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Our little town is going through a massive renovation downtown, with new streetscaping, a new marina, and much more. It makes for a real headache in terms of driving, etc. but the end result will be worth it.

One little gem we found is that they are restoring some of the old charm of the original town. For example, a local building is being sandblasted to remove the ugly stucco and in the process, revealing its past. In this case, our telephone exchange of 1914:

Downtown Clearwater

Now, if you look at that picture in blown-up form, you can clearly see that it originally said “Telegraph” — then Telephone was overlaid on top of it.

(And to my European readers, I know, I know, maybe we’re silly in America getting interested in something that’s such a recent part of history. It’s is nothing like going down an old country lane and stumbling over an ancient Roman statue. Still…)

Alex Eckelberry