Photo of the Week
July 22, 2001

  Here is a great photo that I recently picked up.  Although not dated, the photo is probably from the early 1920's.  It appears that someone on a ship being locked up or down in Gatun took it.  There are many very interesting things in this photo.  Note the very large formation of troops in the large field in the center of the photo.  Must be a big inspection or special activity taking place.  The new town of Gatun is seen in the hills behind the railroad tracks.  The Gatun Train Station is seen trackside next to a very large two story building.  I wonder what that building was?  Since it was trackside, I would think it was some kind of supply operation owned by the Panama Railroad. 

Another great old photo from the "Golden Days" of the Canal Zone.  May we never forget our Canal Zone heritage!

Viewer comments after publication:

Bill the dating of that photo would be in the WW1 era 1917-1919 and US Army Officers were occupying Gatun housing on the east side. The big bldg. in the center by the PRR is the Gatun Commissary. Note that they have swimming paraphernalia in the right hand edge, Diving Platforms - George Chevalier


Being married to a Gatun girl, and loving it when i worked over there enjoyed this photo. Some things for you to think about looking at it:
1: No line handler shack on the wing wall.
2: Power lines and tracks on locks side of station. ( I believe this is an optical illusion created in the photo - wpm)
3: French style housing etc., my mother in-law always told the wife she lived in BQs above the train station. Now single family housing.
4: No road overpass for the tracks at the gas station, would be where the 2 story building is.
5: Looks like an training are for troops, look at wood wall, and sandy looking areas. Wonder if this wasn't a troop muster during WWI of Army guarding the locks back then.
6: I wonder what those target like things behind the light post are, and is that guard post?
7:The only thing still there for or generation locks excluded) is the old Power Sub Station.
Richard Dillon BHS 61

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