Lost Houses of Lyndale
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Johnston Av W of Sacramento

Postcard view of 3053 W. Lyndale looking southwest, ca. 1908. Image courtesy of Perry Casalino.

Cottage With a Picket Fence

Postcard collector Perry Casalino shared this recent discovery of a view of Lyndale Street from the summer of 1908.

The street itself looks in rough shape. Stones are scattered about on the gravel roadway near what may be a raised man-hole cover. The stone curbs on the left are uneven and buckled. On the lower right is a muddy spot crossed by wagon tracks detouring around the rocks.

The north side of the street on the right is thick with trees, but there to shade pedestrians on the other side, a situation not so different from today. In other areas on Lyndale, trees were planted when the street was developed twenty-five years before the photo was taken, but here they were either not planted or did not survive.

An insurance map from 1886 shows that the cottage on the left at 3053 was once part of a row of ten identical 1-1⁄2 story workers cottages built by the developer John Johnston Jr. and his partner Charles Graves. The houses were first sold from 1885 to 1888, so each may have been built at different times a few months before each sale, rather than all the houses at the same time. The light-colored two-flat in the center of the image at 3057 and two-flat with the tall steps at 3061 were both originally cottages that were raised on new brick foundations and enlarged to two floors some time prior to 1896. The cottages at 3059 and 3101 next to them were torn down and replaced by brick two-flats in 1904 and around 1899.

The cottage on the left in the postcard has a hard-to-see X marked on the roof, which is where the postcard sender lived. In Swedish, Amanda Lovblad writes on October 17, 1908 to her friend Mrs. F.O. Johnson in Connecticut:

I send you here a card taken of our house on this street.

Johnston Av W of Sacramento

Swedish immigrants Andrew & Amanda Lovblad had both come to America in their early twenties, met in Chicago and married in 1886. Two years later they purchased the little workers cottage at 3053 W. Lyndale.

Andrew Lovblad worked as a tailor employed at a shop. He and Amanda had an infant daughter Edith when they moved in. Walter and Minnie were born while they were living on Lyndale Street.

Strangely enough, while researching the Lovblad family, I discovered that Edith's granddaughter is a family friend in Minneapolis! She was kind enough to send these photos of her grandmother's family.

Lovblad Family

Lovblad family near rear steps at 3053 W. Lyndale. Courtesy Becky Anderson

The family photo above was taken in back of the cottage at 3053 in 1906. Behind the family is the wood lower level of the house and a rough plank door which may have been the only access to an unfinished basement. Chalk writing on the door is difficult to make out other than "182 John" meaning the original address of 182 Johnston Ave. Were these chalk notes left for the ice and coal delivery drivers?

When Edith and Walter had both married and started their own families their parents built a brick three-flat in Albany Park at 4832 N. Sawyer in 1912, where they lived on one floor and Walter and his family lived on another. After Andrew passed away in 1928, Amanda moved to Rockford to live with Edith's family.

At some point in the 1920s, after the Lovblads had moved away, the wood basement level was replaced by a brick foundation and a separate lower-level apartment was added. A photo from Edith's visit to her childhood home in 1953 shows that the two front windows of the upper floor had been expanded to three. A column of the portico and a corner of the roof can be seen through the leaves, suggesting that the house had otherwise not been changed very much.

My Old Home 1953

Edith might not recognize the house nowadays. In the 1960s or 70s the steep cottage roof was removed and a third apartment added to the top of the house, similar to the modifications at 3033 W. Lyndale. An exterior staircase now zigzags across the front, blocking the view of the first floor windows.