410 South Third Street    River Falls, WI 54022 715/425-3567 archives@uwrf.edu




Shops between Elm & Maple Streets, 1889

Shops between Elm & Maple Streets, 1889




Traveling by carriage on Main Street, ca. 1900.

Two couples traveling by carriage, ca. 1900



Main Street, River Falls. Lunds Co., ca. 1900

A. W. Lunds (ca. 1900) opened in 1873 selling harnesses, wagons, and carriages on the corner of Main and Walnut Streets




Parade marching down Main Street River Falls, ca. 1915
Parade, 1917

Main Street, USA
Downtown River Falls: Online Exhibit

Main Street, River Falls, ca. 1870 (west side of Main Street facing south)
Main Street, River Falls, ca. 1870 (west side of Main Street facing south) Building ID List

The earliest images of downtown River Falls are filled with rows of wooden shops and horse drawn carriages traveling on rutted dirt streets. In 1886, after years of devastating fires, the River Falls Common Council passed a Fire Limit Ordinance requiring all new buildings to be constructed with brick or stone rather than wood. [See Pioneer Hook & Ladder Co. Exhibit] Main Street was paved in the early 1920's.




1876
Main Street facing west, ca. 1870


1891
Main Street, ca. 1880


Horses & buggies and new electrical poles, 1905
Horses & buggies and new electrical power lines, 1905



Main Street served as the heart of the rural community in the 1930's. Blocks along both sides of Main Street were filled with cafes, meat markets, hardware stores, dry good shops, and grocers that offered penny candies, charge accounts and free home delivery to customers. Every Saturday evening, entire families drove into town filling the sidewalks and streets for hours of shopping and socializing.

c. 1921           1956           1959
Main Street River Falls, ca. 1930's           Students celebrating Homecoming with the Snake Dance, 1956 (near Elm Street crossing)           JFK on Main Street, 1959, while campaigning for the 1960 presidency
Facing north           Students celebrating Homecoming with the Snake Dance, 1956 (near Walnut Street crossing)           JFK on Main Street, 1960, while campaigning for the presidency
 

Sources Used:
ARC Photograph Collection; University Photograph Collection:
UWRF Series 26
River Falls Journal, 6/7/1923
Timothy Ericson. River Falls, Wisconsin: A HIstory-1885-1910.(UW-River Falls, 1981)

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[Created 7/2006]