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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:  

Rotary Pancake Day: 7:30 a.m. Feb. 28, Waukesha County Expo Center, 1000 Northview Road, Waukesha. Fundraiser for the Waukesha Rotary Club is 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Expo Center Arena. Advance tickets at Waukesha State Bank, downtown location., $5-$7. $5 advance, $7 at the door; free for children 5 and younger. www.waukesharotary.org.

Ninth Annual Oconomowoc Rotary Wine & Brew Fest: 5 p.m. Feb. 28, Olympia Resort, 1350 Royale Mile Rd, Oconomowoc. Wine, food and beer. Features foods from the best of our local restaurants. Purchase tickets at $50 from an O-Town Rotarian, through Facebook, or in person at most area First Bank Financial Centre locations, Books & Company & Lorleberg True Value Hardware. See more at www.oconomowocrotary.org. $50.

Chili Tasting: 11 a.m. Feb. 28, The Garden Mart, W297 S9115 Highway 83, Mukwonago. Chili tasting from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Local vendors will be selling unique merchandise. Judging is open to the public and all proceeds from voting will be donated to the Mukwonago Food Pantry. Event is free. Call (262) 363-5252 for information.

Dr. Seuss Birthday Bash Literacy Event: 10 a.m. Feb. 28, Hartland North Elementary, 232 Church Street, Hartland. Families with children in 4-year old kindergarten through second grade are invited to a special event. The Cat in the Hat and the Lorax will celebrate with a big birthday cake for all of our guests along with lots of literacy activities based around Dr. Seuss books.

Updates to this calendar are made weekly Monday afternoon. 

 

All weekend happenings.