The Pointe

MidPointe Library's Official Blog

New Digital Photo Archive features Historic Monroe, OH

Warner blog.jpg

More than 800 photographs depicting Monroe, Ohio, in the early 20th century will be available for viewing beginning Thursday, April 5 on the MidPointe Library Digital Archives. Accompanying the digital collection will be a photograph print exhibit and an interactive display, both at MidPointe Middletown.


The Marion G. Warner Photograph Collection was originally curated by and has been made available to the library courtesy of the Monroe Historical Society which recently celebrated its 50th year of operation, said Adam Wanter, MidPointe’s Digital and Special Collections archivist. The city of Monroe celebrated its 200th anniversary last year.


Captured by Monroe resident and businessman Marion G. Warner (1861-1922), the collection’s remarkably sharp black-and-white images depict families, individuals of all ages, animals, homes, businesses, buildings, churches and many outdoor scenes from the 1900s, 1910s and 1920s. Most of the buildings have been identified, but a  number of individuals still need identification, Wanter said.

Mr. Warner’s photos were derived from individual glass plate negatives, Wanter explained. Some of them depict his own family members and images from his travels, vacations and leisure activities as well as local sites and residents.

Luck played a role in finding Mr. Warner’s negatives. According to Roger Miller, local historian, “hundreds of his 5x7 glass plate negatives were found by Jim Price as he was clearing property for the construction of the Monroe Historical Society’s museum and headquarters. The Society was able to scan these images and make them available to MidPointe Library’s Digital Archives.”

Mr. Warner was a general store owner, druggist and an artist in addition to being an amateur photographer. Interestingly, his home stood on the site of today’s Monroe Historical Society Museum. Miller said that Mr. Warner “operated a store on the present site of First Financial Bank. He lived in a house across Elm Street. When he had to relocate his store, he built what is known as the ‘1910 Building,’ now part of the Monroe Historical Society.”

Wanter offered topographical advice for those viewing the photos: “For those not familiar with Monroe history, today’s Main Street was known as Pike Street when the photos were taken. Today’s Old Street was Main Street then. Also, the road referred to as the Great Miami Pike is today’s Cincinnati-Dayton Road, which is now called Main Street as it stretches through Monroe.”

The Marion G. Warner Photograph Collection can be accessed at  Online visitors can click on the category of photo they wish to see : buildings, churches, homes and houses, people and families, business, street views, bridges.

At MidPointe Library Middletown, the Warner collection will appear as a photographic exhibit on a new 70-inch interactive touchscreen in its Local History and Genealogy Gallery. Enlarged prints of the photos will also be displayed. The library is located at 125 S. Broad Street.

For access to actual photographs, contact the Monroe Historical Society :

Additional resource:

* Monroe, Ohio...Firmly founded...Proudly Growing...Monroe, Ohio.” Page 64. Copyright 2016 by the Monroe Historical Society. Edited by Dorothy Smith and Anna Hale.

Can you help?  If you can identify people or places in the Marion G. Warner Photograph Collection or would like to correct items that have been misidentified please contact the library at