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Fred H. Keller | Retrospect


Sussex Main Street with a street car?

This post card shows Main Street in Sussex looking to the East from just West of Maple Avenue in approximately 1910-11 and was created by H. Montgomery Studios.

This post card shows Main Street in Sussex looking to the East from just West of Maple Avenue in approximately 1910-11 and was created by H. Montgomery Studios.

Jan. 21, 2014

This is 1911 street scene was taken by a Hartford photographer, H. Montgomery. Apparently he returned to his studio and made two different post cards of the photo.

There is a good chance that this set of post cards were sold at the General Store which is the building on the immediate right side of the photo. In one post card, the shot of Sussex Main Street is taken from about 400 feet west of Maple Avenue looking to the east.

The second shot shows the same area but a trick has occurred — a street car was superimposed with its track going down Sussex Main Street.

The Sussex Lisbon Area Historical Society has over the years collected local post cards. The most valued are those from the period of 1905-15.

The SLAHS museum has two copies of sent street car post cards with one cent stamps and a message.

There is one postmarked Templeton PO Aug. 16, 1911 by "Otto." He informs Alfred Wileden, who lives on Good Hope Roadthat Otto took a job at the John R. Small Sussex Mills (Sussex Elevator) which is today the site of Sussex Mills Apartments.

Today, the store on the right of the postcard is the Jon DeBelak Plumbing and heating business at N63 W24043 Main St.

The second street car post card in the possession of the museum was sent June 21, 1912 from "HOC," possibly Hugh Campbell to his sister Mildred Campbell in Antigo. The text of the card reads, "How is it going for you? I got a letter yesterday from Westley and he wanted to know if I could keep you busy. What do you know about it. I am going to Lakeside next week (Pewaukee) and pick strawberries and go swimming. Father Benson is coming out Sunday ... don't you wish you were there? Tell Lioneal not to work the Katznejammers to hard. HOC"

The Katzenjammers were coming page characters of that era who were always getting into jams.

The store was built around 1870, as millionaire Richard Weaver, had one surviving daughter, Serena (1850-1921) who married at age 18 to the then 26-year-old David Topping from Wisconsin Dells. His father-in-law built the huge house on the southwest corner of Maple and Main Street for his new son-in-law, and followed that up with building a business for him next door. Topping operated it from 1870 to 1900 when he sold it to "Doc" Sam H. Worthington. The next owner-operator for a short time was the Lees family, George and Clance.

The next owner was Fred Boots, and his daughters, Pearl and Claibell, who had the store in the Boots name until about the coming of the 1940s, with the last store proprietor being Tony Meyers, who had it in the early '50s, when it finally went out of business, and downtown Sussex, across from the Main Street School, became the total business center.

The street cars never happened. It was just a trick of photography that tickled the fancy of Sussex residents that they were progressing. Pictures can lie.

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Weekend Happenings

Featured this week:  

A Holiday Bazaar and Craft Fair will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, and 8 a.m. to noon Sunday, Nov. 2, at St. Jerome Parish School, 1001 S. Silver Lake St. The bazaar will feature handcrafted items, a raffle and Sweet Shop treats. A luncheon, which includes a beverage and dessert, will be $7 and served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1. Admission is free.
The Four Guyz in Dinner Jackets Doo-Wop Quartet will entertain from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, at St. Olaf’s Church, Highway O and Roosevelt Road in the town of Ashippun. Cost is $20 adults in advance, $25 at the door if seats are available. Call (414) 651-3915 for tickets.
A Supreme Breakfast will be held from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, at St. Bruno Church, 266 W. Ottawa Ave., Dousman. Breakfast includes pancakes, French toast, sausage, eggs, hash browns, orange juice and coffee.Proceeds to benefit charities in the Dousman area. Hosted by the Dousman Knights of Columbus Council 6436 with the Dousman Masonic Lodge 315. Cost is $7 adults, $3 children under 10.
The Oconomowoc Winter Farmers Market will open for the season and celebrate five years starting at 9:15 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, at Oconomowoc Landscape Supply and Garden Center in Oconomowoc. From 9:15 to 9:30 a.m. will be a ribbon cutting; 10:15 to 10:30 a.m. will be birthday cake cutting and presentation by Alice in Dairyland. The market will be open 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays through March 2015, except Nov. 30 and Dec. 28. For more information, visit www.oconomowoc.org.

Updates to this calendar are made weekly Monday afternoon. 

 

All weekend happenings.