Thursday, November 19, 2009

Twin City Postcards: Main Street, Marinette, WI

Dear George,
This view of Main St., looking north, is at the heart of Marinette’s downtown business district.  Lauerman’s Department Store is just around the corner, and Dunlap Square and the Interstate Bridge are just beyond Lauerman’s.  The parking meters in the photo were installed in the early 1950’s and were viewed by many grumpy citizens (including myself) as a violation of God-given human rights.  My grandfather’s Marinette drug store on Main St. was a block south of this photo .  One of my teenage job duties was to deliver the drug store’s daily financial receipts to the bank at the left of this photo.  Though only a walk of a few minutes, I was always alert to the possibility of robbers lurking in doorways and carried out my mission in a state of high vigilance.  After a successful stop at the bank I’d celebrate by walking down the street to Lauerman’s and buying a frozen malt cone for fifteen cents (an unbelievably delectable treat which I’ve never been able to find again).  The Main St. business district  included the variety stores pictured here (Woolworth’s was the better of the two), women’s clothing shops, a couple of bars and a restaurant, Haas’ shoe store, a photo store, a record store where one could listen to demos over earphones, a movie theater, gift shops, a liquor store, and numerous other establishments.  Because of lower sales taxes, many Menominee-ites came across the river to Marinette to do their shopping, resulting in our sense of civic inferiority in Menominee.  Marinette’s downtown was much more thriving in the 1950’s than it is today, partly as a consequence of Pine Tree Mall being built on the town’s outskirts.   

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