Burlington Historical Society Museum

Burlington Historical Society Museum The Burlington Historical Society of Burlington, Wisconsin, was established to collect and preserve historical records and artifacts.

Open House at Whitman School House The Whitman School House will be open to the public on Saturday, June 29th from 10 am...
06/24/2019

Open House at Whitman School House

The Whitman School House will be open to the public on Saturday, June 29th from 10 am - 2 pm.

The school house is located in Schmaling Park at Sheldon and Beloit Streets, Burlington, WI.

The Whitman School House was built in 1840 and served the Burlington community until 1856. Stop by to learn about this historic one-room schoolhouse!

TELEPHONE BOOTHS IN THE DOWNTOWN AREA"Please deposit twenty-five cents"How did Clark Kent change to Superman in one of t...
06/05/2019

TELEPHONE BOOTHS IN THE DOWNTOWN AREA
"Please deposit twenty-five cents"

How did Clark Kent change to Superman in one of these?

How many people can fit in a phone booth?

From Wikipedia - The Bell System pay phone took nickels (5¢), dimes (10¢), and quarters (25¢); a strip of metal along the top had holes the size of each coin. This made possible a mechanism causing each coin to make a different series of sounds as it fell into the cash box; thus an operator listening could tell how much had been inserted.

On average, pay phone calls generally cost 5¢ into the 1950s and 10¢ until the mid 1980s. Rates standardized at 25¢ during the mid 1980s to early 1990s. The Bell System was required to apply for increases through state public service commissions. Therefore, the actual increases took effect at different times in different locations.

A FLOOD FROM THE PASTIn our initial post we said:   Don't have a specific year on this series of slides taken by Raymond...
06/01/2019

A FLOOD FROM THE PAST
In our initial post we said: Don't have a specific year on this series of slides taken by Raymond Toelle and donated to the Society by Judith Schulz. But based on the buildings shown, they were taken after 1965.
Further research shows that these slides were taken in April 1973, probably on (or close to) Easter Sunday which, in 1973, fell on April 22. So kudos to those who provided, suggested, or guessed the correct year, month, and even day.

WHITMAN SCHOOL TO BE OPEN FOR VISITORS ON SATURDAY, MAY 25, FROM 10 AM UNTIL 2 PM     Whitman School, the Society’s on...
05/20/2019

WHITMAN SCHOOL TO BE OPEN FOR VISITORS ON SATURDAY, MAY 25, FROM 10 AM UNTIL 2 PM
Whitman School, the Society’s one room schoolhouse located in Schmaling Park at Beloit and Sheldon streets, will be open to the public from 10 AM to 2 PM on the last Saturday of each month from May thru September.
Experience the days gone by of a one room schoolhouse actually used in 1840 by Burlington area school children. Children can sit at a desk of long ago or try on a pinafore, vest, or bonnet worn by pioneer school children. How about writing on an individual slate board with chalk or counting the number of stars of the then current American Flag? Docents will take you back in history and share stories of the school day.
If you can't visit this coming Saturday, future open dates are June 29, July 27, August 31, and September 28. Group visits are also possible by appointment. New docents are always welcome to join us and share Burlington’s History! Call Julie O’Neill at 262-767-0143 for questions or to make an appointment.

St. Mary High School freshman initiation - 1954. Photos by Emmett Raettig.
05/18/2019

St. Mary High School freshman initiation - 1954. Photos by Emmett Raettig.

05/17/2019

Burlington studio of Racine radio station WRJN - This clip from the December 1940 movie shows activities at WRJN's Burlington studio. WRJN was owned by the Racine Journal-Times. The Burlington studio operated from 1937 through 1944, when it was discontinued because of war-time conditions. At the time of the movie, the studio was located on the second floor of the Voelz building at 523 (later 181 E.) Chestnut Street – now part of the Chase Bank building. Among those working at the station in December 1940 were Al B. Gale (the first speaker shown in the clip), Don Reed (the second speaker shown), and Bob Southey (shown in the background).

Two-Bit Car Wash - Len Kitkowski and Ken Johnson, co-owners, opened 2 Bit Car Wash at 356 S. Pine Street on August 1, 19...
05/13/2019

Two-Bit Car Wash - Len Kitkowski and Ken Johnson, co-owners, opened 2 Bit Car Wash at 356 S. Pine Street on August 1, 1966. Jack Kurtz bought the business from Len Kitkowski in July 1968 and renamed it Jack's Mr. Robot Car Wash. The accompanying article was published in the Pictorial News-Advertiser of June 21, 1966.

05/11/2019

Does anyone remember a tavern in Burlington that had a display of cribbage boards? Please let us know.

05/05/2019

BURLINGTON BRASS WORKS -
This clip from the December 1940 movie shows employees of the Burlington Brass Works. The firm started in 1902 when Burlington's Ole O. Storle developed an industrial steam valve and, with John Gill, built a small factory on Wilmot Avenue (now S. Pine Street). In 1906, C. B. McCanna and his son, C. Roy McCanna, bought the business; added products, such as the "Kant-Leak" valve for sink faucets; and started plating and polishing departments. In the 1920s, a new foundry was built to make bearings, hub caps, and other automobile parts. During war times, the company made shells, detonator parts, and engine bushings. Sold in 1975, the plant closed in phases in 1979.
The first person seen in the clip is George A. Harper.

Burlington Historical Society Museum
05/03/2019

Burlington Historical Society Museum

Volunteers Wanted
We are looking for docents to host visitors to the Log Cabin. The cabin is located in Wehmhoff Square. The cabin is open Thursdays 3pm-7pm and Saturdays 10am-2pm. Please contact the Historical Society if you are able to volunteer. (262) 767-2884

Volunteers WantedWe are looking for docents to host visitors to the Log Cabin. The cabin is located in Wehmhoff Square. ...
05/03/2019

Volunteers Wanted
We are looking for docents to host visitors to the Log Cabin. The cabin is located in Wehmhoff Square. The cabin is open Thursdays 3pm-7pm and Saturdays 10am-2pm. Please contact the Historical Society if you are able to volunteer. (262) 767-2884

ADDITIONAL 1954 MAY DAY, U. S. WAY PARADE PHOTOSThese photos were taken by Burlington resident Eugene "Gene" Weiss. They...
05/03/2019

ADDITIONAL 1954 MAY DAY, U. S. WAY PARADE PHOTOS
These photos were taken by Burlington resident Eugene "Gene" Weiss. They were donated to the Burlington Historical Society by his daughter Mary Weiss Vocelka.

Interesting.
05/02/2019

Interesting.

MAY DAY, U. S. WAY - May 1, 1954
65 years ago, Burlington was selected as the Nation's Model City for Americanism and, on May 1st, the City hosted an observance of American heritage and traditions in a day long program. A crowd estimated at up to 30,000 attended the festivities,
The day began with residents, guests, and visitors attending religious services at six city churches. The parade started at 10 a.m. and lasted for 3 hours as 61 floats, 25 bands, and 16 marching units passed the reviewing stand.
Following the parade more than 5,000 persons flocked to the Burlington High School Athletic Field (later named Dinty Moore Field) to hear talks by Wisconsin Senators Alexander Wiley and Joseph McCarthy.
Forty-five Burlington organizations worked together to stage the patriotic demonstration. Leading the effort were Burlington's Ross Wilcox American Legion Post and the Post's Auxiliary, together with the Wisconsin Department of the American Legion. Instrumental in the selection of Burlington as the model American city was a series of illustrated Americanism talks by Dr. Robert Spitzer. General chairman of the event was Robert Sullivan, Jr.

MAY DAY, U. S. WAY  -  May 1, 195465 years ago, Burlington was selected as the Nation's Model City for Americanism and, ...
05/02/2019

MAY DAY, U. S. WAY - May 1, 1954
65 years ago, Burlington was selected as the Nation's Model City for Americanism and, on May 1st, the City hosted an observance of American heritage and traditions in a day long program. A crowd estimated at up to 30,000 attended the festivities,
The day began with residents, guests, and visitors attending religious services at six city churches. The parade started at 10 a.m. and lasted for 3 hours as 61 floats, 25 bands, and 16 marching units passed the reviewing stand.
Following the parade more than 5,000 persons flocked to the Burlington High School Athletic Field (later named Dinty Moore Field) to hear talks by Wisconsin Senators Alexander Wiley and Joseph McCarthy.
Forty-five Burlington organizations worked together to stage the patriotic demonstration. Leading the effort were Burlington's Ross Wilcox American Legion Post and the Post's Auxiliary, together with the Wisconsin Department of the American Legion. Instrumental in the selection of Burlington as the model American city was a series of illustrated Americanism talks by Dr. Robert Spitzer. General chairman of the event was Robert Sullivan, Jr.

04/27/2019

CO-OP MEETING - This clip from the December 1940 movie shows the Consumers' Cooperative annual meeting at the Masonic temple. The Burlington Consumers Co-operative was organized and incorporated in 1937 - in the midst of the 1930s Depression - to handle petroleum products and put up a filling station. It later added a grocery store, a feed store, and a hardware store. At the 1940 meeting, officers elected were William Warren, president, Wesley Miller, vice-president, and Howard Peck, secretary-treasurer. A. Glenn Tomlinson was the local manager. Directors included Elmer Richter and Wesley Miller. Members at the 1940 meeting voted to double the capital stock to $30,000 due to their local stores' rapidly expanding business, which had increased during the previous year from $59,000 to $108,000.

Burlington Historical Society Museum
04/25/2019

Burlington Historical Society Museum

SOME BURLINGTON BEER BREWING HISTORY

SOME BURLINGTON BEER BREWING HISTORY
04/25/2019

SOME BURLINGTON BEER BREWING HISTORY

Burlington Historical Society Museum
04/20/2019

Burlington Historical Society Museum

A & W ROOT BEER STAND AT BROWN'S LAKE - Harry Kwenski of Racine started an A & W Curb Service Root Beer Stand on Highway 11 at Brown's Lake opposite Fischer Park in 1949. In June 1951 the stand was taken over by Edward P. Dunne of Two Rivers, who started a merit program rewarding youngsters for certain accomplishments. Dunne operated the stand until 1974, when he sold it to Mr. and Mrs. John Evancho.

Burlington Historical Society Museum
04/20/2019

Burlington Historical Society Museum

Root beers all around for a thirsty crew at Dunne's A & W stand across from Fischer Park. (1957 Emmett Raettig photo)

A & W ROOT BEER STAND AT BROWN'S LAKE - Harry Kwenski of Racine started an A & W Curb Service Root Beer Stand on  Highwa...
04/20/2019

A & W ROOT BEER STAND AT BROWN'S LAKE - Harry Kwenski of Racine started an A & W Curb Service Root Beer Stand on Highway 11 at Brown's Lake opposite Fischer Park in 1949. In June 1951 the stand was taken over by Edward P. Dunne of Two Rivers, who started a merit program rewarding youngsters for certain accomplishments. Dunne operated the stand until 1974, when he sold it to Mr. and Mrs. John Evancho.

04/13/2019
Burlington Police Department

BURLINGTON POLICE DEPARTMENT - This clip from the December 1940 movie, taken on the Jefferson Street side of the City Hall building, shows members of the Police Department. The Chief was Lawrence Grossman. The other officers, all World War I veterans, were George Rupert "Roy" McCourt, Everard J. "Abe" Alby, Arthur W. Rein, and Charles "Jim" Wilson. The two who stand near the car are Chief Grossman and Roy McCourt, who would become Chief in 1945.

The Whitman School House is ready for student visitors!
04/12/2019

The Whitman School House is ready for student visitors!

04/10/2019
Children at the Plaza Theatre

CHILDREN AT THE PLAZA THEATRE
This clip from the December 1940 movie takes place in the lobby of the Plaza Theatre. In its newspaper ads in early December, the Plaza invitedf parents to bring their children, up to 5 years old, to the theatre on Saturday morning, December 14, to be filmed. A few parents took advantage of the opportunity and some, but not all, of the children appeared to enjoy the attention.

THE CHICAGO PACKERS TRAINED IN BURLINGTONWith the Milwaukee Bucks heading into the National Basketball Association (NBA)...
04/09/2019

THE CHICAGO PACKERS TRAINED IN BURLINGTON
With the Milwaukee Bucks heading into the National Basketball Association (NBA) playoffs, some may remember that Burlington was once the site of an NBA team’s training camp. Today the team that trained in Burlington in September 1961 is known as the Washington Wizards, one of the 30 teams that make up the NBA.
When the franchise first started as an expansion team in the 1961-62 season, the team was known as the Chicago Packers. That was the team that trained at the Burlington High School gym from September 12 through September 28, 1961. The team stayed at Brown's Lake Resort.
The next season the team’s name changed to the Chicago Zephyrs. That team did not train in Burlington, but played an intra-squad game in the BHS gym on Saturday, September 22. After that season the team moved to Baltimore where, as the Bullets, it remained for 10 years before being moved to Washington, D. C., in 1973.
The 1961-62 Chicago Packers players included Walt Bellamy (who was named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year), George Bon Salle, Barney Cable, Howie Carl, Ralph Davis, Archie Dees, Joe Graboski, Sihugo Green, Vern Hatton, Andy Johnson, York Larese, Bobby “Slick” Leonard, Dave Piontek, Woody Sauldsberry, Jack Turner, Charlie Tyra, and Horace Walker. The coach was Jim Pollard.

BHS MEMORIES  -  KANDY KIDSThe Kandy Kids Korporation was started at Burlington High School in 1926, with its proceeds u...
04/06/2019

BHS MEMORIES - KANDY KIDS
The Kandy Kids Korporation was started at Burlington High School in 1926, with its proceeds used to help fund the student newspaper, "The Crier." In the 1950s, students in the Business Club opened the "store" during the lunch hour. In 1954 part of the proceeds were used to help purchase an electric organ for the auditorium. The photos here were taken in 1955 and come from Elmer Ebert's Free Press collection.

MORE LINCOLN SCHOOL MEMORIES
04/05/2019

MORE LINCOLN SCHOOL MEMORIES

THE PLAYGROUND - MEMORIES OF LINCOLN SCHOOL
04/04/2019

THE PLAYGROUND - MEMORIES OF LINCOLN SCHOOL

04/04/2019

Lincoln Statue - This clip from the December 1940 movie shows Burlington's Lincoln Statue. The first man who approaches and stands by the statue is Mayor Harold J. "Hap" Runkel, who served three terms as mayor from April 1938 through April 1944. The second man who joins Runkel is thought to be Alderman Clifford O. Moe.

04/04/2019

Lincoln School - This clip from the December 1940 movie shows the west, or Dyer Street (now Kane St.), side of the school. The school's enrollment at the beginning of 1940-41 school year was 65. Teachers were Judith Jochimsen, kindergarten; Grace Asby and Martha Rohr, 1st grade; and Alice Glaser and Alice Forsjord, 2nd grade.

03/30/2019

KIWANIS CLUB - This segment of the December 1940 movie features the Kiwanis Club, which met Monday evenings at the Hotel Burlington. The club had elected its new officers less than a month earlier. Lawrence Murphy succeeded Paul Wagner as president of the group, while William Walsh was vice-president, and Jim Mangold, treasurer. Board members were Ray Schutt, John Vogelsang, and Harry J. O'Haire. Other Kiwanis members seen in the film include Dr. Ralph Schneider, Henry Heidermann, Bill Liggett, and Gilmore Gulbranson. The Kiwanis Club's Burlington chapter was begun in 1937. An earlier Kiwanis chapter, organized in 1928, had disbanded in early 1936.

THE HOUSE ON THE CORNER OF AMANDA AND CONKEY (241 and 249 Amanda)Photos 1 and 2, taken in July 1868 from the malt house ...
03/29/2019

THE HOUSE ON THE CORNER OF AMANDA AND CONKEY (241 and 249 Amanda)
Photos 1 and 2, taken in July 1868 from the malt house on the east side of Fox river, show the building on the corner of Amanda and Conkey streets without a roof, indicating that it was being built at that time. Photo 3 shows the house in 1997. Photo 4 shows the back of the house about 1905. The original Conkey Street (Cooper) school is at the left in photo 4. The house and school can also be seen in the postcard photo heading our page.

THE NEWELL BARN - THE HAYLOFTERS FIRST HOMEThe Burlington Drama Club, later called the Haylofters, was organized in Dece...
03/27/2019

THE NEWELL BARN - THE HAYLOFTERS FIRST HOME
The Burlington Drama Club, later called the Haylofters, was organized in December 1932 with Stanley Jung, president; Ruth Darling, vice president; and Russell Wilson, secretary and treasurer. Burlington High School teacher Katherine Alvord was chosen as director. In January 1933 the group met at Nettie Karcher's law office on Pine Street. The next meeting was held at the Howard and Edith (Brook) Newell home on the corner of Pine and State streets where the Post Office now sits. In April 1933 the club fitted up a rehearsal room on the top floor of the Newell’s garage, formerly a barn and stable, which sat near the corner of Dodge and State streets. In March 1934 the Burlington Drama Club chose "Haylofters" as its new name. The Newell barn is shown in the accompanying photos. The property is now the Post Office's parking lot.

A display of advertisements from 105 years ago in the 1914 BURLINGTON DIRECTORY, together with the Burlington, Rochester...
03/26/2019

A display of advertisements from 105 years ago in the 1914 BURLINGTON DIRECTORY, together with the Burlington, Rochester, and Waterford Business Directories. How many businesses still exist? What types of businesses have disappeared?

More of the 1897 paradeThis crop is from an Al-Vista photo taken on Chestnut Street and looking toward Geneva Street (no...
03/25/2019

More of the 1897 parade
This crop is from an Al-Vista photo taken on Chestnut Street and looking toward Geneva Street (now Milwaukee Avenue). It was taken the same day as the photo in the preceding post. The buildings are still recognizable today. For a collection of Al-Vista photos taken in Burlington and elsewhere, visit our website at burlingtonhistory.org. Click on Galleries and select Al-Vista Camera Panoramic Photos in the drop-down menu.

Downtown Parade - 1897School children, many carrying U.S. flags and most in their "Sunday best" and wearing hats (or cap...
03/25/2019

Downtown Parade - 1897
School children, many carrying U.S. flags and most in their "Sunday best" and wearing hats (or caps), parade east on Chestnut Street going toward Pine Street in this crop from an 1897 Al-Vista panoramic photo. The brick buildings on the left - then occupied by the Post Office and Denniston and Reinardy's Union Drug Store - still sit in the same locations. The wooden buildings on the right - Stang Bros. shoe and boot store and Nic Gill's Sample Room - were later replaced by brick buildings. Notice the dirt street and the raised wooden sidewalks.

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232 N Perkins Blvd
Burlington, WI
53105-1927

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