John Dotter’s 1900 Autocar, William Allan Barr’s 1913 Franklin touring car

22_image01In his search for pictures of old local automobiles, “Ted” Brooks, Wayne’s best known authority on the subject, has obtained for use in this week’s column two unusually interesting pictures. The first shows an old car of the J.M. Dotterer family, while the second shows one that belonged to the W. Allen Barrs. For many years both families were prominent in the life and activities of Wayne.

When it made its appearance on the streets of Wayne in the early 1900’s this car was probably almost as much of a curiosity as it would be if it should make its re-appearance now. Fifty years ago, cars of any kind were few and far between in any community. This shiny black Autocar was a very large and handsome affair, with its big wheels, solid rubber tires and its body high above the ground.

The little girl in the front seat is Mary Dotterer, now Mrs. Howard Harbison who, with her husband, presently resides in Louella Court. Beside her is her brother, Amos Dotterer, now deceased, and in the back seat are two small visiting cousins. The car is parked at the side of the house, at 123 Bloomingdale avenue, which, in 1892, had been purchased from Robert Smith by Amos Dotterer, father of John M. Dotterer and grandfather of the children in the automobile.

The block on Bloomingdale avenue, located between West Wayne and Lancaster avenues, is the first real residential street in Wayne. The elegant mansard-roofed houses on either side of it antedated those of the Wayne Estate by ten years or more, as the former were built in the early 1870’s.

According to Mrs. Harbison, the Dotterer house was originally long and narrow, almost identical with the house across the street from it, now occupied by Captain and Mrs. James H. Bones. Grandfather Amos Dotterer made various alterations and additions to his house after he had purchased it. Following his death in 1900, John M. Dotterer bought the old home from his father’s estate. Until 1910 it was only a summer residence for Mr. and Mrs. Dotterer and their children. After 1910, it was completely modernized for year-round residency – a large and comfortable home for some years for Mr. and Mrs. Dotterer and their three children, Evelyn, Mary and Amos.

In 1946, Mr. and Mrs. Dotterer, two of Wayne’s best known residents, celebrated their golden anniversary in the family home. Two years later Mrs. Dotterer died. Her death was followed by that of her husband in 1953. Their Bloomingdale avenue house is now being altered into a small apartment house.

22_image02This picture was taken on Eagle road, near the former home of the late Mr. and Mrs. Allan Barr, on the southeast corner of North Wayne avenue and Eagle road. Later, the Barrs moved to Windermere avenue, where they lived for several years. Located to the west of Windermere Court Apartments, the Barr home has now become a small apartment house.

In the picture shown above, Mr. Barr is seated behind the wheel of his 1913 Franklin touring car while Mrs. Barr is in the back seat. The children standing beside the car are Allen, John and Henry Barr with one of their contemporaries from the J. Wynn family.