Oxford Street

Magnolias in Rochester, New York, undated, via  Arthur Peck Collection, OSU Special Collections & Archives Commons on flickr.

Since the late 19th century, Oxford Street in the city’s Park Avenue neighborhood has attracted visitors in May for its display of blooming magnolia trees. There is another vintage picture of the trees here.

Arthur Peck was a Professor of Landscape Architecture at the Oregon Agricultural College* from 1908 to 1948. This picture was part of his teaching library of 24 boxes of glass lantern slides — now in OSU’s archives.

*The college later became Oregon State University (OSU).

Vintage landscape: an earlier warm winter

A peaceful view of a magnolia tree blooming in a Washington, D.C., park in 1919 — before any other trees have leafed out.

That winter seems to have been as mild as the preceding year’s was harsh. But the sweet scene may belie the real state of affairs. The influenza pandemic that began in the fall remained pervasive, and in the summer to come, deadly race riots would grip the city.

Photo by Harris & Ewing from the Harris & Ewing Collection of the Library of Congress. Click the photo to enlarge.