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Clintonville Post Cards

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Above are two scenes of the Pigeon River in Clintonville.  Esther Ruth and her friends would slowly drive their 5 or 6 cows to their pastures down by the river in the morning so they could graze during the day.  Later in the afternoon, they would bring them back again.  They had to take their time because if they hurried, the cows would lose their milk.  It was always a very leisurely activity for them--Yum!  The post cards were from 1909.

Post Cards From Clintonville, Wisconsin

These two post cards show the Chicago-Northwestern Depot in Clintonville, Wisconsin, a place that Carl R. Krieser probably saw a lot of as he courted Esther Ruth.  He worked at the Northwestern Depot in Marion.  The top one shows a platform view.  The bottom one is an aerial view that was taken from the water tower.  The card is from Louise Ehrgott to her sister, Laura Ehrgott in Neenah, both cousins of the Ruth girls.  She said, “My, such a mob at the depot.”  The tracks crossed Clintonville’s Main Street at this point.  A small railroad signal hut can be seen right in the center of the photo.  It gave the signalman a small place of refuge from the weather, whether rain or shine.

The top card is addressed to Laura Ehrgott at the Wisconsin Veterans Home in Waupaca, from Eva.  Taken on Booster Day, a local holiday that sported such events as a parade down Main Street in the morning, a great picnic where they carved an ox roast, and this 4-Wheel Drive Great Auto Test.  4-Wheel Drive is located in Clintonville and is one of its main industries.  The bottom card shows the lovely stone-arch bridge over the Pigeon River at Main Street, dated 1909.  It didn’t survive the flood of 1912 (read about it next).

Here are two post cards that show the ruins and aftermath of the Great Flood of July 24, 1912.  They had to dynamite the bridge to keep the buildings and trash that came floating down the river from creating a dam and flooding the town.  Even with that, the water flowed over into the streets and threatened to come over the sidewalks.  The postcard is from Alma Ruth to her sister Elizabeth Feise.  Alma said, “This is the way the bridge looks now.  The footbridge is on Folkman’s side.  The water was up to the Ward house.  Love, Alma”

Both of these family post cards are of Clintonville’s Main Street.  Neither is dated, but they are probably from the early 1900s.  The upper one shows a busy street with many vehicles on it - if horse and buggies can be called vehicles.  You can see all of the hitching posts along the curbs.  It’s not clear enough to distinguish if there are any automobiles farther down the road or not.  The bottom one displays an empty street.  Maybe it was taken early in the morning.  From the towers, they appear to be taken from opposite ends of the street.