Downtown 1958

Downtown 1958

Friday, July 21, 2017

Oral History III

September 6, 1979, Neenah-Menasha Daily Northwestern

This is the third in a series of twelve oral histories that Dr. Michael O'Brien produced for the paper in 1979.  Unions were a fact of life for the mills in the Fox Valley when I grew up, but it wasn't always so.  Harsh words for management from some old timers.  

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Hanging Tree?!

July 15, 1962, Appleton Post-Crescent
Even by 1962 standards, when things were commonplace that would never fly today...smoking indoors, kids running around freely unsupervised, no seatbelts...this seems a bit harsh for a family-friendly event.  What was the back story for this?  What did the poor guy do?  Anyone?

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


July 20, 1960, Appleton Post-Crescent
This article from a Prospector Days display, some 57 years ago highlights a rich pottery heritage few realize once existed in Menasha.  We first discussed Mr. Bachelder in my book in 2012.  Born in New Hampshire, Carleton Bachelder came to Wisconsin after learning the pottery trade from his father.  Moving to Menasha in 1850, he opened a pottery business and engaged in pottery manufacture until about 1866.  Afterwards, he maintained a wholesale pottery and glassware business.  His pottery was conspicuous by the elaborate blue floral designs he favored on his jugs, crocks, churns, and pots.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


July 14, 1962, Appleton Post-Crescent
A staple of summer comedies, a hapless dad forgets to set the brake and watches his car creep into the drink.  In this case, though, it's the real thing.  It's enough to ruin one's day.

Monday, July 17, 2017


July 21, 1965, Neenah-Menasha Daily Northwestern
I'm not in this picture, but I certainly could have been...same clothes, same age, same haircut.  Living just a block away from this well and certainly a stop on the way to Jefferson Park, I was only too familiar with the joys of free and ready sources of water on a hot summer day.  I remember one of those big brass bubblers at the southwest corner of First and Appleton Streets and also one downtown on Main Street, right off the bridge where the big Gunderson sign was painted on the side of the building.  Man, that was great!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Oral History II

September 5, 1979, Neenah-Menasha Daily Northwestern
This is the second in a series of twelve oral histories that Dr. Michael O'Brien produced for the paper in 1979.  Great takeaway about the old school European work ethic that helped make the area grow and was a part of its continued success. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

History Lesson

June 10, 1962, Appleton Post-Crescent
Perhaps I'm retreading old ground here and you may already know these stories, but it's always nice to check in once in a while and see how Menasha's history is handled by various writers.  Of course, this being my blog, I tend to go backwards than forward, so here today is a little synopsis of Menasha history from Post-Crescent writer Charlie House in 1962.  That year, he travelled around the area and did these mini-histories about local communities every week or so. At some future time, I'll feature the Neenah story, if only for the comparison and because Menasha has been joined to Neenah's hip since the 1850's.  (And for the Menasha purists who may think such a story has no place in a Menasha blog the way some Facebook people think their city's groups are sacred cows, consider it a one day lesson in tolerance and besides, you may learn something.)