Kenosha Then & Now

The one, the only... K-Town, USA
Home to so many of us and to
Miss America 2012,
Laura Kaeppeler


Mary D. Bradford High School as we remember it in 1978....

The former Kenosha Central High School, which was later named Bradford, looking southwest from the corner of 57th Street and Sheridan Road:

And looking at it northwest from the corner of 58th St. and Sheridan Road:

The annex was the original Kenosha High School built in 1890.  As the city grew, a new school was built across the street which was eventually named Mary D. Bradford High School, after the former superintendent of Kenosha schools in honor of her many accomplishments.

The annex was eventually razed in July, 1980; but, the 1890 date stone and builder's stone were saved, and made part of a bench that is located on the northeast corner of the block where the annex once stood.

Scoopin' the loop in downtown K-Town...

that is until the Southport Mall was put in... and then eventually taken out.

Bradford's former neighbor, the Kenosha Public Museum... 

is now the new Dinosaur Discovery Museum.

And who can forget Simmons Island?!

Or the former Dutch Maid diner?


Then there's the Gilbert M. Simmons Library and the Winged Victory Monument situated in Library Park...

 and fishing on the Harbor Lighthouse Pier.

Built in 1928, St. Catherine's Hospital is where many of us classmates were born.  The hospital has since moved to a new location on west Hwy. 50 and the building below was razed.  This site across the street from Pennoyer Park is now home to new luxury, lakeview apartments:  

The original Kenosha Hospital...

... and an artist's rendition of what it was envisioned to become:

On 56th Street looking west toward Sheridan Road.  Note the city's first, federal post office (on the left), which is currently the new Dinosaur Discovery Museum located on 10th Ave. and 56th Street.  In 1934, the 1,200 ton building was lifted and carefully scooted one block west from its original site on 56th Street and Sheridan Road (as seen below) to where it is now; and a much larger post office was built in its place:

Still on 56th Street, just facing the opposite direction now looking east with the old city hall on the right.  Note the smokestack of the former Simmons Company (known for their mattresses) in the distance.  The former Dutch Maid diner would be located half way up on the right:

Looking south toward the intersection of 59th Street and 6th Avenue, on the south end of downtown: 

Same intersection....  Let's hop on the trolley!

The former ritzy Hotel Dayton just to the east and across the street of the same intersection. 

The Kenosha Theatre located on 6th Avenue and 59th Street is still the Kenosha Theatre and is currently undergoing a restoration project.  In the photo below, the marquee announces, Bebe Daniels, in Swim, Girl, Swim....

The old Kenosha Lighthouse... which still stands today:

Sailing on Lake Michigan....

The Bain Wagon Company was one of the major employers of Kenosha's early settlers.  The Gilbert M. Simmons Library is pictured in the background:

Parades in Kenosha during the early part of the last century....


Note the former post office again in the distance on the left....

Below's a shot of the Simmons Company which eventually became the Amercian Motors lakefront plant:

Here's a great aerial shot of Simmons Island and the harbor area taken in the 1970s.  The former Simmons factory/AMC plant seen below (center-right) has now long since been demolished.  Simmons Island was also the location for early Indian settlement... and note the large ship in the harbor, a fairly common site as we were growing up.   

Can you spot our former high school?  How about Kenosha Hospital?  Lakeside Towers?  Or how about the future site of HarborPark, a now beautiful lakefront community?

The way that vast, vacant site that was once home to the Simmons/AMC factory now looks today as HarborPark with upsale condominiums.

Overlooking the shores of Lake Michigan...

this neighborhood is also home to the new Kenosha Public Museum...

and the Civil War Museum next door.

So, the next time you're in the downtown area, hop on the trolley!  It tours through this unique lakefront community, and goes right past all three museums and the former Bradford.

Hope you enjoyed your trip down memory lane.  Stop back again.