I am not, I must tell you, entirely happy to bring you this short post. So much about this Mayberry situation, the situation of happening upon this story by accident, does not suit me. I do have emotions about the tearing down of fantastic places, be it, stately homes, buildings or people—certainly the tearing down of my dream home. (Please read Mysteries of Omaha: 5120 Mayberry Street, Mysteries of Omaha: 5120 Mayberry Street Part Two, Mysteries of Omaha: 5120 Mayberry Street Part Three, Mysteries of Omaha: 5120 Mayberry Street Part Four). The awareness that time marches on and in that awareness that, our dreams might need to be renegotiated too. I would much prefer to be looking at old photos and aspiring to a future that looks like the past, or better yet, to be walking with Mr. Cassette and happening upon a divine new architectural obsession. But I would guess that we— you and I, are the same in that. So I have let you in on my troubles…and meanwhile, warned you that this is no merry stroll down Mayberry Memory Lane. Mr. Cassette and I have not dared to go on one of our 51st Street walks after these unfortunate events have taken place. It hurts the heart, quite frankly. So with the emotional detachment or reserve of a journalist or, say, a detective, we will survey the recent documents sent by our friends at the Elmwood Tower. We are so grateful for their view of this situation and their interest in this story, as much as it surely pains them.
Backhoe and equipment. It would appear that the property is being excavated and leveled. Photo by Elmwood Tower friend.
April 19th, 2016. The Harding-Mcgill home windows, at 5120 Mayberry, have been removed. Any day now…..Photo by Elmwood Tower friend.
April 23, 2016. The Lanphier home, at 812 South 51st Street, was demolished this Saturday. Photo by Elmwood Tower friend.
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Slight correction: Although the house was originally built by J.M. and Agnes (nee Burkley) Harding, it was built for and lived in by Mary (nee Burkley) Brinker and her husband Lawrence. So it should be referred to as the Brinker-McGill house.
By the way, loved information about the Napier store. My partner and I “discovered” David Shaw’s great store but, alas, only shortly before it closed. We lamented the fact that Omaha didn’t seem to be able to keep such a gem going. Sigh.
You are absolutely right—and how did I know you would get caught on that? I wrote Harding and McGill just following with the Harding story. But you are right on. Did you happen to see David Shaw’s comment on the Napier story. Good stuff. Thanks
I’m really sad that they demolished everything. I live in the neighborhood and actually tried to get a peak after I saw your initial article but it was getting dark and I couldn’t find it. They tore it down the next day 🙁 I was wondering if you knew anything about the building on 60th and Pacific. It’s red and I think it says “Guns and Ammo” in very faint lettering. I’ve always been curious about it.
Hi. Thanks for your comment. The Mayberry house is still there. But not for long. I have five articles about Mayberry so far. Sorry this current website is hard to navigate and have a redesign in the works which will hopefully make this easier to get around in. My first article was on the 60th and Pacific Arms & Ammo building. There are two articles on that with a third in the works. Check it out when you can. Thanks again.
I couldn’t be happier to see this place go. My parents ruined any beauty this house would have had via their child abuse for over 10 years.
Thanks Robert Harding for your correction. Mary Brinker was not the daughter, but the sister, of Agnes (Burkley) Harding (shown in the family picture seated left). Agnes and Jesse (“Mac”) Harding (both seated) did have a daughter Mary, who married a Willard Hosford and did have children. Mary Brinker and Agnes Harding were both daughters of Frank J. Burkley, son of Vincent Burkley, emigré from south Germany, Omaha pioneer, and elected member of the 1st Nebraska state legislature, Omaha city council, and 1st Omaha board of education (1872).
Thanks for writing this lovely article.
Thank you, Laura, for the history lesson. I am interested in writing more about the Hardings and, with your permission, might be calling on you. Thanks for commenting.