photo courtesy Mark Johnson
Here’s a “mystery of history” that has, so far, stumped me.
My pal Mark Johnson sent me this nice old photograph. As you can see, it shows an alert Safety Patrol boy, preventing young students from crossing the street. In the background, a sturdy brick school building.
The question is: What school is this? Where was the picture taken?
Unfortunately, we don’t know the year this photo was taken or who took it. All we can see of the school is a portion of the ground floor, but note that the brickwork is laid in a distinctive, horizontally striped pattern.
Another clue, if you look very closely, is the capital “S” visible over the shoulder of the Safety Patrol boy. This is obviously the first letter in the name of the street here, or it could indicate “South” — but south what?
Another clue: the low concrete wall that separates the sidewalk from the school yard.
And yet another clue is the stop sign. Whenever this photo was taken, the intersection wasn’t busy enough to deserve a traffic signal. Instead, there was just a stop sign. Years ago, however, Memphis didn’t have traffic lights at just about every halfway-busy intersection, as we do now.
And of course, if anybody recognizes any of the children in the picture, that would go a long way towards identifying the location. And I might as well go ahead and tell you that several people have suggested this was Bruce School, located on South Bellevue, but Mr. Johnson believes that neither the brickwork nor the lower windows on the school match with what we see in the photo.
Well, I’ve done my work here. Time to spend the rest of the day in my La-Z-Boy, sipping on a Kentucky Nip after a good half-hour of work. Look over this picture, and contact me if you think you know the location.