Downtown 1958

Downtown 1958

Thursday, March 5, 2015

"Autotrails" Map of 1924

Rand McNally & Co.'s Commercial Atlas Of America. Fifty-Fifth Edition, AutoTrails Map, Wisconsin, Northern Illinois, Northern Michigan, 1924
from David Rumsey Map Collection via

Back when extensive travel by car was in its infancy, Rand McNally, among other publishers, developed and published maps for use by car travelers.  This zoomed view of the Fox Valley section of the Wisconsin map shows that even back then, there was a State Road 114.  Notice Hwy 15 to the west of town, which eventually morphed into US 41.  In 1926 with the debut of the U.S. Highway system, all of Hwy 15 north of Milwaukee was replaced by the new US 41 designation, all the way into Michigan's Upper Peninsula.  In later years, the Hwy 15 designation would be used again, most recently in a 15 mile stretch west of Appleton at US 41 to the south of New London, near the southern end of the "New London Bypass."   The "1" in the black box refers to the highway's designation as the "Yellowstone Trail" highway.  (Don't ask me how that fits.) 

We first visited Hwy 15 in a blog post from 2013:

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

History Passed This Way

April 4, 1948 Milwaukee Sentinel

In Wisconsin's centennial year of 1948, The Milwaukee Sentinel carried weekly articles about the towns and cities it deemed vital to the development of Wisconsin.  This is the entry about Neenah-Menasha from that year.

 April 3, 1948 Milwaukee Sentinel

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Wisconsin 1845

from: Wisconsin.  A new general atlas, comprising a complete set of maps representing the grand divisions of the globe, together with the several empires, kingdoms and states in the world; compiled from the best authorities, and corrected by the most recent discoveries. New York, Published at Tanner's Geographical Establishment, 1845. Written and engraved by Jos. Perkins.

Courtesy:  David Rumsey Historical Map Collection via

Zooming in on Winnebago County in 1845 reveals a mysterious naming of "Mishwauka,"and the more familiar "Winnebago," as in "Winnebago Rapids," the original name for Neenah.  Obviously, refinement of place names would occur later.  Notice "Oskosh," "Manitoowoc," and "De Pierre" to name just a few.  (This map is my first and only exposure to the name, "Mishwauka" so more research is definitely in store.) 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Governor Visits Menasha

May 16, 1927 Appleton Post-Crescent
As the winter trudges on, a weary man's attention turns to that end of Winter event- spring training baseball games (at least this weary man).  So, while entertaining the notion of an eventual Spring, let's go back some 88 years to when Menasha was enraptured with baseball (it was, after all, the national pastime) and used the upcoming season to entice a certain public official to come to town to throw out the first pitch. (Still not sure why he'd tell the adoring crowd that he hoped our opponent, Oshkosh, would win though.)

Friday, February 27, 2015

Orton C. Little

My post about the Onward Manufacturing Company yesterday made me realize I'd neglected to address Mr. Little, above, the owner and president of that firm.  Mr. Little was a noted inventor, with 22 patents to his name, to include the sliding furniture shoe and air humidifying device we discussed yesterday. His obituary below, gives some biographical details of the man:

   May 10, 1927 Appleton Post-Crescent

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Onward Manufacturing

  advertisement from the 1919, The Nicolet, Menasha High School's annual

This company manufactured and sold glass sliding shoes which were placed under the legs of heavy furniture to make it easier to move as well as a celebrated humidifying device.  Located at 128 Main Street, it was right next door to the City Hall/Fire Station.  In later years, the property was sold to the concern that became Gibson Chevrolet.  

 1920 Modern Hospital Year Book

November 1, 1919 Engineering World

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

E.V. Treleven

Mr. Treleven's tailor shop was located at 132 Main Street, approximately where the old Gibson Chevrolet dealership later resided.  This biographical sketch, from the June, 1898 Semi-Centennial edition of the Menasha Press featured his likeness, which for the time, showed a rising trend in the tonsorial trade- the clean-shaven gentleman.  By 1911, newspaper accounts place him in the employ of the Onward Manufacturing Company, coincidentally the employer located next door to his tailor shop.  More on it tomorrow.