Wait – where was that cover photo taken?

July 4th, 2020, the parade that never was. The coronavirus pandemic achieved what other epidemics, economic depressions and recessions, and two world wars could not. It caused Riverton’s treasured July Fourth Parade to be canceled. Here’s hoping we all get to enjoy the next one.

After folks received their July Fourth Program booklets this year, the question of the cover photo’s location arose.

Roger Prichard started it thus, and cc’d the whole HSR Board:

See this year’s program/ad book? I’m drawing a complete blank on the location for the photo… I just can’t place it for any location in Riverton.

Iris Gaughan, Pat Brunker, and others posited that it was taken on Main Street, but where? Our best resources, Nancy and Bill Hall were stumped, too.

Hypotheses involving angles of the sun and whether the parade was going toward or away from the river ensued.

Knowing that the Society had supplied the July 4th Committee with the photo, Roger asked to see the original photo scan to see if it might yield more clues.

Elsie’s scrapbook page

That photo was one of several taken by Robert Knight on July 5, 1920, the year when Riverton thanked over 100 servicemen and one woman, Army nurse Amanda Faunce, by presenting each with a gold signet ring during a ceremony at the riverbank.

Several of the photos appeared previously in the May 2017 Gaslight News article, “A Grateful Community” by Mrs. Pat Solin. Our esteemed past Board Member, Elsie Waters, since passed, had donated the treasured family photos to the Society.

When Roger received the scan with the entire image, he had his eureka moment.

July 5, 1920, photo by Robert Knight, donated by Elsie Waters

AHA!!! Thank you, John! That little bit of extra detail of the house with the cool porch in the background tells the tale! Look at those distinctive double columns and brackets for the 2nd floor porch.

Here’s what Mr. Google has. It’s 101 Main and the open space in the parade picture is where Ed Gilmore’s house and the modern one next to it were built (103 and 103a).  That was always open space since the founding of the town.

Google maps screenshot, Main Street, Riverton

Thus ends another episode of history nerds group emailng each other, desperate to better illuminate the pages of Riverton history, since we have had to cancel all Board and membership meetings for the foreseeable future.

Elsie Showell and brother John, Riverton July 5, 1920

Incidentally, Elsie Showell Waters was not quite two years of age on July 5, 1920. She is dearly missed.

Please join the conversation here and on our Facebook page until we can resume normal operations. -JMc, Editor

Published by

John McCormick

Teacher at Riverton School 1974-2019, author, amateur historian, Historical Society of Riverton Board Member 2007-2023, newsletter editor 2007-2023, website editor 2011-2023

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