Old Des Moines
Photos and images of Des Moines, IA from the past 100 years
Newspaper Ad for Thrift Way Supermarkets, 1949. Supermarkets in 1949 were very small compared to today's standards. Many of the Thrift Way buildings still survive. 315 5th St. West Des Moines is a quilt shop, 2709 Ingersoll is Louie's Floor Covering, 1313 Forest is the New Friendship Church of God in Christ, 3018 SW 9th is Import Auto Parts. 1443 Grand is vacant, 1435 E. Grand is Burgin Drapery Workroom and 1922 Carpenter is a Polk County office building - formerly Uncle Sam's niteclub
Downtown Des Moines, 9th and Locust looking east, 1957. Locust Street was 2-way then. Equitable Bldg. is right of center, the current Suites of 800 Locust Hotel is just to the right. Note the diversity of shops. There is a Sherwin Williams paint store on the NW corner. This was before there was suburban shopping centers or strip malls.
Exterior of Younkers Department Store, Downtown Des Moines. Display windows on the south building exterior, Locust Street. Appears to be a night where the store was open late and people were out front waiting on a bus. Clothes and hair styles suggest 1940's or 1950's.
Working on the railroad. Railroad photo of the major north-south railroad line in east side of Des Moines, early 1950's looking north. If you look close [ photo has good detail, if you enlarge] there are a group of men in the background repairing the rail line, perhaps replacing the railroad ties by hand. The work is done next to the Oliver Farm Machinery plant.