Follow the blue arrows on the signs as you walk
The cream-colored painted brick building with burgundy trim across the street was Abel Fletcher’s photography studio. He came to Massillon just four years after the invention of photography to set up his portrait studio. His greatest gifts to Massillon were the photos he took from his third-story windows, so we have a visual record of what South Erie Street, First Street Southwest, and even Lincoln Way looked like in the mid-1800s.
Fletcher invented paper negatives, making it possible to have multiple prints of the same image, but Fox Talbot, an Englishman, became famous for coming up with a similar process about the same time. Ironically, Fletcher—whose art and income depended on his vision—was blinded by a chemical explosion as he experimented further. His wife, Martha Mary Fletcher, however, had been his assistant, so she was able to carry on the studio, making her one of the first female photographers in the nation.
Directions: Continue walking in the same direction to Lincoln Way, stopping at the corner.