The Karolyn Hall Luther Photograph Collection

April showers have been giving us a good soaking these last few days of the month — hopefully we will see no flooding along area waterways as a result. The waters of Davenport’s Duck Creek often jumped their banks in the past, and thanks to Karolyn Hall Luther, we have evidence of an instance in the late 1940s-early 1950s. Sometime during this period, Karolyn (and her husband Roy) photographed a summertime flood at her residence, the Davenport Motor Court trailer park at 3202 Harrison Street (close to the Creek). She saved her black and white snapshots in a scrapbook, the pages of which her family has kindly donated to the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center. We’ve recently digitized and uploaded the images in the Karolyn Hall Luther Photograph Collection (#2023-11) to the Upper Mississippi Valley Digital Image Archive (UMVDIA). A selection of these flood photographs is here:

We’ve identified some of the residents of the trailer court from the handwritten names on the images, but please let us know if you have any more information about these families or the location!

Karolyn’s scrapbook includes additional photographs of the trailer court in dryer times, the Davenport waterfront, other scenes in the city, and members of her family inside the Conservatory at Vander Veer Park. As she worked as a nurse at the Annie Wittenmyer/Iowa Soldiers’ Orphans’ Home in the early ’40s, there are also some photographs of the staff and children there.

We hope you enjoy this glimpse into the life of a Davenport couple in the 1940s!

(posted by Katie)

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