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1897 Plat of Concordia

 
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roger.pape
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:31 pm    Post subject: 1897 Plat of Concordia Reply with quote

Another plat map overlay has been added on the Maps page, namely the 1897 Plat of the City of Concordia. You can view it by selecting the third entry in the 'Select map to overlay' pull-down list and zooming in on the streets of Concordia to see the detail.

It shows the location of some of the old businesses in Concordia at that time. For example, the Bosselmann brick and tile works was located just north of Conrad (4th Street) off Gordon St. The old Concordia Canning Co. can be found at the corner of West and Henry (6th) Streets with a railroad spur running to it. (There was a good article about it in a 1998 issue of The Concordian. See the old photo from that article below.) Did you know that there was a lumber yard where St. Paul's Elementary School now stands?

I must thank my sister Mary for saving some of those articles. As noted before, hopefully someone has or will assemble them in a booklet.



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 8:12 pm    Post subject: Touring 1897 Concordia Reply with quote

The 1897 plat map for the town of Concordia (just 20 years after the town was incorporated) provides a glimpse into its history. I got interested in seeing how many of the buildings and landmarks on it I could identify. Were there still traces of them when I was growing up? You might try this exercise yourself. To get a good view of the map, go to the Maps page, select the 1897 Concordia map, and move the transparency slider in the upper right of the window all the way to the right. You can always back off on the intensity of that map to see what is there now. Voightís centennial history, Nora Hartwigís recollections, and Youngís 1910 History of Lafayette County are good references for some the businesses and other places of that era.

Moving down the map from the north, the first recognizable building is the creamery in lot 12 of the 200 block west of Schiller (Main) St. just south of Garfield (2nd ) St. That was the original creamery building, constructed in 1892 the year after the creamery was organized. It was not the brick building with its familiar lattice-decorated drive-through front porch that many of us remember. There is a good article about the earlier building in the Oct. 21, 1998 issue of The Concordian compiled by Mel Bokelman from notes by Edward Stuenkel. The buttermaking process was a lot different than I remember. The pond used for ice can be seen just south of the building, but I donít recognize the ice house Ed referred to. The pond seems a bit small to produce much ice. There was another pond in that area, just behind the cheese plant. It was the remnants of the swimming pool that Henry Meyer built there. The house on the corner of the alleyway and Lincoln (3rd) St. was still standing when I was a youngster. I used to peek into the garage behind it to look at the old Essex car stored there.

Moving across Main St. one can see that the only two buildings on the St. Paulís College campus at that time were the 1884 building and the adjoining building (built in 1890). Founders Hall (as they were later called) was still in use when I attended St. Paulís. In one room we had our typing classes under Prof. Otto and the choir and band practice rooms were also there. The upper floors were the residences of the Junior College students. They were sturdy old buildings but they unfortunately burned down in a fire during the 1950s. Iím not sure which houses around it were homes of the professors.

Farther south, I have already noted the Bosselmann brick and tile works at Gordon and Conrad (4th) St in the posting above. I remember that location well because our family had a small pasture there where we kept our cow. The only remnant of the building was a big concrete pedestal for the steam engine that ran the plant. There was also a large pit from which the clay was dug. We would sled down into it during the winter and fly our kites there in the spring. One of our favorite tricks was to build a mechanism that hung on the kite line to guide a small parachute. It would trip on a knot near the top and we would chase the parachute as it floated down trying to catch it before it landed. I showed that trick to my kids and hope they pass it on to the next generation.

Moving down Main St. to the 400 block, you will note that St. Paulís Church building had not been built yet. (That was started in 1904.) Across the street, the building labeled as a ďpublicĒ school was the churchís Wilk School, built in 1887. Iím still surprised that there was a lumber yard just north of it since Iíve never seen any reference to that business. Moving over to Bismark St. and beyond, you will see a lot of land owned by J. W. Thomas. Not only did he own 40 acres on the northwest side of Concordia, he owned much of the block on the west side of Bismark and lived in the house at the corner (where the Ohrenbergs lived when I was growing up). My father bought a lot on the north end of that property and built our home there. My mother said that, being a young bride at the time, she was always leery of lecherous Old Man Thomas when they first moved there.

The business section of Concordia began in the 500 block of Main St. The bank on the west side of the street became Gieseckeís Market, right next to the Favorite Cafť building. As a youngster, I can remember the bank vault in the rear being used as a meat locker. Was this the bank that was robbed by the gang of outlaws in 1878 or was it the bank several blocks south of it? Which was the Farmers Bank and which was the Savings Bank? Several doors south stood William Dekeís Central Hotel. I donít know when it was torn down but there was a vacant lot (between Favorite Cafť and Frerking & Voightís store) later. It was a croquet court for a while when I was very young. A number of other businesses in that block are not identified on the map. One of them must have been the harness shop operated by August E. Bruns. Was that the same building that became Concordia Harness and Shoe Shop?

On the west end of Henry (6th) St. was the Concordia Canning Co. That business was also noted in the posting above. I remember Les Mahnken operating a garage on that corner in the late 1940ís. I would watch him overhaul the engine of the lumber yardís old Ford truck there.

Next is the land along the railroad tracks. The MoPac depot is in its familiar spot. The stockyards were located where Farmers Co-op later expanded. The old post office stood just south of the tracks along the east side of Main St. There is a good picture of it on the cover of the second volume of Nora Hartwigís recollections. Note that at that time the fire station stood across the street where Central Park is now. Later, it was moved next to the post office. By the 1940ís these buildings were torn down and the property was vacant for some time until the garment factory was built there.

Starting on the east end of the 700 block, note that the church on the corner of Caroline (7th) and Orange St. where the current post office now stands was a Lutheran church at that time. It was a short-lived Iowa Synod congregation. In 1901, it was purchased by the Catholic Church and used by them for a short while. The church building had been vacant for a long time when I was growing up until Red Hewitt finally had it torn down. Iím not sure which bank that was on Main St. (That may have been the Savings Bank that was robbed.) The hotel on the west side of Main was the Commercial Hotel. According to Nora Hartwig, it was a brick building with a balcony in front. The Concordia Municipal Band would sit there and play during Street Fair as the horses and cattle were shown on the street. Later it became a meat market and eventually Alewelís Market.

At the corner of Boggs (8th) and Gordon St. stands the Evangelical Church, built in 1884, with the clock in its steeple that regularly tolled the hour for many years. I didnít realize that the church had a school across the street. On the west side of Bismark was Henry Baeplerís flour mill. A picture of it (the Concordia Roller Mills) is posted below. Harry Voightís centennial history of Concordia indicates that it was on Orange St. but I am fairly certain that this was it since the land is identified as belonging to H. Baepler and there is no mill shown on Orange St. The picture of the ice harvest on the pond (in the previous posting) was taken from behind the mill looking northwest toward the cannery. John S. Klingenbergís elevator, which was a little farther north, must have been built later. If I remember correctly, the pond was still there in the 1940s. I remember playing hockey on a pond in the area with my brother and others when we visited the Bergmanns and Hartwigs across the street from it. The box factory was eventually built on the northwest corner of that block.

Traveling down Main St. to the 800 block, we see Henry Franzís livery stable and George Duensingís lumber yard next to it. Those buildings stood there until the fire of 1949. City Hall was located on Gordon St. where the public school expanded later. The site was a city park and the city jail was in City Hall (Voightís history). According to Youngís history, the school building shown on the map was a brick building built in 1874. The Baptist Church was built in 1873 on the lot just south of the school.

The Methodist Church can be seen in the 900 block on Orange St. Based on Voightís history, this must have been the congregationís second building. The church I remember was built in 1903.

Many of the other buildings and homes are not identified on this map other than on the periphery where the lots were larger. If you see any other interesting property, add a reply to this posting.



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:09 pm    Post subject: Kite parachute release Reply with quote

After mentioning the mechanism for releasing a parachute from a kite in the posting above, I got to thinking that it might be nice to show a diagram of what it looked like. So I began trolling the Web to see if I could find a description of a similar device. Surely someone else has built something like that and written it up.

To my amazement, there have been scores of patents filed for just such a device. Some people take kite flying very seriously. Itís surprising that patents continue to be granted for so many similar designs. Some of the devices are unduly complicated, such as a 1940 filing or a 1964 filing. One of the cleaner designs was a 1976 filing.

Finally, I came across a 1903 patent. That was very similar to the design we used. Our gizmos used a light block of wood and some staples in place of part of the wire frame requiring less wire bending but, otherwise it was almost identical in concept.

Next time your kids are flying a kite, why donít you help them make a device similar to the 1903 version. (The patent has obviously expired.) Itís a lot of fun.

(Note. Click on the dates above to link to the patent descriptions.)


Last edited by roger.pape on Sun Feb 07, 2010 1:01 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 7:43 pm    Post subject: Playing hockey Reply with quote

Playing hockey outdoors is a current fad for some professional hockey teams. Actually, it appeals to the nostalgia for old-time pond hockey. In another part of the earlier posting above, I talked about playing hockey during the colder parts of the Concordia winters. Some who are my age or a little older probably remember the hockey matches on the old abandoned swimming pool/pond behind the creamery. A good crowd would gather there when the ice was thick enough to be safe for a game.

Sometimes the ice was not that safe. One time I broke through the ice and fell into the pond up to my bomber helmet. Fortunately, Bob Lange was standing close by. He reached out, grabbed my arm, and pulled me out just before I slipped under the ice. They ushered me into the creamery office next to a pot-bellied stove that was fired up there during the winter. After warming up and drying off, I went home to be severely reprimanded by my mother. I donít think I every played hockey again until years later with my kids.

After that incident, the Boy Scout safety and survival training classes had a little more meaning.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 8:04 am    Post subject: Downloading plat maps Reply with quote

The plat map overlays on the Maps page of the website can be downloaded using the links found on the Sources page. Just click on the underlined link for the map.

The files are in GeoTiff format. They include additional data in the file header so that they can be located and scaled properly in a mapping program like Google Maps or other GIS applications. This added information is transparent to most image processing programs. So you should be able to view and/or print the maps using your favorite photo program.
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