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Photo of the Month
August 2011
See Previous Photos     Unknown Faces and Places


Born in Nebraska in 1881, Clarence Wilbur Cole and his wife Mary "Helen" (Ahlstrom) Cole spent their married lives in Topeka, Kansas and San Bernardino, California, where Clarence was as an electrician in the local railroad shops. They also owned and operated a small grocery and gasoline filling station in San Bernardino, known as "Cole's Corner Market." Clarence was the son of Henry Harrison "Clark" and Ida Bell (Minard) Cole and the grandson of Civil War veteran Nathan W. Minard and his wife Sarah Jane (Woodruff).

In this image, Helen stands at the market, beside a forest ranger and "Carl" who may have been an employee. Note the family name "Cole's" painted atop the arch, just above the entrance door. The building was located at what is now 3998 Mt View Avenue. At that time, this locale was considered "out in the country." 

The market sold meats, cold drinks, ice cream and other products that would appeal to motorists heading to and from nearby Arrowhead Lake. The building became the Coles' temporary home during the Great Depression when forced to give up their larger, more spacious home on Genevieve Street. The market building was still standing in the 1970s, and possibly even today, but has not been family ownership for decades. At one time it was owned by Eddie's Used Cars.


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Photo from the collection of George T. Finkle III. Copyright 2011 Mark A. Miner