My friend Jodi, of Cranberry Creek, found this set of Wisconsin Rapids, circa 1900, post cards. She had them enlarged and reproduced onto foam board.
I knew I wanted them the minute I saw them!
These post cards are from the years when what is now the town of Wisconsin Rapids was then two communities, Grand Rapids on the east side of the river and Centralia on the west. Those two communities were merged into the city of Wisconsin Rapids in 1920.
I just love that Pa Pa's message was on the front of this card so we can all still read it.
This flatiron building, which was a bank back in 1907 when Pa Pa wrote his message, is called the Ahdawagam building.
It still stands in our downtown area and currently serves as a law office.
I sure love the rich wood patina and leaded glass of the front door.
Back in the day, this was the public library. Notice the tiny white church to the left and behind the library, 'cause I'll be talking about that again in a minute. The street passing to the right side of the library is Baker Street.
Today the library is gone and in its place is a parking lot. Makes me think of that old 70's Joni Mitchell song:
"Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'till it's gone, paved paradise and put up a parking lot!"
If you go about a block east on Baker Street, which would be a right turn at this intersection, you will come to our church.
Notice the white patches between the trees beyond and to the right of the cars in the parking lot?
That is the same little church that is seen to the left and behind the library in the post card. It still stands, though it looks like it needs some TLC and it is sadly sans steeple.
This is the current site of the city library - - - probably a mile or more across town from the post card site.
I like this old water tower, and even better is the view beyond it.
I have the feeling I've seen a tower like this somewhere in town - - - but when I went out the other day searching for it, I couldn't find it where I thought it SHOULD be.
Today the water towers are shiny white with the Wisconsin Rapids river logo painted on the sides.
Oh how I wish I could tell you this handsome depot is still standing. Wouldn't it make a perfect restaurant or antique mall?
Sadly, there is nary a remnant of it left. No one I've asked can remember exactly where it was either.
"No one" would be my friend Eloise (pronounced E-Lois) and her hubby Bill who have lived here most of their adult lives, so if they don't know "ain't" nobody knows! HA
That concludes the Wisconsin Rapids - Then and Now Tour. What are you showing us in your city today?