97 Maynard Street

Over the years, many of us have had occasion to walk down Craut street in the northern Excelsior, particularly on trips to the Manila Oriental Market and its predecessor at the location, Cala Foods. Those interested in local history may have noted the not atypical looking home located at the northwest corner of Maynard and Craut (97 Maynard) with a tiled entryway bearing the initials TFO'D and a second structure on the rear of the lot with a protruding beam, now gone, presumably used to move freight into the structure. A number of old garages/barns in the neighborhood have similar structures. A few months back, while resolving a number of pressing world problems at the "Doctor's" on Mission Street, one of those fortuitous moments occurred wherein mysteries are solved and enlightenment descends. We discovered that the tiles contained the initials of Thomas F. O'Donnell, who resided at the location, and ran a grocery store on the street level. Thomas's grandson Jim further advised us that the outbuilding at the rear was constructed from wood salvaged from the Panama Pacific Exposition. Jim was kind enough to send us some old family photos shot at the location. The photos and accompanying letter we find compelling and have posted the content here. Thank-you, Jim O'Donnell!

"The photo of my grandfather, Thomas, and grandmother, Susan, was taken in front of the store in the early 1920's. The initials and address are visible in this photo." - Jim O'Donnell

"The photo with the car was taken about 1916. The car is a 1916 Dodge, and my father, Thomas Jr., who was about 4 is standing closest to the front tire. My dad, born in 1911, grew up at 97 Maynard. He died in Nov. 2005 at 94." - Jim O'Donnell

"The third photo is grandfather holding my aunt Margaret and standing next to a neighbor friend Charlie Chamberline, who lived around the corner on Ney St. My father is in the carriage, and the two children on the left of my grandfather are neighborhood kids." - Jim O'Donnell