehicle in the foreground is a streetcar. Streetcars were in use in Stockton as early as 1875. Based on information in an 1892 map of Stockton,
this one is on the street railroad which went north on El Dorado Street from Main Street (2). The streetcars on this line were initially horse-drawn but
electrification started in July 1892 (1). One notes the streetcar in the Logan Foto 393 photo is horse-drawn.
The book Stockton Memories (1) has a photo showing a similar scene of flooding at the intersection of California and Channel Streets in 1907 (about 4 blocks east of St Johns Church). In this photo there is also a horse-drawn streetcar which is a clone of the one pictured in the El Dorado Street and Miner Avenue photo.
Comparing the Logan Foto 393 photo with the Spooner collection version there is a steeple in the background of the latter photo between the main church and Guild Hall. The book Stockton Album indicates the First Baptist Church had a similar steeple (130’) and was located on the SW corner of Hunter Avenue and Lindsay Street. It further indicates that the church was dedicated in 1861 and used until 1909 when it was replaced with a new structure that was dedicated in 1911. Photos of the new structure from various sources indicate it did not have a steeple.
A check of the 1892 map of Stockton indicates that the First Baptist Church location is in the same block as St John’s, but diagonally opposite; i.e., the steeple in the background is in the right location in the right timeframe to be the First Baptist Church steeple. One notes that although the sight lines in
both photos is virtually the same, there is no steeple in the background in the Logan Foto 393 photo.
Conclusion: The steeple in the Spooner collection photo is the First Baptist Church steeple. Based on this church being used until 1909 and assuming in
order to build the replacement church the steeple had to be removed, the Logan Foto 393 photo of St John’s was probably taken no earlier than 1909.
(1) Stockton Memories (Wood & Covello)
(2) Golden Nugget Library, Photo Album & Maps Stockton Street Map 1892 North.
(3) Golden Nugget Library, Photo Album & MapsStockton Illustrated 1894, photo 32
Donated by Vernon A. Dander. firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2010 Vern Dander.