Many of you have asked where in the world I've been.

All I know is that after 7 plus years of blogging and a different lappy, which I don’t like, I seem to have lost my blogging fervor.

Someday, when you least expect it, I will post again.

For those of you still waiting I say thank you.

Meanwhile, I am rather prolific on twitter. Find me: @KeethaB
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The Eclectic Company - Waitin' on a New Adventure!!
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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sunday in My City, Then and Now


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?

Joining Unknown Mami
For Sundays in my City.

Today my city is Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin



Raymonde said...

Oh Keetha, what a great post, I am always attracted to now and then, funny how we like vintage clothes but when it comes to building we have to make room for humans.
My favorite is probably the now law building, what a wonderful shape.

I must admit I am split about conservation, I live in a listed building but I would love at time for the architect to have thought forward!!!
I really enjoyed your post and each time I see little bits of the US my longing to visit increases. Have a great Sunday. x

Anonymous said...

This is a great post. Good example how our neighborhoods change.
Thanks for sharing!

Vidya Sury said...

I love "then and now" photos and it is stunning, always, to see how things change with time. This was a beautiful tour, Keetha. Steeped in nostalgia.

I go nuts whenever I visit a town I've lived in to see how some things that were favorite spots/stops have disappeared in the name of development I often think, if I were to go away for a year from where I currently live, I might not recognize the area.

Thank you for sharing those postcards. Lovely.

Ann in the UP said...

It is a great post! I am always amazed at how difficult it is for me to picture how things used to be, once they have been altered and the "skyline' changes. While you live in the city, you get used to the new thing pretty quickly.

Wisconsin Rapids looked good, then and looks good now, too!

Tina´s PicStory said...

nice pics! my royal heaven is in stuttgart - germany :)

Tara R. said...

This was a wonderful nostalgic look at the past and present views of your town. The flatiron building to very cool.

Unknown said...

Great post of your town's transition. I think we are too quick to change, don't you? Europeans keep their buildings far longer. said...

Keesha - What a FUN post. Great idea. Love the fact that PaPa did all his business with a bank in 1907 - wonder if it was still there in 1929?

I bet you had so much fun driving around finding what was there and what was not.

Erin said...

What a treasure! I do wish we weren't so quick to replace the old buildings.

42N said...

Great subject post. That old bank building is certainly unique. Look at the old photo. Notice the two feneals either side of the crest. Also notice the drinking fountain just outside the main door. Both features are gone from your modern photo. Also there apparently was a flagpole near the crest of the building - it no longer is there.

See this web site for more historical photos of your area.

On pages 6 and 7 are images of the bank. The page 7 image is the best. Note the standing people either side of the buiding.

It would be fun to continue what you are dong - comparing this set of old photos with the same angle photo from the 21st century.

Stacy said...

Thanks for the "then" and "now" tour of your town. It looks beautiful in both eras.

The gorgeous train depot in my town is a restaurant...and still where the passenger trains pick up and drop off.

podso said...

What a great idea to enlarge old postcards! Now you've got me thinking ...

LV said...

Very well done. Loved seeing and hearing about the before and after of your fair city.

Tami said...

I love the picture of the bank. There is a similar one in a few towns over where I live. This one is still a bank though. I enjoyed your post Keetha!

Unknown said...

What a fabulous post! It is a shame the old library and train depot are gone but nice to see some of the old buildings still remain. When life settles down I think I will start looking for turn of the century postcards those are terrific. Have a wonderful week.

Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

I love that corner building, but I have to say, it's probably a good thing they've updated/replaced the water tower, no?

Unknown said...

What a great post. It is great to see how places change yet still remain the same. I love the postcard from Pa Pa.

Erin said...

Aw, Chippy is adorable! The bear might be a little scary, but I'd really like to see one! We looked and looked when we were in Yellowstone, but no bear.

nancygrayce said...

I love that the law building kept the original building....that sentence makes no sense but I'm sure you "get" it! :) Just recently they tore down the train station in town and it was such a shame. I wish we could keep our history around and not think we new something new and improved!

Wayne W Smith said...

What a great post. You always do such a wonderful job on these.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Cool post Keetha. I enjoyed seeing the old and the new. That is sad about the train station.

Unknown said...

I love those postcards!

Martin LaBar said...

Interesting! Thanks.

Cass @ That Old House said...

Love this post, AND love that old Greek Revival church. It's a beauty, with or without its steeple.

And yes, that depot would have made a great cafe or antiques shop. The closest train station to us still has its old building in use -- but nowadays with automated ticket machines, it doesn't need all the space, so there's also a great tavern in the old brick building. Nice for thirsty commuters, I guess!


Claudya Martinez said...

Fantastic post! That one picture makes me think of the lyrics of a Counting Crows song, "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Traci Marie Wolf said...

Great pictures and what a wonderful idea for a post.