Friday, July 15, 2016
Archive: Marinette Postcards #3
This is the third archive of Marinette, Wisconsin, postcards that I've posted. Previous entries can be located by searching "archive" in the box at the upper left. Marinette is my hometown Menominee's twin city, just across the Menominee River, and it played a significant role in our growing up -- a frequent destination for shopping, eating out, going to the movies, cruising around as teenagers, and my first paid employment at my grandfather's Marinette Rexall drugstore. My paternal grandparents lived on Merryman St. near downtown, having immigrated to Marinette from Sweden, and my dad and his siblings were Marinette High School graduates.
Circus parade, Dunlap Square (see above)
The circus’s arrival in the twin cities was a major highlight of the summer. Our family would get up at dawn and go to the circus grounds to watch the tents being erected by the workers and their crew of elephants. Then there’d be a parade through the town, followed the Big Show – the most exciting event of childhood in our small town. This parade is in downtown Marinette is in the early part of the twentieth century.
The Masonic Temple in Marinette was located at 1610-12 Main St., right across the street from my grandfather's Marinette drugstore. It was built in 1907 in a Neoclassical style and served as the town's meeting hall for the Masons. The first floor has been transformed into commercial storefront space and houses Paul's Music and The Psalms.
Our family moved to the shore of the Menominee River shortly after World War II, and the outskirts of Marinette were right across the river. Sixty to eighty years earlier the river had been the conduit for the world's largest white pine logging industry, and remnants were still available in the vicinity in the form of log structures and deadheads in the water. We were well aware of the river's famous history and sometimes fancied ourselves to be young lumberjacks.
Camp We-Ha-Kee for Girls was established by the Sisters of the Dominicans of Sinsinawa on the shores of Green Bay near Marinette in 1923. It's named after Mary WeHaKee La Batte, a young girl raised by the Dominicans whose mother was a Sioux Indian and whose father was French. In 1964 the camp was moved from Marinette to Hunter Lake in northwestern Wisconsin where it's still thriving today.
Post Office 1909
Here is the Marinette Wisconsin Post Office in 1909. I haven’t been able to locate a date for its construction. Marinette County was formed in 1879 and the City of Marinette in 1887, so I suspect the post office had been around for a couple of decades when this picture was taken.
Ella Court School
The Marinette & Peshtigo Eagle reported on January 8, 1876, that the "lower part of Ella Court School is finished and ready for use."
Bastol Dairy Meal
According to the Annual Report of the Dairy and Food Commissioner of the State of Michigan, Vol. 20, Bastol Dairy Meal was produced by the Lignum Chemical Company of Marinette. The report for its analysis listed 12% protein, 20% crude fiber, 46% nitrogen free extract, and 4% fiber extract.
Parade, Main Street, WW I (1918)
This parade on Main Street in downtown Marinette, in the vicinity of my grandfather's drug store, was held in 1918. My dad was 10 years old and probably was in the crowd. A Marinette County genealogy website lists 71 local men killed during World War I, a shocking number for a small, predominantly rural county.
Yacht Basin boats
Both of the twin cities had popular yacht basins for local and Great Lakes boaters. Menominee's marina was right on Green Bay off the Sheridan Road downtown business district, while Marinette's was on the Menominee River near where the river passed under the Interstate Bridge. We'd check out the boats while walking across the bridge to go to the Fox or Rialto movie theaters in downtown Marinette.
Marinette Opera House
It's quite amazing, but the twin cities of Marinette and Menominee both had large opera houses at the turn of the last century. The Marinette Opera House had 1,275 seats and a 10-seat orchestra section. While I’m sure my grandparents went there many times in the early 1900s, the opera house was long gone by the time that my siblings and I were growing up in the 1940’s.
Sauve’s Courtesy Motel
Given that this is a chrome postcard from the fifties or sixties, Sauve’s was there on Highway 41 during my youth. We probably passed it by many dozens of time on Marinette’s outskirts as we teenagers drove to Peshtigo and back.
Camp Bird near Crivitz in Marinette County is located on land that was owned from 1875 to 1920 by Isaac Stephenson who used it as a fishing and hunting camp. Sold in 1929 to a land company, Marinette County became the owner that year because of $82.75 in unpaid back taxes. The plans to build a youth camp were approved by the County Board in 1939, and construction was begun by the WPA in 1942. Camp Bird opened in 1943 and has been used since that time by the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4-H, schools, and religious organizations.
Loret’s Beauty Salon
In my mom’s final years she experienced severe pain in her legs and wasn’t up and around much. My task on home visits was to take her for her weekly appointment at the local beauty parlor. It wasn’t Loret’s, but I’m sure her salon was similar It’s hard to describe the invigorating effect that going to the hairdresser had upon my mother. She loved conversing with the stylists and fellow customers and getting filled in on the gossip of the day.
To the best of my knowledge, the Lakeside Inn was located at the Chautauqua site on the outskirts of Marinette along the Green Bay shore. When we were kids this had become the residential area of Pine Beach. My grandfather lived there with my Aunt Martha and Uncle Ralph and their kids, Ann and John.
July 4 parade 1913
This is a shot of the Fourth of July parade on Main Street in downtown Marinette in 1913. It's clearly a grand occasion. Lauerman Brothers Department Store is in the background to the left. My grandfather's drug store was two blocks up the street in the direction that the parade was proceeding. My father was four years old at the time of the parade, and odds are that he was there, taking in the splendor.
The Miscauno Inn (now the Four Seasons Resort) was located on Miscauno Island in northeast Marinette County on the Menominee River. It opened in 1905 and initially served a Chicago railroad clientele before being destroyed by fire and then becoming an exclusive club and golf course. Legend has it that Al Capone was a frequent guest at the Miscauno Inn, using it as a getaway when the heat was on in Chicago. Reportedly because Chicago gangsters were such regular guests, all of the private resorts in the area had armed guards and barbed-wire fences. (Source: NY Times, "Where public enemies went for a little peace and quiet," 6-26-09)
St. Anthony’s Church (interior)
St. Anthony's was located at 900 Wells St. in Marinette. In 1958 the four Marinette parishes of St. Joseph, Sacred Heart, St. Anthony, and Our Lady of Lourdes assumed joint control of the former Our Lady of Lourdes High School, establishing Marinette Catholic Central High School (which later became the St. Thomas Aquinas Academy). To my understanding, St. Anthony's church is now located in Niagara in Marinette County.
Oakwood Beach Club
The Oakwood Beach Club is a mystery to me, and even Google couldn't untangle it. I did find out that Oakwood Beach Road is located in Marinette's Pine Beach neighborhood, just south of the Bay Area Medical Center, and it seems likely the clubhouse was located there. As kids, we spent much time visiting the Burkes and swimming at Pine Beach.
Schofield Resort, Lake Nocquebay, Archie Photo 1944
Lake Nocquebay remains a major resort area and tourist center in Marinette County, though I don't find traces on the Internet of the Schofield Resort today. Noquebay is one of Wisconsin's largest inland lakes, offering 2400 acres of fishing for Bluegills, Perch, Crappie, Walleye, Bass, and Northern Pike. The Mohawk Resort and Supper Club, located 4 miles east of Crivitz, might be Schofield's replacement. It offers eight lake front cottages and a year-round vacation home spread along a 500-foot beach. (Source: www.exploringthenorth.com)
We plan to visit Marinette and Menominee soon, and we look forward to stopping by at least some of these scenes from days gone by.