Downtown 1958

Downtown 1958

Thursday, September 20, 2018

The End of an Era

September 17, 1948, Appleton Post-Crescent
Nice reminiscences of the Menasha. plying its trade along the Fox River.  One major takeaway from reading these anecdotes is how the Menasha had its own personality, you might say, judging from Captain Velte's telling of the story.  His tales of the interesting characters along the river resemble those feisty ship captains we've seen in countless movies and TV shows. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Last Car to Menasha

September 28, 1898, Appleton Crescent
This schedule was published every day in what was then known as the Appleton Crescent (The merger with the Appleton Post didn't occur until 1920.)  Any regular user of the inter-urban would have this schedule memorized quickly so perhaps it benefitted those visitors to the area who needed to get to Menasha and had no clue as to the regularity of cars.  Or it was simply customary to do so in a newspaper. That there was regular service to the industrial city south of Appleton speaks a lot about Menasha's place in the economy and social fabric of the late 19th century. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Girls in the Cooking Class

September 23, 1998, Twin City News-Record
Taken from a Back in Time compilation from twenty years ago comes this 1906 photo of Menasha High students in a cooking class.  The brickwork in the background suggests the class was held in the bowels of the old high school, a basement perhaps, or maybe it is simply befitting a cooking class from that era when ovens and high temperatures would be employed and safety considerations would dictate this. 

Monday, September 17, 2018

Blimp Visits

September 3, 1935, Menasha Record
It must have been quite a scene to see the Goodyear blimp descend on the little airport at Highway 47 and Airport Road.  A shame the photographer didn't see fit to back away from the scene and give us the "big" picture of seeing the blimp in all its glory.  It's interesting that the story emphasized the safety of using helium to fill the ship.  The famous Hindenburg disaster was some 20 months in the future and you may recall that that airship was filled with the more dangerous hydrogen and the ship went up in flames very quickly with extensive loss of life. 

Friday, September 14, 2018

Shave and a Haircut....

September 28, 1943, Menasha Record
I guess I never thought there'd be a standardized price for haircuts, but that must be the influence of the barbers' union (its existence, a fact of which I was, again, unaware.)  That shave and a haircut, two bits rhyme was a victim of inflation evidently.

Thursday, September 13, 2018


August 29, 1934, Appleton Post-Crescent
When I saw the headline, I had hoped for more anecdotal information than just a recitation of the pioneers' ages, especially when the opening paragraph of the story literally says that many of them have distinct memories of when Menasha was a village.  Still, it's a wonderful thing to imagine having had conversations with them and what they could have offered. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Rev. Clinton and the Battle of Chickamauga Creek

September 20, 1963, Appleton Post-Crescent
The Reverend O. P. Clinton was born on November 22, 1808 in Ferrisburg, Vermont. Clinton first visited the area in December 1845 and in March 1846 moved his family from Lake Mills, Wisconsin to Winnebago Rapids (Neenah). At the time Reverend Clinton represented the American Home Missionary Society and worked as a missionary in northern Wisconsin. Reverend Clinton organized a Congregational Church in 1847 and moved to Menasha in 1848. On September 4, 1862 he enlisted and served as a Chaplain for the 21st Wisconsin Infantry Regiment in the Civil War. He died in Menasha on June 19, 1890.