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Update: Tour of Downtown

Jan 14, 2013 11:28AM ● Published by Emma Dittmann

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By: Kathy Dittmann

Chuck Oestriech’s childhood memories of his walk home from school were shared in our November-December 2012 issue, inviting readers to identify 23 places recalled from his journey through Beaver Dam’s bustling holiday downtown.   

Rita Kleindl was the first to respond.  Les Zieske’s list arrived later that same day, and Del Guenther’s arrived the very next day.  Bob and Jane Bortz mailed their answers along with a thank you note to Chuck for writing the article, and Kathy Birkholz (Trapp) was next in with “a little extra help from the Sesquicentennial book of 1991.”  Marge (Marjorie) Schmidt mailed her response early in December and an additional anonymous submission arrived about one week later.  Thank you all.

Included in this followup are a few photos we were able to find at the Dodge County Historical Society - Enjoy ...

The 1943 Beaver Dam City Directory and a 1945 Beaver Dam Telephone Directory verify the following:   

1) Blacksmith shop - Ben Neis Blacksmith, 407 South Spring Street.

2) Candy, ice cream and tobacco shop - Jack Liebig’s Sweet Shop, 232 South Spring Street.

3) Bakery - Bilitz Bakery, 224 South Spring Street.   

4) All-purpose clothing and furniture - Nashban’s, 218 South Spring Street. 

5) Shoe repair shop - Retichek Shoe Repair, 136 South Spring Street.   

6) Department store - Drennan’s, 116-118 South Spring Street. 

7) Library - Williams Free Library  

8) Five and dime - F.W. Woolworth; however, the 1945 phonebook lists 128 Front Street for Woolworth’s.  Their move to this corner in 1950 is noted in Sesquicentennial History.  Lehmann’s Restaurant was here at 100 Park Avenue in 1945.              

9) Corner popcorn stand - The Spot, 102 North Spring Street.  William Straks was proprietor and operator of this popcorn stand per the 1943 city directory.  Not certain what year the business became the Zamzow Popcorn Shop.

10) Pool hall - Lawrence & Daniel Cigar Store, 103 Front Street. 

11) Drug store - Langmack Drug Store, 104 Front Street.


12) Box-of-chocolates store - Trojan Candy Company, 112 Front Street.

13) Larger drug store - Ford Hopkins, 120 Front Street.

14) Men’s clothing store - Carl Koch & Co., 124 Front Street.

15) Dad’s studio - Beaver Studio, Les Oestreich proprietor, 126-1/2 Front Street. 

16) Loan company - Beaver Dam Finance Company, 126-1/2 Front Street.

17) Medical office - Chiropodist Dr Lechner, 124-1/2 Front Street and dentist Dr Ritsch, 125-1/2 Front Street.    

18) Dime store - Schultz Bros., 126 Front Street. 

19) Movie theater - Odeon Theatre, 148 Front Street.

20) Newspaper shack - Milwaukee Journal Agency, 107 North Center Street. 

21) Hardware store - Volkmann Hardware, 126 North Spring Street.


22) Catholic church - St. Patrick’s Church, 127 West Maple Avenue. 

23) Gas stations - Jeske’s Cities Service Station, 201 North Center Street; Bilke’s Standard Station, 300 North Center Street; and Roedl’s Shell Petroleum Station, 301 North Center Street.

In case you missed it - here is a link to the original story by Chuck Oestreich:

Local History, Community history business january february 2013

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