Todd and Jason Wallace

Todd and Jason Wallace in the driveway of 1405 College

I moved to Racine, Wisconsin in the summer of 1970 when I was six years old. We lived in a beautiful big white house on a brick street at 1405 College Avenue, and I lived there until I was eighteen years old. Hardly a day goes by when I don’t think of Racine, even though I now live far away. For some reason, Racine has a huge amount of history for such a small place, and I’ve enjoyed collecting lots of different history books, pictures, and stories. Now I’m putting as much as I can on the web in hopes of meeting other Racine historians.



Hotel Racine, 1905

Hotel Racine, 1905

Christiansen family, ca. 1920, "Dalmatian dog"

Christiansen family, ca. 1920, “Dalmatian dog”

Father Matthew's Hall, 1906. Postcard by E. A. Bishop.

Father Matthew’s Hall, 1906. Postcard by E. A. Bishop.

Train arrival postcard, 1907

Train arrival postcard, 1907

Fishing schooner in Lake Michigan, 1911

Fishing schooner in Lake Michigan, 1911


Winslow School, 1910

Winslow School, 1910


1920s snow scene in Racine

1920s snow scene in Racine. The car’s hood ornament has an M on it — could that be a Mitchell Motor Car?


Two young ladies in their buggy, Horlick Springs, Racine, Wisconsin, 1908

Two young ladies in their buggy, Horlick Springs, Racine, Wisconsin, 1908


Northwestern Railway Station on State Street, 1913

Northwestern Railway Station on State Street, 1913

Swedish Carpenters, 15th & College, Racine, WI

Swedish Carpenters, 15th & College, Racine, WI

Looking west past the chapel on your right

At Racine College (Dekoven Foundation) looking west past St. John’s Chapel on your right

Beautiful picture of Sixth Street by Racine History reader @jentorres

Map of the Village of Racine, 1843, from Racine, The Belle City by Alice Sankey. Notice that “Fulton Market” appears to be where D. P. Wigley is now — seems like a good place for a big market building, doesn’t it?


Featured photo:

Leonard’s Studio advertisements and entryway

Back in August of 1996 I was visiting Racine and was walking through the old downtown taking pictures. In the 300 block, I noticed a closed-up door with Leonard Studio set into the entrance way. Later on, I was looking through Ead’s Illustrated History of Racine and came across an advertisement for Leonard’s Studio at the same address. Apparently it was a well-established photo studio with “A Lady always in attendance” to put the women of 1884 at ease. On a hunch, I looked through my 1940 Racine phonebook and found, at the same location, a Harry J Leonard doing commercial photography — specializing in work “Out of Studio” for legal purposes. So, over at least a 52 year span, someone in the Leonard family was taking pictures in Racine.

1974 picture taken on front porch of 1405 College Avenue. Back row: Terry Peterson (neighbor from across the street), unknown. Middle row: Chris Harris (my best elementary school friend), Jason Wallace (my brother) Front row: Wrye Martin, Todd Wallace, unknown. I think we were supposed to be pretending that we were cold.

36 thoughts on “Home

  1. I am looking for archival information of Racine Kiwanis Youth Symphony. We are celebrating our 60th anniversary this year.

  2. I just found your site and it is great. I have many vintage photos from Racine in the late 1800s through WWI and beyond. I would be happy to share them electronically if I can do so. I just recently retired and am committing a good deal of time to this project. Is there a way for me to send you photos for posting and sharing with others?

  3. I am looking into the history of Racine from 1930-1950 on behalf of my late step-father, Robert B Clouse (Denison IA, 1928) His mother Hazel married to Byron Clouse, worked at Horlick’s after Byron’s untimely death in ~1944. Bob died in 2007 and I am writing his biography. Bob directed “Enter The Dragon”, released in 1973 – a Bruce Lee film that brought him brief fame and fortune. Any help would be appreciated. Celeste

  4. My grandfather Joseph Denman worked 50 years with Horlick Malted Milk Co. starting in England and relocating to Racine with the Co. He also played on the Horlick Soccer of which I have a picture which even includes Mr. Horlick. I also remember Horlick driving his electric car down Carlisie Ave. past my house.

  5. The City Bus Lines in the 40’s were : #1Washington- Douglas #2 Taylor -North Main #3 Grand & State #4 West 6th.- Geneva #5 Oak Park

  6. I.m looking for info from Racine My Great Grandfather owned Luedtke Bros Garage. If any body has pics please post

  7. Hello-I am trying to locate any information on Alfred C.Barry-He is my GG Grandfather-Do you happen to have information about him? He was the head of the State Education dept. in the 1850’s, Civil War Vet-Chaplain and Minister. Would you know his address when He lived there? Later in life he went on to live in Lodi, Wisconsin where he passed in 1888. Any information would be appreciated-Thank You (Any pictures of course would be great)

  8. Hi Todd

    I, too, think of Racine almost every day. I was born there in 1945, and lived there for most of my life. I now live in NM, but Racine still holds my heart. I have been working on my ancestry for several years now, and have been going through my family pictures. If I find any that might interest you I’ll scan and email them to you. I recently saw a picture of the interior of a restaurant called Hanseh’s Restaurant. I’d like to know where it was. At first I thought it might have been a spelling error, and should have been Hansche’s Restaurant…but I really doubt that that’s the case. Does it sound familiar to you? Also, I have a friend named Penny Grill who lived at 1511 College Ave…still does, for that matter. Her father was an artist…so is she. Big age difference between you and us, but thought you might have heard the name of Andre Joseph Grill.

    • Donna, it was located in the Savoy Hotel on 1937, on Main St. Haven’t determined whether it was 100 or 200 block. Think it was 100 block

  9. Interesting. I have in the past worked with some of Jeanette Schroeder ‘s diplomas and certifications at The Racine Heritage Museum. Un fortunetly at this time, a (very long running list) of these Very Oversized Objects must first be typed up and added to a log before these documents can be viewed. I hope that the people of Racine will get to see them sometime in this decade……

  10. Does anybody know a gentleman by the name of Floyd that was employed at the Clark gas station on 14th st in the 70’s? I am 36 yrs old and just found out that he may possibly be my father’s biological father. Floyd has passed away but in not sure when and my father has passed away as well. Any information would be great.

    • Yes, both my husband and I remember Floyd. I was born in 1947 at St. Mary’s. My husband and I married in 1966 in college. My husband was in there all the time because he bought a Peugeot 1960. Nobody would fix it in Racine. Someone told him to go ask for this guy named Floyd. He seemed old as we were in our early 20’s.
      He took the car in and Floyd looked at it. After a lot of “hemming and hawing” about this strange French car, he said he thought he could do it. In a few days it was done to our amazement. My husband began work as a chemist at S.C. Johnson in 1967. He went back to Floyd often just to talk cars. We moved to Ft.Worth in 1979 for a job offer at General Dynamics ( now Lockheed Martin). Racine is a huge part of my family. I have traced both sides of my family. Everything on my mother’s side is Racine. My husband was born in Hillsdale, MI but moved to Racine at 1 year of age. His father who had been in the Navy WWII was a Linotype operator at the Racine Journal Times.
      My husband remembers Floyd well but they didn’t talk family. It was all cars old and new. I know this does not reconcile your question but take heart that there was a man name Floyd who at the time was older than our parents and dared to fix a French Foreign Car.

    • If the Clark station you are referring to is the one that used to be just north of Johnson Wax. It’s a good maybe. My uncle Cesseros’ younger brothers owned a liquor a block or two east of the station right next to Bernhards bar. Johnson Wax tore down everything the whole neighborhood. Floyd was always a very hard worker. W hat I remember most is that he had bowed legs and turned in absolutely terrible feet. He always looked like he was in a lot of pain; but that did not stop him from hard work. I grew up on the 1700 block of Park Ave. Good luck Mike

  11. I had a relative that belonged to the Racine Camera Club and we still have boxes full of very old pictures from Racine. Most are of relatives. But, I do have many firsthand historical items that are significant.

    • David Browne — I would love to do a page for the Racine Camera Club. Can you start me off with a couple of scans of your relative’s pictures? Then we can fill in the info about the club and your relative. Thanks!

  12. Oscar Jacobson was my Grandma’s first cousin and I have a book written exclusively about him. I’m a big Racine buff and I find it amazing how interconnected it was.

  13. I am looking for family to Peter C Sorensen (birth around 1889) who according to my information arrived New York July 14th 1911 with the ship Lusitania from Liverpool. He came from Denmark.
    He should apparently have been living in Racine in 1920, working for a spring factory.

    Any information about the person or a spring factory located in Racine in the period wiill be very welcome.

  14. I grew up in Racine and attended Gilbert Knapp Elementary. The principal told me it was being torn down and a new one will be built. I would love to see the inside of it one more time. Mostly the hallways, art room, office, gym, and the library. Do the rooms still have radiators and fireplaces? Also where they buried the time capsule. It was to be opened on the 100th birthday. The principal told me they will open it when they have the new school built. I remember putting in the capsule a phone book and a Coca Cola can. Please help me! Thank you!

  15. I am looking to purchase photos of Racine, Wisconsin for my son. Is it possible to purchase copies of your photos of early Racine from you? Please advise, and thank you for your time.

    Elizabeth Sustachek

    • Hello Elizabeth:
      I don’t sell photos of early Racine, but there is an easy way to get them — buy old postcards from Ebay. Most sell for $5 or less. I have several framed postcards and I really like the way they look.

  16. My father Wm. Allen Gifford had the Progressive Dairy Products Company on Lathrop Ave. Jeannette Pugh was my mother. Gittings was my Grandmother’s name. These names are listed at the Racine Historical Society, I am sure. Great uncle John Jones owned Moher Jones hardware. Gifford school, Gifford Acres and Gifford Park named after Gifford. Al Gifford was president of many things in Racine and always led the 4th of July parade on his white horse. Millard W. Johnson owned Johnson Hendrickson Construction Co. , father of my husband Professor Millard W. Johnson Jr. We were all members of the First Presbyterian Church in Racine. Gifford’s are English. – Pugh’s are Welsh.

  17. Very interesting website! I am an amateur genealogist, whose mother was born in Racine in 1925. My great grand aunt taught in the public schools, and my grandparents and great grandparents lived there from about about 1890 to about 1960. I have a JPEG image of an old photograph, showing a police patrol wagon pulled by two horses, and the inscription states, “No. 52. Wright Photo. Part of the Parade, Racine, Wis. July 4th 06.” I would be happy to share this image, and would hope that maybe someone can identify the site and the people in the picture.

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