Frank at 1529 Holbrook Street, Baltimore, MD

Young Frank in back yard 1

Pictured above is Francis Joseph Zeller (1897-1979), AKA Frank, on 19 June 1910. He was about a month shy of 13 years old. As you can see from the caption on the back (below), he is standing in the back yard of 1529 Holbrook Street, Baltimore, MD “which mother kept neatly and proudly.” Holbrook Street is in the neighborhood of Oliver (see map below). I have not yet determined which of Frank’s sisters wrote that.

Frank was the son of Louis M. Zeller (1864-1926) and Margaret Ann Buechner (1868-1938). Louis purchased 1529 Holbrook Street from Ella A. Murphy in 1907. The house was subject to a ground rent of $39 until Louis acquired the ground from W. Allen Hammond in 1920. Margaret sold the house to Frank after Louis died in 1926 but maintained ownership of the ground. In 1937 Margaret and Louis sold the house and ground to Frank’s sister, Caroline M. Zeller (1893-1965), and her husband, Benjamin Harrison “Harry” Gosnell (1889-1960). Caroline and Harry had owned 1544 Holbrook Street since 1927. I’ll tell you more about the Gosnells in a future post.

The next door neighbor whose window is visible and mentioned in the caption was Ella M. Carlin (1858-1946) who lived at 1527 Holbrook Street. She was married to John W. Harris (1852-??). Her brother Louis B. Carlin (1864-1930) lived with them there at the time of his death.

Here is the back of the above photograph:

Young Frank in back yard 2

In the next photograph of Frank, developed 2 May 1933, he is 35 years old and again standing in the back yard of 1529 Holbrook Street. The dog in the photograph belonged to Eva M. Smith (1890-1981) who was married to John W. Bates (1897-1969). They were neighbors two doors down at 1525 Holbrook Street.

Frank in back yard 1

Frank in back yard 2

The three-story residences behind Frank were in the 1500 block of Aisquith Street. These three-story residences were replaced by two-story residences in the 1970s. A 10 June 1970 article in the Baltimore Sun discussed the recent demolition of 1531, 1533, and 1535 Aisquith Street, after they were condemned by the Baltimore Department of Housing and Community Development. The article noted that 1531 Aisquith Street was owned by a couple living in Trieste, Italy. A lien of $1200 was placed against the property to cover the costs of razing the house and “wall patching” at 1529 Aisquith Street, which was left standing, but a spokesman for the Department was quoted as saying “it’s going to be difficult to collect.” Almost 50 years later the problems associated with dilapidated housing and absentee owners still exist in Baltimore.

Below is a recent Google Earth Street View view of 1525, 1527, and 1529 Holbrook Street. All three of the houses are vacant.

1529 (white) 1527 (red) Holbrook Street.png

Here is a map of the neighborhood of Oliver with Holbrook Street marked in red”

Holbrook St Map.png

These photographs were among about 50 I purchased from an antique store on The Avenue in the Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore in July 2017.

Watch this blog for more of what these photographs tell us about the Zeller Family and life in ancient Baltimore.


4 thoughts on “Frank at 1529 Holbrook Street, Baltimore, MD

  1. I stumbled on your site googling Herman Ludwig Kornick, he is my great grandfather. I started doing research on my family tree as I have a trip planned with my daughter to Germany in Nov. I am so excited to read about my great Aunt Jen and great Uncle Frank. I remember the silver rings as a kid, they were great! I have one of Uncle Frank’s caned chairs. Underneath the caning is his signature sticker with their address. I have had to get it recaned of course, but always kept his signature on the bottom. I will gladly send you a photo of it and other pics I and my Mom( who is 85) have of Aunt Jen and Uncle Frank. They were quite something along with the rest of the brothers and sisters. Aunt Jen was Genevieve Kornick, my grandfather’s sister. She was a twin along with William (Uncle Willy) who was a bachelor and lived in the apartment above my grandparents, Mary and Richard Kornick, they lived on Evergreen Ave. In Baltimore. They along with a lot of the family moved here to Florida in the early 70’s. Lots of interesting stuff about Uncle Willy to tell. I sure miss them all and the memories.
    Got to go and get dinner started. Hope to hear from you and if you want will send some pics.
    Still a Baltimorean at heart, Annette Herrmann ( also still an avid crab cake lover)

    1. Thank you for your reply to the post, Annette! I have about 20 photographs of the family, most of which I did not post in the blog. I’ll email you privately with details.

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