Pat Gavin Photography

Photographer, urban explorer, and antique collector from Baltimore, Md. Be sure to check out the links to my Flickr accounts and please reblog my stuff if you like it.

A few months ago on a Friday night we went down to Hungry Andy’s in Fells Point for dinner. I parked the car a few blocks away and on our walk we passed a garbage can on the corner. There was a photo album sitting right on top of it, like someone had placed it there only minutes before. It wasn’t dirty at all, just a little beat up with the spine twisted. I opened it up real quick and looked inside to see it was full of photos. It seemed kind of sad someone would throw it away so I walked back and put it in the trunk of my car. It sat back there for weeks before I brought it inside. Then it sat on a shelf for another few months.

Tonight for whatever reason we remembered it’s existence and decided to open it up. A few photos have possible names written on them but not many. All of the smaller photos were taped to larger ones that seem kind of out of context to the rest, as if someone combined two unrelated photo albums together. However the small photos are the interesting ones.

From what I can gather it seems that a man named Will (probably William) who has photos of himself very young wearing a US Navy outfit, probably WWII, grew up and perhaps owned a local bar. I see a photo of the outside of a bar that says “Harry’s Miniature Bar” and another reference to “Dallas Pleasure Club” at 926 Gay Street. Can’t be sure if any of these photos are actually from inside those places though.

You can see plenty of Baltimore references all over the place. Gunther and National beer boxes stacked high. A sign on the ceiling mentions the name Art Donovan. Another photo features a display for Bromo Seltzer.

I can’t be sure all of these photos are from the same place. There are some photos in the album from the 1970s that look very much like the Canton or Highlandtown area. The roads have a bit of curve to them as well as arcitecture that matches that area. The one thing throwing me off is in the distance is one single tall building, it looks similar to an apartment building near Greenmount Cemetery. It is possible this place has been completely demolished and something new has been built on top of it.

I see references to the last name Wise but nothing in the album is written very clearly. There is a very faded photo on a card of some sort with what looks like William in his 70s or 80s with his grandchildren.

If any of this rings a bell to anyone let me know. Finding out where Harry’s Bar was may be the key.

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