736 30th Ave N 33704

Then And Now — 1928 & 2022 736 30th Ave N

From a 1932 Sales Ad: “We are offering today the most for the money that we have ever seen in our years of real estate in this city. The downstairs of this fine home includes a Solarium with eight windows, French doors into living room with fireplace and built-in bookcases, artistically laid floor; dining room; dressing room with Murphy bed; large breakfast room, kitchen, extra toilet and lavatory; service porch. UPSTAIRS: Three large bedrooms, 2 large glassed-in sleeping porches, making 5 sleeping rooms up and emergency double bed down: full tile bath with built in tub. A very well arranged and livable home. Grounds 50 X 128 feet, with fruit trees and shrubbery. Our price $4,500 is a mere fraction of the original cost. Sold by Foley-Carter Inc Realtors.”

This home was originally purchased by Mr. & Mrs. Erle Bingham Renwick. Erle was born on January 19, 1896, in Boston, the second eldest of 5 children. Erle’s father was a jeweler in Boston. Erle received his schooling in the local Boston schools. Erle’s father died in 1905, when Erle was nine years old. This forced Erle’s mother to go to work at a flour company as a demonstrator and to raise her five children aged 1, 3, 7, 9 and 11. After graduating Boston English High School, Erle attended Bates College in Lewiston, Maine where he graduated in 1918. Erle’s mother had taught all her children music and Erle had become an accomplished vocalist and put this talent to work at Bates College by serving as director of the Glee Club in 1918 and singing in the college choir. Erle would keep up with his musical talent his whole life, performing as a Baritone soloist in the best church choirs in Boston, Maine, and St. Pete. While attending Bates College Erle met Ms. Helen Salome Clark (born on September 28, 1896, in Albany Maine) who would later become his wife. Immediately upon graduating Erle joined the US Navy (May 18, 1918) and served during WWI, he was discharged on September 30, 1921. Erle wasted no time in asking Helen to marry him. The couple had five children, Erle Jr (1921), Paul (1923), Dorothy (1925), Robert (1931) and Jean (1933). When Erle returned to civilian life, he took a job as a school teacher in Boston, but by 1930 had moved his family to Harrison Maine where he was working as a bank clerk. By 1940 Erle was the manager of the Phoenix Insurance Company in Maine.

In 1923 Erle and his family began spending their winters in St. Pete and Erle took a job as manager of sales for the First Security Bond & Mortgage Co. 736 Central Ave. Erle served as a City Commissioner. He was also director of Music at SPHS and became a prominent baritone soloist in local churches, civic organizations, and the city at large. By the late 1920’s Erle and Helen had purchased this house at 736 30th Ave No.  In 1935 tragedy struck the Renwick family when their 14-year-old son Paul drowned while swimming with his brother Erle Jr. at Crooked River near Bolster Mills, NY.

Erle Sr. died on June 28, 1972, at age 76. Helen lived on until May 27, 1998, when she passed away at age 99 in Portland Maine.

The Renwick’s lived in this house for about 5 years and then sold it to Mr. and Mrs. Joe Clark, who, in turn, sold it to Dr. & Mrs. Stephen A. Dawson. The Dawson’s lived in this house for 25 years, from 1935 until 1960. Dr. Dawson was born in Georgetown Pa. and moved to St. Pete in 1920. Since that time, he maintained a private practice at 7th Ave N. He was a graduate of Lindsay College, Pittsburgh, and Pitt University Medical School. He was a member of the staff at Mound Park Hospital for nearly 40 years.

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