Sunday, December 11, 2016

Santa takes antique fire truck for a spin

Santa rides through town on the Cuba City Fire Department's 1936 Ford pump truck at the Christmas Glow parade.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Early Main Street scene

An early view of Main Street, taken from the Webster Street intersection, looking north. This image is from an old postcard, postmarked 1914.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Break time at the Northwestern Hotel

Taking a break from work at the Northwestern Hotel in Cuba City, 1940s. The hotel was located on the corner of Main and Webster, where Mound City Bank is today.

These lovely ladies have been identified as Mrs. Lee, Mrs. Clyde Banfield (who ran the Northwestern Hotel), Ilene (Richardson) Holt, Ione (Hoff) Hoyt, Bernice Opbroek, and Delores (Holt) Lowery.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Conlon Construction's roots

Conlon Construction got its start in Cuba City with founder R.F. Conlon. This advertisement includes an image of Conlon paving Cuba City's Main Street in 1915.

The advertisement is from the Dubuque Telegraph Herald's three-volume history of the tri-states, prepared for the U.S. Bicentennial in 1976.

Donohoo's advertisement, ca. 1976

Advertisement from the Dubuque Telegraph Herald's three-volume history of the tri-states, prepared for the U.S. Bicentennial in 1976.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Cuba City's Ark

Advertising pieces such as these occasionally appear at local auctions or antique stores, but it is more difficult to find information about this business.

I have heard suggestions that The Ark was an arcade. A 1913-1914 business directory may also provide a clue. Ark Co. is listed as a general store, owned by G. C. Longendyke. Mr. Longendyke arrived in Cuba City in 1895 and owned several different businesses on Main Street.

Polk's Wisconsin State Gazetteer and Business Directory, 1913-1914.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

First National Bank draft

This note sent on First National Bank letterhead accompanied a draft for $150 sent by Wilhelm Busch of Cuba City to his son Ferdinand in North Dakota. The bank's cashier, Matt Hendricks, wrote the note, probably in 1905 or 1906. Others associated with the bank are also listed on the letterhead: William Thomas, President; Henry J. Kettler, Vice President; and W.H. Thomas, Assistant Cashier.

This letter is courtesy of Ferdinand Busch's grandson, Dick Bernard, and was published along with several letters and postcards received by Ferdinand and Rosa Busch after they moved from Wisconsin to North Dakota in 1905.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

"So neat and pretty"

This postcard was sent in March 1916 by a woman named Ruby after she visited Cuba City. Ruby writes:

"Went to Cuba City for a few days. This is a picture of a part of the town. It is a small place but it is so neat and pretty."

The photo is an aerial view of the corner of North Madison Street and Lafayette Street, facing northeast. The brick home belonged to George and Theresa Vosberg and was built around 1908. The first portions of Main Street were paved in 1915, and evidence of this work continuing can be seen behind the Vosberg house.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Sisson's Summer Resort

This image comes from an early 1900s postcard, published by Henry D. Kivlihan of Cuba City, Wisconsin. Unfortunately, I have no other information about this "resort" or its location. According to the 1907-1908 Polk directory for Wisconsin, a Charles Sisson, feed mill owner, and a Mrs. L.W. Sisson, hotel owner, both lived in Jamestown, Grant County, at this time.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Otto Udelhofen

Otto Udelhofen was a long-time barber in Cuba City. Below is a nice write-up from Cuba City's centennial history, published in 1975:

"Otto came here from Potosi in 1904 and worked in the Udelhoven shop until he bought it in 1914. He operated it until his death in 1954. The shop became an institution on Main Street. If there was such a thing here, it was a Forum. Weighty political, economic and sporting questions were discussed here. Otto was an avid hunter and fisherman and some record fish were caught in the shop on many a Saturday night. Otto was popular with children and he returned the favor by being generous to them. His shop was a three chair institution and he employed and trained numbers of apprentices. The shop is remembered fondly by many men."

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Cuba City Creamery

Cuba City's centennial history, written in 1975, has a short paragraph on the Cuba City Creamery:
"According to the 'oldest residents' the first creamery here was started by R. A. Wilson & Co. in the early '90s. It was later leased to the Elgin Creamery Co. and later changed hands a number of times, with a Mr. Chandler and Fred Maso operating it in turn before Henry Ipsen took it over in 1919. He operated it until retiring and it has since been carried on by his sons, Hank and Paul."
A quick Google search turns up some old directories and reports, like this one from the Wisconsin Dairy and Food Commission in 1905. It lists the Cuba City Creamery's manager at the time, R. B. Lucky, and records the names of local dairy farmers using the creamery.

Fun Fact: Before there was the Cuba City Creamery, there was the Cuba City Butter and Cheese Co., according to an 1896 directory.