Leaf through our collection:
From Farmland to Card Shop: A History of Shadyside Through the Windows of 5522 Walnut St (Paperback)
This book is a tapestry of unbroken historical threads stretching from 1868 to the present day. Stitched together by newspaper, local museums and universities, uncovered photographs, ancestry research and narrative histories that have unspooled throughout the annals of Shadyside's history. In the center 5522 Walnut St. A building that was constructed in the 1890s and has been a card shop since the 1970s.
What is the deeper story if we take a core sample of this one location? This one building?
We find that 5522 Walnut St. was, at first, a home. A home, I would come to learn, with a front and rear address complete with a backyard. Families lived and loved between its walls as early as the 1890s and as recent as the 1940s. Furthermore, from 1893 to the present day no fewer than 9 businesses have operated out of its address. Not the least of which was during the 1950s when an after-hours speakeasy called the Hollywood Social Club was located on the second floor and, at some point, the mob was involved with ownership.
There was mystery here. There was magic here. There was love. There was death. But most importantly, there was, and is, a community spanning generations that stretches the entire reach of Walnut St. and beyond into Shadyside proper. A community whose records allowed me to stitch this history into what you see before you: a tapestry woven into a book.
A book that is a gift to my wife, Amanda Blair. Owner of Kards Unlimited at 5522 Walnut St.