Historic map of Racine, Wisconsin, published by J. J. Stoner in 1883, reprint. This map was published the same year that the Belle City Street Railway Co. began operating Racine's first street railway system. Inset illustrations around the margins of the map include the following sites:
HORLICK'S FOOD CO.
J. MILLER & CO.
HURLBUT MANUFACTURING CO.
JOHNSON & FIELD.
M. M. SECOR.
S. FREEMAN & SONS.
FIXEN & HANSING (DRY GOODS & CARPETS).
THE ELKINS JEWELRY STORE (DIAMONDS, WATCHES, PIANOS & ORGANS).
RACINE WAGON & CARRIAGE CO.
RACINE HARDWARE MFG. CO.
ADVOCATE BUILDING, E. H. SANDFORD, PROPRIETOR, A. S. SANDFORD, MANAGER.
THE LATHROP BUILDING.
SOUTH END OF CITY.
There is also an illustration above the title that provides a "View of Racine taken in 1841 from the corner of 7th and Main Streets". This illustration has some crease and fold damage, but retains its charm.
Features numbered & lettered references to the following locations:
1. Racine College.
2. County Court House.
3. The Blake Opera House and Hotel.
4. Turners Hall.
5. Dania Hall.
6. Post Office.
7. Racine Academy.
8. High School.
9. Ward Schools.
10. St. Catherine's Convent.
12. St. Luke's Hospital.
13. Taylor Orphan Asylum.
14. The J. I. Case Driving Park and Stables.
15. Huggins' House.
16. Commercial House.
17. Kostermann House.
A. Baptist Churches.
B. Danish Baptist Churches.
C. German Baptist Churches.
D. Calvinist (Welsh) Church.
19. Racine Hardware Manufacturing Co.
20. Racine Wagon and Carriage Co.
21. Hurlbut Manufacturing Co.
22. J. Miller & Co., Boot and Shoe Manufactory.
23. M. M. Secor, Trunks and Traveling Bag Manufactory.
24. S. Freeman & Sons, Founders and Boiler Makers.
25 Johnson & Field, Fanning Mills and Separators.
26. Horlick Food Co.
27. The J. I. Case Threshing Machine Co.
28. The J. I. Case Plow Co.
29. The Blake, Beebe Fanning Mill Co.
30. Mitchell, Lewis & Co., Wagons and Carriage Manufactory.
31. Fish Bros. & Co., Wagon Manufactory.
32. Racine Basket Manufacturing Co.
33. Belle City Manufacturing Co.
34. The E. P. Dickey Racine Fanning Mills Manufactory.
35. Racine Cement and Pipe Co.
36. Racine Refrigerator Co.
37. Racine Twine and Cordage Co.
38. C. Altringer, Excelsior Fanning Mill Manufactory.
39. The Winship Manufacturing Co.
40. The Racine Piano Co.
41. W. T. Emerson, Linseed Oil Manufactory.
42. C. B. Herrick & Co., Machine Shop.
43. C. Goehner, Wire Manufactory.
44. L. W. Philbrook & Co., Boot and Shoe Pac Manufactory.
45. The Star Flouring Mills.
46. T. Driver & Sons, Sash, Door and Blind Manufactory.
47. Stecher, Weber & Co., Lumber Manufacturers.
48. Jens Jensen, Malleable Iron and Wagon Hardware.
49. A. McAvoy, Carriage Manufactory.
50. C. M. & St. P. R. R. Shops.
51. Kelly, Weeks & Co., Lumber Dealers.
E. Catholic Church.
F. Congregational Church.
G. Congregational (Welch) Church.
H. Episcopal Church.
I. German Evangelical Churches.
K. Lutheran (Danish) Church.
L. Lutheran (German) Church.
M. Lutheran (Scandinavian) Church.
N. Methodist Episcopal Church.
O. Methodist (Scandinavian) Church.
P. Presbyterian Church.
R. Universalist Church.
S. First National Bank.
T. Manufacturers Bank.
U. Union Bank.
U. The Daily News.
T. The Daily Journal.
V. The Advocate Building.
W. The Lathrop Building.
X. Fixen & Hansing.
Y. The Elkins Jewelry Store.
52. M. J. Kelly, Lumber Dealer.
53. M. E. Tremble, Lumber Dealer.
54. Jones, Knapp & Co., Lumber Dealers.
55. A. L. Parker, Lumber Dealer.
56. Wheat & Pugh, Wood and Coal Dealers.
57. The Goodrich Transportation Co.
58. H. Guenther & Sons, Machinists.
59. Racine Agricultural Works.
60. C. Klinkert's Brewery.
61. Weber's Brewery.
62. L. W. Philbrook & Co., Tannery.
63. J. Kewath & Sons, Tannery.
64. F. Plattz & Sons, Tannery.
65. Fosterin & Lee Ray, Fanning Mill Manufactory.
66. Racine Gas Co.'s Works.
67. Racine Woolen Mills.
Following is an article titled . The article appeared in the Racine Journal in 1911, written by pioneer resident, N. T. Kelly and recalls his experiences growing up in Racine. Not included with map."PIONEER DAYS AS RELATED BY A PIONEER"
Thinking that a reminiscence of Racine and vicinity might be of interest to the present and rising generation, the writer who first saw Wisconsin in 1841, proposes to relate a few of his recollections of those early times. Memory, faithful to her trust calls up from the misty past scenes that have long been buried in oblivion, faces and forms that have passed to the great beyond once more seem to be with us, but only for a moment. As we turn from our reverie to the realities of life they vanish and we realize that we are living in the winter of our life and many, yes the most of those companions of our younger days have long departed. Our memory of those days is not embittered with the trials and tribulations that most pioneers are supposed to encounter when settling a new country. But on the contrary pleasant memories come up to us from those childhood days. Thoughts of flowery landscapes, singing birds and forests teeming with luscious wild plums and berries and the prairies also with their wild strawberries and many other attractions. Geese, ducks and water fowl of many kinds were here by the thousand, also prairie hens, quail, partridge. And millions of the passenger pigeons so plenty in flight as to almost darken the sun are now extinct so say our government experts. There are many, yes, very many of our wild fowl birds of beautiful plumage and sweet song also extinct, through the lawless greed and destructive propensities of the pot hunter and the self-styled sportsman more properly named game butchers. Deer were plenty and now and then a bear with wild cat or panther thrown in to make it interesting for the hunter.
CAME HERE IN 1841.
In 1841, my father sold his farm, hotel, etc., in Senica county New York and moved by the way of the lakes to Racine, Wis. We took the steamer Cherikee, commanded by Capt. Clark, at Buffalo and when we arrived at Racine a lighter came out to us and took off freight and passengers as there were no harbor or pier at that time. There were no railroads and people came by boat or teams. There were only ten buildings in Racine at this time. The principal ones were the court house and Racine House. A man by the name of Kelup was proprietor of the Racine House. This was located on the north west corner of what is now monument square. The other buildings were near the old lighthouse near seventh street. The ground on which they stood has long since gone in the lake. Root River emptied in the lake a long way south of its present mouth. The ground now occupied by the J. I. Case works was a forest and the Junction was a black ash swamp. At the Rapids there was a grist mill and saw mill; there was also a mill a little south of there and a small lime kiln at both places. The mill at the Rapids was owned by two brothers by the name of Titus. My father bought a farm 8 miles west of Racine near what is now Franksville. He put up a house that summer and moved his family in and commenced farming.
FARM ON EDGE OF FOREST.
Our farm was on the edge of a vast forest on the north, and on an extensive prairie on the south. There were a few scattering burr oaks on our land, but it was not very hard to clear and plow, so we raised a few crops and got along comfortably. But I think the winters were colder in those days and more snow than at present, sleighing being good the most of the winter. We could not see a house or fence in any direction, although we could see for many miles to the south and east of us at Skink's Grove. On Hood's Creek one and one-half miles from us was an Indian trading post kept by a Frenchman by the name of Jambo, but the Indians were removed the year before and a man by the name of Reynolds had a farm there and he and his family occupied a comfortable home. To the southwest of us a little over a mile, Capt. Parker, an old sea captain, had a farm and good house, and quite a large family. He was a Scotchman by birth, a good friend and neighbor. Our nearest neighbor a man by the name of Quimby, lived in the forest about a mile north of us. My father was elected Justice of the Peace for the town of Caledonia and did quite a large amount of law business as he was the only Justice in Many miles of us; this was in 1843. Settlers at this time were coming in quite fast and the government land was mostly taken. Buildings were being erected and fences built and it looked more homelike.
FARMERS USED OXEN.
Many farmers used oxen as horses were not plenty and the roads very poor. Wheat was the principal product, and farmers hauled grain forty and fifty miles west of us to Racine. People in those early days were more sociable and kind to each other than at present, there was no dividing line, all were equal and at their social gatherings and parties there was no one that received more attention than another.
Churches, there were none in the country, and but few schools. The first school I attended was in a log house with a desk running around on three sides of the room and the scholars sat with their backs to the teacher. The seats were slabs with holes bored in them and legs inserted. Our teacher was a young lade who gave us good instructions and kept good order. A few years after there was a school at Hood's Creek and one at the west of us, each about a mile and half distant. I sometimes attended one and sometimes the other. Religious meetings were held in schoolhouses and sometimes in farm residences. Methodists and other ministers traveled usually on horseback or afoot. Settlers were not as a rule possessed with much worldly wealth, but all were as happy as most people at the present time and perhaps as a rule more so. From my experience of many years I am convinced that wealth does not as a rule bring happiness, but oftener trouble. In these early days the lumber wagon was the only vehicle and was used at marriages or funerals. They were often drawn by oxen. At a funeral the body was conveyed in one of these wagons without springs, and at a wedding the bride and groom often journeyed in a wagon sitting on a board across the box with no springs. A quilt or buffalo robe was folded and answered for a cushion.
TAVERNS WERE NUMEROUS.
On all roads leading out through the country every few miles there was a hotel or at that time called a tavern, and the most of them did a good business, as all travel was by teams. The frame work of all buildings in those days was made of heavy timber hewed from oak trees and whenever a house or barn was to be erected, neighbors from far and near were asked to the raising. It was usually considered a day of jollification. Liquor was always provided, but as a rule no one got intoxicated, for whiskey in those days was but from 12 to 15 cents a gallon, and every one usually had it at their homes, there were no saloons.
Liquor was sold by the drink in the taverns and by wholesale in the grocery store. It was pure and did not produce a craving appetite that the present fire and brimstone variety establishes in the human stomach. The early settlers of Wisconsin were not of the New England Puritan class, but were at the same time sober, upright citizens that believed in doing right for right's sake and were always ready to help each other.
People were usually healthy - malaria was the main sickness. There was a section in Wisconsin, I am not sure where, but it might have been Racine county, that an eastern physician came out to open up a practice, but it is said that he starved to death and they used his body to start a grave yard. I will not however vouch for this. On the prairies to the south and east of us there were many ponds and they produced mosquitoes that made life a burden during the warm nights of summer. It was the same in the timber land, people would build large fires to drive them away. Window or door screens were unknown, but as the pests only troubled at night we did not allow them to disturb our peace of mind. The only light in our homes was the tallow candle, generally home made. Our cook stoves were rather crude affairs and we had no heaters.
Our homes were not warm in winter as the buildings were a frame covered with siding and lathe and plastered on the inside. The upper rooms were seldom plastered and for many years I slept in an upper room without plastered walls and no stove. The snow would often blow in on my bed, but I was healthy and strong. Men wore no overcoats or under clothing. Boots were the usual footwear. Well, times have changed.
- Mr. N. T. Kelly