Central Fairfield

This video was captured on East Burlington, Fairfield Iowa on July 21, 2012.


Proprietors and Employees of The Fair Department Store, Fairfield.

Proprietors and Employees of The Fair Department Store, including owners Charles W. Wade, fourth from left in photo, and George James Bonfield, third from left. Wade established The Fair in 1897, and was joined about 1910 by Bonfield.

From left to right, in the back row: Mary Thoma (1883-1963), unknown, Carl McFadden, Roberta Hoaglin, unknown. Middle row: Nettie Neibert (1889-1913), Byron Neibert, Etta Stever, the rest unknown. Front row: Cliff Brown (1879-1953), Eliza Bonfield (1876-1949), George Bonfield (1873-1936), Charles W. Wade (1872-1956), Margaret Wade (1870-1925), Bridget Kilfoy (1866-1911).

The Fair Department Store, 54-58 East Burlington Avenue (and 108 South Court St.), Fairfield. c. 1910.

The Fair Store was established in 1897 by Charles W. Wade, joined by George Bonfield around 1910. The celebrated establishment became Rockwood’s Store in 1944, followed by in 1955 by Seifert’s, which sold women’s apparel here for over forty years. The Burlington Avenue facade shown here is now occupied by the west half of Midwest One Bank (58) and by the Bargain Box (54-56).

House Furnishings Department, The Fair Store, Fairfield.Dry Goods & Ready-to-Wear Department, The Fair Store, Fairfield.Millinery Department, The Fair Store, Fairfield.Shoe & Hosiery Dept. of The Fair Department Store.


1911 Barber Shop and Bakery

September 2, 2011

Old Chicago, 4th Street, Fairfield, Iowa.

Remember Asher B. Mullenix,the barber and insurance man driving the two-horse wagon? See video: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1663723795304
Members of the Mullenix family were barbers in Fairfield since the 1880s, and Lee Gobble remembers that the small building at 411 North Fourth St. in the middle of this photograph, on the east side of the street just south of the railroad tracks, was once the site of one of their barber shops.

Building to the far right: The Den tavern was listed both at 407 4th St (1964-65) and at 409 4th St (1977-1988) in the Fairfield Street Directories we have access to. For 407 North Fourth our directories show George R. Fry’s grocery and L. A. Munger’s barber shop in 1911, Gus’ Barber Shop in 1937, and The Den in 1964-1965.

For 409 North Fourth our directories show August Kirchner’s bakery in 1911, M. G. Black’s grocery and market in 1931, Arnold’s Used Furniture Shop, and Singer Sewing Machine Agency in 1937, and The Den in 1977-1988.

1876 striped wood floors

August 28, 2011

striped wood floors in Fairfield Iowa.

Between 1876 and 1879 a number of stores on Fairfield’s Square installed striped wooden floors, usually in alternating bands of walnut and ash or walnut and maple.

Photo, above right, is a floor in the Cafe Paradiso, located at 59-61 West Broadway at the corner of North Main Street. The Paradiso occupies two adjacent store-buildings; J. E. Roth built the east one, No. 59 West Broadway, in 1871. When he remodeled it in 1879, the Fairfield Ledger commented, “The new store room of J. E. Roth & Co. is finished in all its details. The stock was again removed into it last night, and the boys are as pleasant as can be to-day — if J. Edward is away from home. New and modern shelving, a handsome and durable oiled walnut and ash floor, new counters splendidly furnished, fresh painting and graining, bright walls and ceiling now give Roth & Co. the largest and best dry goods room in the city, at least that’s what they think.” ( Fairfield Ledger, April 2, 1879, p. 3, col. 5)

The other three photos, left and below, are of a private residence on Kirkwood built around the same time.

Loudon building, Broadway, Fairfield, Iowa.

Looking East on Broadway Ave., Then and Now

Then: Looking east on Broadway Avenue from the Louden Depot in 1929, we see a long row of automobiles belonging to the employees of the busy Louden Machinery Company, at left, and of other factories nearby. The Louden Company bought four lots here at 605-607 W. Broadway in 1892 and built their 6,000-square-foot factory here that year.

Now: In 2011 the neighborhood is noticeably quieter; the Louden building at left now houses studios, offices, apartments, and Vivo’s Restaurant, advertised by the new portico. At the same time, the house at 602 W. Broadway, right, has lost its portico and flanking trees, but its gabled roofline and distinctive oriel window remain quite recognizeable. The old house at 604 W. Broadway at far right has given way to a parking lot which has made Broadway quieter still.

Beautiful houses on B Street 200 block.

Both 200 E. Washington (left) and 203 S. B St. (right) are on Lot No. 4 in Block No. 21, Old Plat, and Thomas D. Evans gave the whole lot to the Methodist Society in 1844 for them to build their church on. Finally finished in 1850, the brick Methodist “Old Zion” Church stood at the southeast corner of Washington St. and B St. (now 200 East Washington). After the Civil War the Methodist Society split into two factions, with some of the members leaving “Old Zion” for the Harmony Church, which stood near the courthouse.

“Old Zion” on S. B Street was demolished in 1876. The Fairfield Ledger of Aug. 17, 1876, says (p. 3, col. 4): “With the demolition of the Old Zion and Presbyterian Churches will disappear two of Fairfield’s old land marks….They were the two oldest churches in the city, and the first brick ones erected.”

The two factions later reunited under Rev. Henry Wing, who then built a large wooden Methodist church in 1877 on the northeast corner of Briggs and Court Sts., where the brick Methodist Church is now.

Scroll “Older Posts” on facebook, April 28-May 2, 2011 for more conversation.

1909 map Northwest of Fairfield Iowa square.
‎1909 map of Fairfield, detail. The Grand Opera House is at upper right, at the corner of N. Main and E. Briggs, where Tribune Printing is now. The Post Office was at 113 W. Broadway, where Red Rock Tavern is now. The Hotel Broadway stood at the corner of 2nd St. and W. Broadway, where the Post Office is now; the First Baptist Church was at the corner of 3rd and W. Broadway, where the new Baptist Church is now; and the Congregational Church stood at the corner of 3rd and W. Burlington, where the First Christian Church is now. The Fairfield National Bank stood at 60 S. Main, corner of Burlington, where the Teeple-Hansen Gallery is now. Note the Park was still round!