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November 25, 2020

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Ada: Past tense and present tense

This month Icon photographer Bailey Bowers uncovers Ada's past and connects it to Ada's present.

 Each set is comprised of three photos: past, present, and composite (past and present put together in one photo). Here's the first in this series.

Looking South from ME Church
Pictured here is the view on North Main Street looking south from the Methodist Church.

Some differences between the two scenes are due to the passage of time. These include the change from carriages to automobiles. The biggest difference between the past and the present is a relatively recent one.

On the right side of the present-day photo, you might notice that one major section of the block is missing. That section was the Arbogast building. At the time of the past picture, it was home to the Young House hotel, named for its founders, William and Christian Young.

The building is missing from the present photo because it caught fire in April 2005. Thirteen area fire departments aided in battling the blaze and approximately 500,000 gallons of water were used to douse the flames. Despite this, the building was destroyed.

At the time of the fire, the upper section housed ONU students and the lower section held several businesses. Today, the lot still remains empty, leaving vacant a section of historic downtown Ada.