(Watch the video first!)
(Where the hell is the Read More button?)
(Wow, it isn’t available for anything but text posts unless you put it manually in the HTML! Christ on a bike.)
I mentioned this already on twitter, but it appears the address no longer exists. There is no Ashland St in New Bedford. However, I did find an Ashland PLACE, it’s a small street in a pocket of fairly nice homes between run-down near-ghetto like you tend to get in New Bedford, but it’s only got a few houses on it so I don’t know why google is telling me there’s a #99 in streetview when there is clearly not room for it. How odd.
There’s also an Ashland St in Dartmouth, which is in the greater New Bedford area…given that the highest house number I found on there was 12, though, that falls a bit short of the 187 on the postcard.
I also did a little digging on the Rhode Island Normal School, turns out it’s now called Rhode Island College.
I checked with Max, who’s lived in this area longer than me (I’m an import!) and he said that Dartmouth is probably just as old as New Bedford, so it couldn’t be there. What probably happened is the street got renamed or someone restructured that particular area… which is unusual, but it’s the only thing I can think of for an address that straight up does not exist.
Apparently so. I did a little more digging, and found what is effectively the 1910 New Bedford White Pages. It lists Ashland as running from Robeson St. northwest up to Nauset…both of which still exist on Google Maps. From the info it mentions, I’ve worked out that what was once Ashland St. is now called Summer St. 184 Summer Street, however, is south of where Ashland’s south end was (which was the original Summer St.’s north end; the two are now simply one street), so working out exactly where 184 would be is beyond the scope of my abilities.
Still, this is quite a fascinating mystery to delve into!
EDIT: One thing that I just noticed is that Lillian’s not the addressee listed in that directory at 184 Ashland. According to it, 2 gents named David Connolly and John H Murphy live there.
Could explain why she wasn’t writing Arthur back.
I edited the post apparently after you started typing - I’ve got an alternate theory the writer meant Ashley Boulevard, which is a largely residential main road with the same kind of apartment-houses I live in.
….So if it IS Summer St, I still live nearby and I also know someone who lives a few blocks down. How odd it’s really all very close to my neck of the woods.