Salmon-a-rama float in 1988 4th of July parade
Racine History
Bar token from W.C. Schultz's tavern on Superior

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 1405 College Avenue
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 Letter from Racine in 1843
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This page is no longer being updated. Please see my new Postcards page.
Racine College This is a postcard which appears to be postmarked 1931. It is captioned: "146 A familiar view at Racine College, Racine, Wisconsin" and there is a sign on the closest building which says, "Park Hall, Racine College, Conservatory of Music."  
Racine Water Tower This is a postcard postmarked 1908, printed in Germany, oddly enough. It depicts the old Racine water tower, which used to stand, according to Racine The Belle City "on the east bank of the Root River ... near Tenth Street." Steve Tonkushin writes: "The water tower in Racine was between 9th and 10th Street, just east of the railroad tracks, west of Memorial Drive. Its foundation is still there."
1910 YMCA This is the YMCA on the northeast corner of College Avenue and 6th Street, looking east toward the lake and the tower of Hotel Racine. You can make out several signs on the buildings. On the YMCA building, there is a sign on the 2nd floor that says "Night School for Men" and on the 1st floor, "Electrical Supply." Across 6th street is an awning that says "O. A. Peil Co." The postcard itself is postmarked 1910.
1908 High Railroad Bridge The "High Railroad Bridge." Postmarked 1908.
1909 Main Street That is the northwest corner of Main & 5th St.
(Across the street north from Monument Square.)
1908 Main Street Postmarked 1908. In this view of the Hotel Racine, the brick part of the building has been hand-tinted red.
1911 Hotel Racine Postmarked 1911. This view of Hotel Racine is hand-tinted yellow.
College Avenue I would like to know what hundred block of College Avenue this shows. The house at the far right looks very much like 1405 College Ave., where I grew up, but it seems to be in the wrong part of the block.
Luther College 1913 Luther College postcard, postmarked 1913. According to Racine: Growth and Change in a Wisconsin County, Luther College was founded in 1902, on the hill above Island Park. The College was operated by the Danes, and was actually a high school. It closed in 1914.  
Monument Square showing Hotel Racine Monument Square, looking southeast, with a nice view of Hotel Racine and the old Post Office.  
Monument Square panorama Monument Square panorama, postmarked 1909.  
Washington Avenue 1932 Washington Avenue, 1932.  
Palmiter House Palmeter, or "Old Ladies' Home". This postcard is postmarked 1913, and was sent to someone in England. This building is at the northeast corner of 16th and College Avenue, and I walked past this building many times because it's only two blocks from the house I grew up in. It used to have a beautiful back yard that stretched to Wisconsin Avenue, but they eventually sold the Wisconsin Avenue half to someone who moved a house from near Gateway to this new site.  
Hotel Racine 1913 This postcard is postmarked 1913, and has a particularly good picture of the west side of the Hotel Racine. On the ground floor, farthest left, the awning reads "Hotel Barber Shop" and says "Baths" on the window. The next shop to the right has an awning that reads "Insurance".

The back of the card is addressed to Miss Elsa Rawlings at 1429 Jackson Blvd, Chicago, Ill. from a Bob Richard or Richmond at 1636 Austin Ave, Racine, Wis. He writes, "Friend Elsa. How are you? Heard that L. Russel in in Chgo. with you. I am at Mitchel Auto factory for winter. Awfully quiet here. Best wishes, Bob. Richard (or Richmond)."
State Street Bridge, ca 1910-1915 A great picture of the State Street bridge, looking east in about 1910-1915. The Dr. Shoop building is its old recognizable self, and directly across from the bridge, on Main Street, there is a building with a sign that says, "Racine Theater."  
First M.E. Church, 1923 The First M.E. Church, postmarked 1923  
North Beach "Scene at the North Side Bathing Beach, Racine, Wis.", postmarked 1923  
Phone Company "Seventh Street, Showing Wisconsin Telephone Building, Racine, Wis.", postmarked 1923  
Root River "River View near Racine, Wis.", postmarked 1923. Ed Brown says, "Riverview appears to be upstream from the old Horlick Dam and mill, as a teenager, 1950 or 51, we used to rent canoes above the old mill and spend the entire day on Root River."  
Root River with cows "River View near Racine, Wis.", postmarked 1923, this one with cows  
St. Mary's hospital "St. Mary's Hospital, Racine, Wis.", postmarked 1923  
Aerial view of St. Cat's school and convent "St. Catherine's High School and Convent, Racine, Wis." I don't know when this card is from -- it's not postmarked. However, I finally understand how St. Cat's convent was oriented to the school. I always thought it faced on College Avenue, not Park Avenue.  
Nighttime view of Main Street 1914 One of the most unusual pictures (or paintings?) of Racine that I've seen. It shows Main Street at night, postmarked 1914.  
St. Catherine's Academy 1908 This is a great picture of St. Catherine's Academy on a postcard postmarked 1908. The Academy used to face St. Cat's high school across Park Avenue. You can just barely see the front steps to the high school in the lower right part of the picture. I also like that there seem to be two little kids on the sidewalk in front of the wall on the corner. Also printed on the front of this card: "Make expr. for Kradwell Drug Co.)". I can remember my parents protesting when this beautiful building was torn down. They talk about the crane operator knocking the tower off with his wrecking ball.  
Classic Racine brick house This is a classic example of some of the most beautiful houses in Racine, the houses made out of "Chicago cream" bricks. I particularly like this postcard because someone has obvious taken a lot of care and pride in preparing this house for its picture. Take a look at the lace curtains in all the windows and the door, the perfectly painted front porch with its elaborate spindles, and the decorative triangle in the upper point of the roof. The two chimneys have decorative bands around them and all the doors and windows are built with an arch at the top. The capitals of the three porch pillars are Ionic with elaborate scrollwork. This is truly fine craftmanship. I wish I could figure out where this house is or was located, but I can't find any street number in the picture. The postcard is postmarked August 9, 1910, 7:30AM, and is written in German. It is addressed to Mr. Ric. Edelmann, 195 Jefferson Ave., Oshkosh, Wis.  
McMynn School

This postcard is something of a mystery to me because I can't seem to locate McMynn School in Racine history. The building to the right of the school appears to be the east side of the old Hotel Racine, which would put this school to the east of the Post Office, but I could be totally wrong. The postcard is postmarked August 9, 1910, but the only references I can find to the McMynn school talk about the 1940s. Very strange.  
Update: Leif Peterson writes, "I was reviewing your postcards and noticed the one for McMynn School. One of our residents here at Ridgewood Care Center has an excellent memory. You may have seen articles that we write with him each month in Renaissance Magazine. John was able to identify your picture and it stood where you guessed. The McMynn School stood across the street from Memorial Hall. The building may have been vacant in its later years. It was torn down when McMynn Tower was built around 1975. The card shows the southeast corner of the school building."
Update: Steve Tonkushin writes, "The McMynn School was the original home of Walden High School in the early 1970s before it moved to its current location in the old Franklin School Building."

Update: Bob Sorenson writes, "Was looking through your Racine history site and the caption with an image of an old post card of the McMynn bldg indicated you did not know where the bldg was. Perhaps you have since found out. I grew up in Racine from 1955 to 1973 and have living in California since 1982. The McMynn building was a school built katty corner from the current library. across the street from Memorial Hall. I attended my senior year of high school and the first year of Walden III, Racine Alternative High School in 1972-73 in the McMynn bldg. I don't recall how long Walden III continued to use the school. It was an exciting place and time. The building was removed to build what is now senior citizen apartments. So the corner was 7th and Lake. I am unfamiliar about the previous history of the bldg."

4th Street Bridge While I was living in Racine (1970-1987) this was one of my favorite places to explore -- along the river, upriver from the Schoop Building. I think there were still railroad tracks at the time, and I can remember seeing where the 4th Street Bridge connected on either side of the river, but I didn't realize that it was the turnaround type of bridge. The D.P. Wigley building seems like it's been exactly the same for years, at least as far back in pictures and drawings that I've seen. For instance, in the bird's-eye-view map of Racine called "Racine Wis. County Seat 1883 of Racine Co.", it looks the same, although it's marked the "W. T. Emerson Linseed Oil Manufactory". On the left side of the bridge, you can see a building with a sign on the side of it that says, "Racine Woolen Mills," which is what that building is called in the 1883 map.  
Aerial View of Courthouse This postcard does not have a date, but my best guess, based on the cars would be late 1940s, early 1950s. What do you think? Since I was six when I arrived in Racine in 1970, I remember going on errands with my dad, and one of the trips was to a building that I remember being across the street from the Courthouse. I think it might have been a tire store, but I remember trolley tracks across the floor. Could it have been the building east of the Courthouse with the curved roof?  
Racine Library This is a nice view of the old library at 7th and Main, diagonally across from St. Lukes Episcopal Church.
Schroeder's store I grew up two houses down from Jennette Schroeder, who lived at (I believe) 1413 College Ave. In any case, she was two houses south of my house at 1405 College. She was in her 70s when we first got to know her and she became a family friend. I took piano lessons from her for many years. She lived in the house she grew up in with her parents and brother, and she still kept almost all the furniture as it was in the 1920s or 1930s. Jennette mentioned on several occasions that her father had a dry goods or 5-and-dime store downtown, so when I found this postcard, I had to have it, because she never showed us any pictures of the Schroeder store.
Science Hall Here is a postcard marked "Science Hall and Gymnasium", which is a building at the Dekoven Foundation. The card is postmarked December 27, 1910, and was sent to Miss Annie Sab (or Salo) in Wakefield, Michigan. It reads: Your little gift was just as sweet as could be. Thank you! I tried to see you after the program but faild to do so. We have just enough snow to see it. Nothing like W. Love from Miss Howe."
Winslow School
I always keep an eye on the Racine postcards that are being sold on Ebay, and I believe I have an example of almost every Racine postcard out there. But this was a new one for me -- a postcard of Winslow School showing the door on the 1300 block of College Avenue. This was my elementary school for kindergarten through 3rd grade and I lined up at this door many times. The lower thumbnail is linked to an enlargement of the kids watching the photographer.

I noticed two interesting things about this picture: first, notice the "urns" up along the top of the facade -- these were long gone by the time I went to school there in the 1970s; second, notice in the main shot that there are two little girls standing further back toward the right side of the picture. According to my neighbor Miss Schroeder, the girls played on one side of the school while the boys played on the other side.
State Street bridge I've always liked the State Street bridge because it is small and fun to boat underneath to look at all the huge gears and so forth, so I was really surprised when I found this 1924 postcard of a huge ship making its way upriver, probably to load or unload at the many factories on the river. It doesn't look like it would be able to turn around, though — would it have to back the whole way down the river?
Coat store This is a "real photo" postcard dating from 1906 or so of a clothing store, probably on Main Street. Note the glass boxes of collars on either side of the entrance. I like how well-dressed the two store employees are -- wonder if they made their own clothes, or if they had an employee discount? If you look behind the man on the left, you can see a reflection of the street scene in the glass of the door behind him. Also, the man on the right seems to be holding something in his right hand -- scissors, perhaps?
Columbia Corners This postcard is marked "Columbia Corners." It looks to me like the curve of Washington Boulevard in Uptown.
Hotel Racine and old postoffice Another view of the earliest Hotel Racine. I like this one because you can see the small businesses that rented space from the hotel. Starting from the left, there is a barbershop -- possibly Hotel Barbershop -- that advertises baths. In the middle appears to be Carpenter & Nowland offering insurance, real estate, and loans, and on the right, Dietrich something -- maybe bar. The building to the left (north) of the hotel seems to be 523 Main Street, and has the name J. R. Folwell in the window. According to the Racine Heritage website, this first Hotel Racine existed from 1895 to 1925, and was demolished because of a lack of modern plumbing.
West Sixth Street Looking East Here is a postcard of Racine that I had never seen before -- West Sixth Street looking east. There are not too many landmarks that are familiar to me, other than maybe the storage buildings. It seems like I might have seen their faded painted signs while on Sixth Street. We can see the curve of the Root River just behind the houses and another road, probably Water Street, so looking at a map, it looks to me like this was taking near the corner of Sixth and Center, looking northeast. That frame-like structure sitting on the horizon looks like the big cylindrical frames they had at the gas works near the Lake downtown.

Update: My source at the Racine Historical Society says:
Taken from what is now City Hall, facing northeast. The row building at the lower left is still there. The switches in the street car tracks are for the line to go out Washington Avenue, and the line to the lower left goes west out Sixth Street. You can see the structure for the gas tank at the lake front in the background.
First City Hall at Main and Third Streets Here is Racine's first city hall which sat at the corner of Main and Third Streets. The "Drugs & Cigars" advertisement on the opposite corner is probably for Pokorney's Drugstore, a Main Street fixture for many years. Racine's 2nd city hall dates between 1877 and 1931, so this first city hall would date from before 1877. Visible to the right of the hall is the Thronson Furniture Company, and don't miss the advertisement for the $0.05 Henry George cigars.
Taylor Hall at Dekoven with porch Here is a great picture of Taylor Hall at Racine College/Dekoven. I like this picture a lot because of the porch which I have not seen before. It looks like it's made out of wood which would explain why it's not there anymore.
Gymnasium at Dekoven Growing up, my family went swimming once or twice at the pool in the gymnasium at Dekoven, and I also remember seeing people playing basketball somewhere in the same building. I particularly like this postcard because of the details you can see if you look closely. For instance, I don't remember the steps being wooden, and I also like the parallel bars set up outside. Someone has been working on a tall ladder which is lying on the ground on the south side of the building.
State Street, Racine, further west, looking east This is an interesting view of State Street from a little bit further west from the previous State Street picture. On the left, you can see the Case building with its statue of "Old Abe" the eagle. In the distance, looking east toward Lake Michigan, is the State Street bridge and the Dr. Shoop building.


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