J. D. Grove had talent with a razer, a camera, and wood. His photo legacy of Williamsport is unparalleled. He photographed simple things: houses, canal boats, and people. Now, almost 100 years later, his photographs tell us more about history than any book. Enjoy.
Joseph David Grove (1876-1956) was known locally as J.D. Grove. He was born in Pinesburg (nearer to Clear Spring), and, in his youth, divided his time between both towns.
Charles Goodrich, J. D. Grove, Eldrige Dorns, and Theo Reeder at Clear Spring, MD. Photo by Clinton Jones 1894
Grove opened his business as a barber in Clear Spring, later moving to Williamsport where he continued in his trade until his death in 1956. He was very proud that in 40 years as a barber, he never raised his prices.
Eldridge Dorns getting a haircut at J. D. Grove first barber shop in Clear Spring MD. Circa 1892
On the February, 8, 1906, Grove (aged 29) married Elva Snyder (age 26), a local young lady who worked at a glove factory. Grove moved in with Elva's family at 109 W. Potomac Street in Williamsport. The Snyder's were local laborer's, working odd jobs, the railroad, and tannery. The couple lived in the Snyder household for several years.
Then, inexplicably, Grove moved out, but Elva did not. Grove moved to 16 E. Salisbury Street with his sister Ida Brumbaugh, where he lived the rest of his life. J. D. and Elva never reunited, but lived, worked, and socialized in the same small town. On the 1920, 1930, and 1940 Federal census, Grove lists himself as "married." Although there was no divorce, Elva reverted to her maiden name of Snyder, declared herself "single" on the census, and remained in the house on W. Potomac Street with her brother until her death in 1947.
Grove noted this structure as "Town Hall" along N. Conococheague Street
The home and funeral business of the Leaf family
One of the earliest photos of the spring house at Springfield Farm.
Even resting mules were interesting to J. D. Grove
Probably one of J. D. Grove's most famous and reproduced photos - a boy and his mule.