One of my favorite buildings to look at in Racine is the DP Wigley building, on Wisconsin Avenue near the Shoop Building and State Street Bridge.
According to DP Wigley’s website, the building dates from 1847! When you visit this store, you get a real sense of Racine history during the booming 19th century.
Racine Linseed Oil company in 1887
Looking North from the top of the Racine County Court House when it was located on Monument Square (circa 1905). The Shoop Building on State St. is at center and at lower left, the Racine Linseed Oil Works (D.P. Wigley Co) on Wisconsin Ave. (Dennis Tully)
If you go boating up the Root River, be sure to go past this building. It’s even bigger on the river side, and is covered with faded advertisements:
From the river side of the DP Wigley building, you can see how huge this former mill really is.
Close up showing the painted advertisements.
Here, I’ve enhanced the colors of the painted advertisements.
The first advertisement on the left appears to say something about “Flour & Oil” but it’s hard to really make out the first word. Notice that a large “DP Wigley” sign has been painted across this original advertisement.
The largest signs are painted on the main part of the building with the sloped roof. The upper sign appears to be “Lil & Co.” and mentions “Furniture, Stoves and Carpets”, although it may actually be talking about DP Wigley. It’s hard to say because the name looks like it’s been painted over once or twice.
The lower sign definitely says “DP Wigley Elevator Company” and mentions Ben Hur flour.
This side of the DP Wigley building used to face a thriving factory district on other side of Root River.
D. P. Wigley obituary