Scout Photo Detective Challenge – Analysis 2

Friday, 13 Aug 2010 | by Mark Tucker


Here we continue our analysis (see part 1) of this photo from the Boy Scouts of America:


I had a good feeling that we could find out more about this photo, because of the following clues:

Clue #4 – Richard H. Pugh Realtor


Clue #5 – 325 Garde Building


Clue #6 – Building Tenants








What surprised me is how quickly our readers figured out the location of this photo.

Here is how it unfolded.  I posted the original challenge on 10 Aug 2010 at 8:40 am. 


Just 2 hours later (10:50 am), Jennifer made the following comment:

1910?s? Really?

I’m guessing somewhere around 1941 in New London, CT.

I must be WAAY off.


Now that we are into the analysis, it appears that she was spot on.  I’m still not sure how Jennifer came to the conclusion of New London, CT.


She was not the only one.  By 5:07 pm that same night, EddieB commented:

The photo is taken in front of the Grande Building, 325 State Street
New London, CT.

Sorry, I really blew that, its the Garde Building, 325 State Street
New London, CT


Now we had a street address, but we needed more proof.


On 11 Aug 2010 at 9:43 am, Jill joined the investigation with this information on our dentist, Joseph D. Gitlin:

University of Maryland GRADUATION EXERCISES Baltimore and College Park Divisions RITCHIE COLISEUM SATURDAY AFTERNOON, JUNE FOURTH AT FOUR O’CLOCK 1932 lists a graduate of the School of Dentistry: Joseph D. Gitlin of Connecticut. A search on revealed a family tree with a Joseph Donald Gitlin; I’ve inquired if he was a dentist.


We have our first Connecticut connection!


At 10:52 am, Jennifer provides a key piece of information:

I agree with previous commenters that the building is in New London, 325 State Street. Now the Garde Arts Center.

GenealogyBank carries the Springfield Republican, in which paper there are a few ads for Richard H. Pugh, Realtor, 345 State Street, New London, CT (these ads date from 1946-1948). There is also an article regarding Pugh’s marriage to Elizabeth Wilson in 1935, which article again states he is in “the real estate and insurance business in New London, CT”.


We have the address of the Pugh realty office and it matches perfectly as being next to 325.


At 11:29 am, Jill adds:

Richard H. Pugh, Realtor – listed in New London, CT, phone book 1953-1965 per


John J. Tierney added the following on 12 Aug 2010 at 8:24 am:

Here’s a Google street view of the 325 State Street address EddieB listed – does looks like a match:

Also, found a CT death index listing for Richard H. Pugh in New London – business: Real Estate.

Name: Richard H Pugh
Father’s Surname: Pugh
Death Date: 8 Dec 1989
Death Place: New London, New London, Connecticut
Age: 89 Years
Birth Place: New York
Birth Date: 6 Jan 1900
Marital Status: Married
Spouse: Kathr
State File #: 27299
Occupation: REAL EST & INS
Education: College
Residence : New London, New London, Connecticut
Address: 993 Pequot Av 063202825
Gender: Male
Race: White


Red Herring

Both John and Jill found the same New York Times article for a Richard H. Pugh who was a real estate man in Philadelphia:

10 Aug 2010 at 10:34 am by John

To throw a wrench into things, searching for the “Richard H. Pugh Realtor” company behind them offers a NY Times Obit for a man of that name in 1935.
If the obit references the owner of the company it is in Philadelphia.
Of course, the company could easily have continued into the 1940s – the obit mentions his wife, a son and 2 daughters.
Obit here:

11 Aug 2010 at 9:43 am by Jill

New York Times article 17 Sept. 1935, pg 23, Social News Books Section: “RICHARD H. PUGH.; Philadelphia Real Estate Man Built More Than 1,000 Homes.”

Interesting that there are two men named Richard H. Pugh that both were into real estate. One died in 1935 and the other in 1989. I wonder if there was a family relationship?


Remember the shoulder patches on the Scout uniform?

Clue #7 – Shoulder Patches


NEW [?]


Clue #8 – Shoulder Patch #2




They are community or council patches.  It is possible that the first one says “NEW LONDON” and the second could be for the nearby community of Waterford or the more distant communities of Watertown or Waterbury.


The Garde Office Building is now part of the Garde Arts Center and together with the Mercer and Meridian buildings form an “arts block” of historic buildings. We continue to learn from the History of the Garde page, that all three buildings were built between 1924 and 1926.

Here is a photo from Google Maps of the block:


If I am interpreting the photo correctly, then the doorway with the big “G” by it is the same as the doorway to the right on the Scout photo.  The first window to the left of the “G” is where Richard H. Pugh had his realty office.


I am confident that we have found the correct address, but there are a few items of extra credit:

  1. How has the building facade changed since the early 1940s?  I would like to see an older photo of the building to compare with the Scout photo.
  2. Is there anything that we can learn by looking at a Sanborn map of the city (post 1926)?
  3. Is there a 1940s city directory for New London and can we find all the building tenants in it?
  4. Are there any Scout troops in New London whose troop number starts with 22 that date back to 1940?
  5. By using the Minuteman design of the defense bonds (and the dates it was used) and knowing the location (and weather information) can we pinpoint a year and month range when the photo was taken?
  6. Are there any clues at to what time of day the photo was taken?


  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by thinkgenealogy, Mark Tucker. Mark Tucker said: Scout Photo Detective Challenge – Analysis part 2. A location from photo details: #genealogy #bsa100 [...]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention Scout Photo Detective Challenge – Analysis 2 | ThinkGenealogy -- — 13 Aug 2010 @ 10:55 am

  2. This was so much fun!

    To answer your question, when I found the GenealogyBank items listing Richard Pugh, that’s what convinced me it was New London, CT. It was a lucky find. As for the date, the bond sales posters are kind of a dead giveaway, so we know the earliest the photo can be is 1941.

    Comment by Jennifer — 13 Aug 2010 @ 1:49 pm

  3. Mark I guess for the time of day would be about 10 am, since State St runs WNW and the shadow of the boys is almost parallel with the street. The two Tenderfoot scouts look to be brothers, check their leggings.

    Comment by Finn S Hansen — 13 Aug 2010 @ 3:35 pm

  4. Mark There is a Troop 22 in East Haddam CT which is about 25 miles from New London.

    Comment by Finn S Hansen — 13 Aug 2010 @ 3:58 pm

  5. Just wanted to say thanks for these great learning tools. I’ve enjoyed lurking, seeing the progress as people turned up clues and gathering more knowledge about researching old photos.

    Comment by Nancy Hurley — 1 Sep 2010 @ 12:13 am

  6. This is a very fun thread! I wish I could research that fast!

    Comment by Find My Ancestors — 8 Oct 2010 @ 7:26 pm

  7. Your last, about what time of day: I saw an article in a magazine a few years ago about how to do it. So it can be done, via knowing where they are (which you do) which direction the boys are facing (and you do) and the fall of the shadows. I can’t for the life of me recall the magazine tho. I do think it was a genealogy mag.

    Comment by Carol McL — 27 Dec 2010 @ 11:31 pm

  8. Mark I found this great fun and a good way to think out of the box and work on my genealogy skills. I found the Garde’s website and history at The website states the the Garde was “built in 1926 during the golden era of the notion pictures and vaudeville theatres”. So with all the facts this picture was not taken during WWI but was taken during WWII. Thanks for the fun!

    Comment by John Murphy — 7 Jan 2011 @ 10:46 am

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