Thursday, September 1, 2011

Old Mérida

I often wonder what it was like back in the days before the henequen industry collapsed and Mérida was left more or less forgotten and crumbling for decades. Yesterday a colleague flagged an amazing resource on Flickr called The Commons as a source of neat historic B&W images with no copyright restrictions. So I immediately queried "Merida" to see what showed up.

I was captivated by these images from an 1899 expedition. Aside from the unpaved streets and the absence of cars and converted commercial storefronts, the streetscape looks a lot like today.


Maybe someone recognizes the locations in these photos?

You can see the full collection of images from the Allison V. Armour Expedition on The Commons. The photo locations aren't all that well-described, so it can be hard to tell if they're from Mérida or some other Yucatán site, or somewhere in Central America. In fact it's possible even a couple of these might be from a different Yucatan city or town.


Looking down street, a few people. Two-story buildings with small balconies, signs painted, "cademia" [verify the rest]. 1899.

Name of Expedition: Allison V. Armour Expedition
Participants: Charles F. Millspaugh, Edward P. Allen, Edward S. Isham Jr.,Jordan L. Mott Jr.
Expedition Start Date: December 21, 1898
Expedition End Date: March 11, 1899
Purpose and Aims: Plant collecting and photography for Botany in the Bermuda, Bahamas, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Yucatan.
Vessel Name: Utowana (Yacht, Sailboat)
Location: Central America, Mexico, Yucatan, Merida



Street. 1899.
Name of Expedition: Allison V. Armour ExpeditionParticipants: Charles F. Millspaugh, Edward P. Allen, Edward S. Isham Jr.,Jordan L. Mott Jr.Expedition Start Date: December 21, 1898Expedition End Date: March 11, 1899Purpose and Aims: Plant collecting and photography for Botany in the Bermuda, Bahamas, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Yucatan.Vessel Name: Utowana (Yacht, Sailboat)Location: Central America, Mexico, Yucatan


Street, people, buildings, horse drawn carriage, church at end of street with several bells. 1899.

Name of Expedition: Allison V. Armour Expedition
Participants: Charles F. Millspaugh, Edward P. Allen, Edward S. Isham Jr.,Jordan L. Mott Jr.
Expedition Start Date: December 21, 1898
Expedition End Date: March 11, 1899
Purpose and Aims: Plant collecting and photography for Botany in the Bermuda, Bahamas, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Yucatan.
Vessel Name: Utowana (Yacht, Sailboat)
Location: Central America, Mexico, Yucatan [verify]

Cathedral. 1899.

Name of Expedition: Allison V. Armour Expedition
Participants: Charles F. Millspaugh, Edward P. Allen, Edward S. Isham Jr.,Jordan L. Mott Jr.
Expedition Start Date: December 21, 1898
Expedition End Date: March 11, 1899
Purpose and Aims: Plant collecting and photography for Botany in the Bermuda, Bahamas, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Yucatan.
Vessel Name: Utowana (Yacht, Sailboat)
Location: Central America, Mexico, Yucatan [verify]







4 comments:

  1. I believe that last picture is the San Juan gate to the city, on Calle 64 x 69.

    Fascinating site, thanks for the link.

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  2. I was going to comment on the last photo, too. I agree with Jonna. Parque San Juan is to the right in the photo.

    The previous photo, "street, people buildings", etc., might be calle 61 at the Plaza Grande. That would be the current Palacio del Gobierno on the left, the plaza grande on the right, and the intersection of 60 x 61 in the distance with a bit of the corner of the cathedral visible on the right.

    Thanks for sharing this, Debbie. I hope others can figure out more of the locations.

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  3. The next to last photo looks a lot like the Governor's Palace, right across from the park, with a corner of San Ildefonso showing on the right.

    Thanks for the link.

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  4. Thanks for figuring these out. I can see the landmarks now that you have identified them. Glad you enjoyed them too.

    ReplyDelete