The Pointe

MidPointe Library's Official Blog

Local History #tbt - Finding Fun in the Early 20th Century

Everyone enjoys a bit of fun now and then.

Monroe, Ohio, residents in the early 20th century found interesting ways to spend their free time as illustrated in the Marion G. Warner Photograph Collection available on MidPointe Library’s Digital Archives . The photos are also featured in a special exhibit at MidPointe’s Middletown location.

The collection was originally curated by and made available to MidPointe Library by the Monroe Historical Society.

Many recreational scenes are among the 800-plus black-and-white photographs taken by Mr. Warner (1861-1922), a Monroe resident, businessman and artist as well as amateur photographer. He derived the images from glass plate negatives.

Like many of us today, people in the early 1900s, 1910s and 1920s enjoyed a variety of free-time pursuits:

For instance, some people were real social climbers. To see how high a group would literally climb, check out the photo of the “six unknown women sitting in a tree” (undated). Note the ladder at the bottom of the photo. Photograph of six unknown women sitting in a tree, undated

tree monroe blog.jpg


A popular recreation was croquet : Photograph of two unknown boys playing croquet, undated, photograph 1

Folks also enjoyed a good old game of baseball. This photo shows a game in progress in a field on Great Miami Pike (now Cincinnati-Dayton Road):

Photograph of a baseball game, Monroe, Ohio, 1910, photograph 1

Of course, the Warner collection wouldn’t be complete without a baseball card-style pose by this unknown player:

Photograph of an unknown man in a baseball uniform, undated, photograph 1

At the end of the day, reuniting with family appeared to be #1 on the recreational list. Mr. Warner took many photographs of families large and small, known and unknown. Study this photo and maybe you’ll recognize an ancestor or two :

Photograph of a very large, unknown, multigenerational family, taken on a wooden porch, against a backdrop of sheets hung on a wall of a house, 1913 August 5, photograph 1

Along with recreational pursuits, the Warner collection includes numerous categories of photos : buildings, churches, homes and houses, people and families, businesses, street views, bridges.

In addition to the digital presentation, the collection appears as a photographic exhibit on a 70-inch interactive touchscreen in the Local History and Genealogy Gallery at MidPointe Middletown. Enlarged prints of the photos are also displayed. The library is located at 125 S. Broad Street.

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

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