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From the desk of Alison Gibson, Director
One of our patrons let the library scan a copy of their flood picture for our archives. We were curious about Mark LeVine and his plumbing shop. The back of the picture doesn’t have a year, but it mentions living above the shop and next to Wylie’s house.
The 1940 census has him living on Rangle Run (Levanna) with his occupation being mechanical draftsman, but was only able to find work for 10 weeks in 1939, with a total income of $250.00.
Also in 1940 when they lived outside Levanna he had created a working model of a penetrating beam that cut metal and offered it to the Government to be used in national defense.
In the 1950 census, it says the LeVines lived at 28 N. Second Street and occupation listed was plumbing and heating. Today 28 N. 2nd would be the concrete block apartment building next to McDaniel’s Auto, but since we aren’t sure when the photo was taken, we can’t 100% be sure this was where his shop was—it certainly looks like it would belong right in the low numbered part of N. Second Street. The roof line of the building next to the LeVine building could be the building next to the apartments in the picture. One current resident remembers them living on lower Main near Snappers, and Mark having a bit of a German accent. Another search for another day.
Reading Mark’s obituary in the 9/19/1968 Ripley Bee, he had a pretty interesting life. Born in San Francisco to German parents in (either 1892, 1894 or 1896 depending on which source you use!), he moved back to Germany when 2 years old, then when orphaned at age 16, came back to the United States, graduated from Boston Academy ,now M.I.T . (we think it should be Boston Tech rather than Academy) He served in the Marine Corps, enlisting in 1917 and suffered severe shrapnel wounds. He married Dora Lee Day, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Day in 1936. In 1938, he was an officer in the VFW here in Ripley. Dora passed away in 1988. Both are buried in the Pisgah Ridge Cemetery.
Searching for mentions of Mark and Dora was a good exercise in spelling. In the photograph, it appears LeVine, but you can also find him under Le Vine and Levine. While the capitalization doesn’t have an impact on searching in the newspaper archives, the space between Le and Vine changes the game. We encourage you to play with the newspaper archives, and warn you they can be pleasantly time consuming….