817 7th Avenue

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Photograph of the backyard of the Ross residence at 817 7th Avenue, taken in the early 1900s. This is a "carnivalesque", made of wooden slats held erect by guide wires on a concrete slab, where one would ride a bicycle around the inner perimeter. It was built by either R. (Richard?) C. Ross or his son. Visible in the back is a corner of the house at 1206 Broad Street. The L.C. Phelps house is in the right center background (address 1203/1205 Broad Street). The boy riding the bicycle may be young Ross as the structure was in his backyard. The Ross family ran a shoe store and owned the Grinnell Stone Company at 615-631 State Street which manufactured rockfaced blocks. They made the red-tinted block used for the house at 1114 Broad, 817 7th Avenue, and the house at 1310 Main Street. There are only two houses in Grinnell made of that material. The blocks never caught on for entire houses; the Ross family turned to foundational blocks.