Saturday, July 07, 2012

Magnolia, Arkansas - 1950s

I have never been to the southern part of the US (I'm not counting a few months in Georgia when I was a baby), but I sure would love to explore it someday. 

Take a look at today's photos, featuring Magnolia, Arkansas (only about 20 miles north of the Louisiana border), from sometime in the mid-1950's. A trio of army nurses passed through Magnolia, and stopped to snap a few photos - the man in the photo below is (I think) from the local gas station.

Magnolia looks like it was a nice little town! It was founded in 1853 and started out primarily as a farming community. Later on oil, natural gas, and other industries became important to the economy. 

Using Google's Street View, I found a pretty close match to the picture above... there's the McAllister Building, looking very much the same as it did 60 years ago. The rest of Jackson Street has lost a bit of its vintage charm, but then again, so have most places.

There's all 3 of our gals, aren't they cute? Today, Magnolia is home to the world's largest charcoal grill, as well as (appropriately) the "World Champion Steak Cookoff". 

I hope you've enjoyed your visit to Magnolia!


Nanook said...

Our 50's gent is sporting the de rigueur look of the day: rolled-up short sleeves. Now - if he only moved his belt buckle to the side of his waist, then he'd really be stylin'-! (He may be too old for that look, however).

Orange Co Native said...

It sure hasn't changed much. The same buildings are still there. I know Orange County in Southern California has completely changed since the 1950's. Even since the 1960's and 1970's. Cities and towns back East and in the South don't tear down stuff as often or fast as they do here out West.

TokyoMagic! said...

The storefront to the right of the McAllister Building STILL has a red and white stripe painted down the side of it all these years later! I wonder if it was a barber shop? It doesn't even look like it's occupied today.

Thank you for posting the "today" shots along with your vintage street shots, Major. I think you know how much I love "before and after" photo comparisons!

Debbie V. said...

Tokyo - there was a barber shop as part of the Magnolia Inn. Apparently this street is now part of the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program Magnolia Commercial Historic District

Connie Moreno said...

I love stuff like this and these are so cool. My eyes nearly popped out of my head when I saw the silver metal belt worn by the girl with the dark skirt. My mom had one and I played with it as a little kid in the early 60's. Wish I still had that now!

K. Martinez said...

I traveled quite a bit throughout the southern states back in the late 70s and there were lots of small towns like this that seemed to escape time. These images really evoke those memories. It's been so long though, that I'm sure it's changed quite a bit bye now. Great pics!

Melissa said...

How is this not an MGM movie musical?

(Which reaches its stunning climax when the oil in the hair of the man in white spontaneously erupts into flame in the Arkansas sun.)

Gojira said...

Major I really enjoy the slides you find that depict everyday life years ago. I would place these photos from 1952, maybe 1953. The car they are next to is a 1952 Ford. I don't see anything later than that in the photos. I am amazed at how much remained the same all these years later from the Google photo. Even the little details such as the red and white paint and some of the architectural details.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Santa Ana, CA, in the late '40s and went to High School in the ''50s. I use google street view to take a look at all the places I remember, and am surprised that much as stayed the same. (Example; Al Moler's old Kwik-Snack drive thru know as the original In-and-Out). Many of the buildings are sill there, even though many things around have changed.

I too love the before and after stuff.


Anonymous said...

I love the McAlester building, and the cars.

The modern cars just dont make it.

Seeing landmarks remaining after many years is somehow soothing, but respect for the past can go so far as to freeze out the present. It all comes down to whose ox is gored, i guess.

Thanks Major, these are off-beat and fun for a change.