Monday, March 12, 2018

Shorpy pointed out how much has changed in a residential street with this photo.... 4 things in this photo don't exist anymore

hitching posts
mounting blocks,
street car tracks
and elm trees

No more horses in residential neighborhoods, as they were made obsolete by the car, which meant no more mounting blocks also

And the street cars were replaced by cars and busses

and the elm trees were killed by Dutch Elm Disease caused by a microfungus dispersed by bark beetles

The disease was first reported in the United States in 1928, with the beetles believed to have arrived in a shipment of logs from The Netherlands destined for use as veneer in the Ohio furniture industry. Quarantine and sanitation procedures held most cases within 150 miles of metropolitan New York City until 1941 when war demands began to curtail them. The disease spread from New England westward and southward, almost completely destroying the famous elms in the "Elm City" of New Haven, Connecticut, reaching the Detroit area in 1950, the Chicago area by 1960, and Minneapolis by 1970. Of the estimated 77 million elms in North America in 1930, over 75% had been lost by 1989.

Dutch elm disease reached eastern Canada during the Second World War, and spread to Ontario in 1967, Manitoba in 1975 and Saskatchewan in 1981. In Toronto, 80% of the elm trees have been lost to Dutch elm disease; many more fell victim in Ottawa, Montreal and other cities during the 1970s and 1980s. Quebec City still has about 21,000 elms, thanks to a prevention program initiated in 1981. Alberta and British Columbia are the only provinces that are currently free of Dutch elm disease, although, in an isolated case, an elm tree in Wainwright Alberta was found diseased in June 1998 and was immediately destroyed. The presence of DED was monitored in this area the subsequent years but was not seen again. Today, Alberta has the largest number of elms unaffected by Dutch elm disease in the world; many streets and parks in Edmonton and Calgary are still lined with healthy, mature trees. Aggressive measures are being taken to prevent the spread of the disease into Alberta, as well as other parts of Canada. The Cities of Edmonton and Calgary have banned elm pruning from March 31 to October 1 since fresh pruning wounds will attract the beetles during the warmer months.


  1. I live on a street called Maple. You would guess that the street would be lined with Maple trees right? The wonderful leaders of my town decided the trees were problematic and cut all of them down...I have petitioned the city to rename the street as "Mapleless" but I haven't heard back from them yet.

    1. Good one! I'm surprised you didn't go to the signs and add "less" to the signs!