Taxidermy Taxi

taxidermy wagon

On the reoccurring theme of oddly normal man-on-the-street photos from Tacoma’s past we offer this moment in the 1913 moving of Bill Sheard’s Fur and Trophy shop. It’s taken in front of the Carlton Building on Jefferson on what is today the UWT Campus. The portable menagerie has a macabre quality that the subjects seem oblivious to, even the two presumable alive draft horses. The vignette has a Norman Bates slant to it, with the sharp edged reflections in the storefront glass like a bathroom mirror and the suggestion of a heavy laden casket beneath it all like a body in the basement. The ghosts of this image after dark could be disturbing if class was running late and there was the eerie sound of hoof steps emanating from the emptiness of a warehouse alley. History tells us almost nothing about what became of Bill Sheard but if by coincidence, you are approached near Union Station by a man with a cocked hat and a pale complexion this Halloween and he observes that you would make a grand trophy we suggest you discontinue the conversation. Strange things have a way of happening on a 100 year cycle.

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