PlaqueApalooza

UPDATE: Aug. 27, 2021 – Lowered grade for 528 West Water after confirming plaque has wrong year for store change from Breity to Bentley drug store.

With the recent completion of the Lots O’ History series, we can give a final grade to the City of Princeton Historical Walking Tour plaques project in our historic Water Street business district, defined primarily as the 400, 500 and 600 blocks of Water.

I had planned this post since I finished the Lots O’ History series, but it took a rainy morning for me to finally get it done. With this post wrapping up the plaque errors, I am going to start deleting some of my earliest posts, which were devoted almost exclusively to plaque corrections, to give myself more storage space on the site.

The grades are purely subjective, of course. The criteria I used to guide me were historical accuracy, depth of history and quality of writing. I deducted 10 points immediately if the construction date was wrong by more than two years, 10 points for significant historical errors, and 5 points for missed opportunities and confused writing.

I am using my old elementary school grading system, A-F.

I reviewed 28 plaques, 26 in the three-block business district and two at the bridge leading into the district. Twenty-seven of the 28 plaques contained factual errors of varying degrees of historical significance. All of the errors have been documented using newspaper clippings, property deeds and historic maps. A few plaques have as many as three significant errors. Many of these buildings are part of the downtown district listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

People involved with the plaques get very defensive when discussing the walking tour’s multitude of errors. Who made the mistakes or why is not important. I try to identify the origin, however, which usually leads to newspaper reports in the 1960s-80s that repeated well-meaning families’ “oral traditions” that were not fact-checked and are simply not true.

You can view the primary sources used to document and verify information presented here by utilizing the Search function available at the bottom of the site’s home page. For example, just search for “630” to find posts documenting the history of 630 West Water Street.

The final report card shows one A, six B’s, eight C’s, six D’s and seven F’s.

We are going to start our survey of the plaques on the north side of Water Street and proceed from west to east and then work our way back up on the south side of Water from east to west.

Location: 632 West Water

Grade: A

Fact check: We start our tour on the right foot, so to speak. There are no significant errors to report, though 1873 isn’t quite mid-’70s and the house already had a front porch in the 1914 and 1927 Sanborn fire insurance maps after not showing a porch in the 1892, 1898 and 1904 maps.

The real story: This stone house was built in 1873 by Christoph Tagatz. The real estate firm of Pooch & Megow listed the property for sale in 1899 as an eight-room modern stone house with a good cellar and a good barn. The heirs of Gottlieb Luedtke, who owned a wagon shop across the street, including son-in-law Erich Mueller, the first mayor of Princeton, sold the property to Lucile Losinske in 1928. The house remained in the Losinske family until 1984, when it was acquired by the Princeton Historical Society and converted into a museum depicting life in the early to mid-20th century.

Location: 630 West Water

Grade: F

Fact check: The building was not among those moved here from St. Marie and was not used as a feed store for about 100 years. It was built in 1876 and served primarily as a hardware store for about its first 35 years. It was a poultry, feed and seed store for about 50 years after that. We can tell the St. Marie story when we get to 617 West Water, the lot that housed the former elevator building moved here from St. Marie.

The real story: This building was built in 1876 as a hardware store for the Green and Carman lumberyard. Johann Viel built an addition in 1883 and created a skylight for a photo studio in 1886. Over the years the building housed hardware, building supplies, pianos, groceries and other goods. Edmund Piasecke purchased the property in 1946 for his poultry, feed and seed business. The building later housed a video store, water softener business and the Settlement General Store and Trading Post. The Princeton Historical Society converted the building into a museum in 1983. It was remodeled into a folklore museum in 2021.

Location: 604-606 West Water

Grade: C

Fact check: Neither of the buildings at 604 and 606 was built in 1884, and J. Wm. Worm was in business there for more than 25 years. There are three buildings represented at this address: the storefront that houses Twigs, built in 1887; the residence attached to the rear, built in 1872; and the building adjacent to the west, built in 1896.

The real story: J. Wm. Worm built the wood-frame buildings at 604 and 606 West Water Street in 1887 and 1896, respectively, as well as the residence behind 604 Water in 1872. The Worms operated a tailor shop, saloon and millinery shop over the years. Theodore Bednarek purchased the property in 1907. The Bednarek family ran several businesses at this location over the next century including a soft drink parlor during prohibition, Aunt Minnie’s Hat Shop, Henry’s Tavern, Bednarek News Stand and Bednarek’s Insurance. A men’s clothing shop, hot dog stand and Twigs Fine Goods have occupied this site in the 21st century.

Location: 602 West Water Street

Grade: C

Fact check: Gottfried Schaal built the hardware store in 1882 but did not incorporate the existing structure, built in 1849 and used first as an inn, then as a boarding house, and then as a residence by the Boylan and Worm families. That building was moved farther north on Pearl Street to accommodate the new building.

The real story: Gottfried Schaal moved Princeton’s first frame building, built in 1849 by John Knapp, to make room for his hardware store in 1882. He built a large addition in 1891, renting it to Frank Mueller for a drug store, and veneered the new and existing structures with brick. John and Lillian Hotmar acquired the property in 1924, expanded the basement, remodeled, and operated the hardware store until 1980. Acquired in 1998 by Twister and renovated, the building’s features include maple floors, wood ceiling and two-story fieldstone firewall. Twister is home to A Lifestyle Emporium & Lifestyle Cafe, office and loft residence.

Location: 544 West Water Street

Grade: C

Fact check: Hyman Swed, who opened a general store at 508 West Water in 1913, did not buy two buildings at 544 West Water. Swed had been in business in the west room for five years and Victor Yahr in the east room when Swed purchased and remodeled the building in 1923, removing a partition to create one large room and prompting Yahr to move to his building at 535 West Water Street. Also, important history is missing.

The real story: The two-story stone building that Green & Carman built in 1868 originally housed dry goods and drug stores. William Luedtke cut off the front of the stone store and demolished a wood structure to widen his building in 1890. Russian immigrant Hyman Swed leased the corner store in 1918, purchased the building in 1923 and combined the two rooms into one. Tracy Porter gave the building a fresh look in 1992 when she used it to showcase her home furnishings line. Since then, the building has housed several short-lived businesses and in 2021 is being remodeled into The Parlor Hotel.

Location: 538 West Water Street

Grade: F

Fact check: This historic building was built in 1877 and was not the site of a prominent downtown hotel, which is clearly visible one lot east of 538 in numerous historic photos.

The real story: August Ponto, who also operated a sorghum mill, and Fred Schendel, a decorated veteran of the Franco-Prussian War, erected this double building in 1877. Taverns such as Radtke’s, Moxie’s, Frenchy’s and Schneider’s occupied the west room over the years. Gottlieb Krueger (dry goods) and G.J. Knaack (hardware) were among the longest-tenured east room merchants. Don and Verna Olson opened Skogmos clothing store here in the 1950s. The rooms were combined, and the building was remodeled in the 1960s. The building was renovated to restore several original historic features and occupied as Once in a Blue Moon Restaurant in 1996.

Location: 528 West Water

Grade: D

Fact check: The first issue here is poor writing, with the first sentence stating the Mueller’s opened “Princeton’s first drug store at this location.” It was not Princeton’s first drug store, but it was the first in a series of drug stores in this building at this location. The second issue is that the Bentleys purchased the drug store in 1957 not 1954.

The real story: German immigrants Gustave and Richard Mueller, who purchased Ferdinand Wilde’s drug business in 1875, built this brick building in 1885. It has been a drug store ever since. Frank Mueller, who introduced acetylene lighting in Princeton in 1898, followed his brothers in the family business and sold in 1919 to August and Clara Breitengross. They remodeled the front and second floor in 1923 and installed a modern ice cream cabinet and soda water carbonator in 1925. The Breitengrosses sold the building and business in the 1950s to Kenneth and Elaine Bentley. It has remained a Bentley pharmacy since that time.

Location: 522 West Water Street

Grade: B

Fact check: My research has not reached the 1960s, so I cannot verify the later claims on this plaque, but the early info is correct.

The real story: Saloon operator Fred Mittlestaedt erected this brick building in 1886. “From cellar to garret, it is a model of neatness,” the Princeton Republic said. Andrew Drill purchased the building from Carl Bartol’s heirs in 1906, operated the saloon until prohibition and passed it to his heirs when he died in 1930. Dr. Joseph Drill purchased the property in 1940 and moved his dentist office to the second floor. Television and appliance dealers occupied the store in the 1960s. More recently the building housed Water Street Gallery from 2002 to 2019, and Shiloh gallery and gifts, which closed in December 2020.

Location: 518 West Water Street

Grade: D

Fact check: The brick Teske building was built in 1872 and replaced the eighth building, which was built by Josiah Luce in 1851 and moved to the “crooked end” of Water Street, where it burned a year later, to make room for the new building in 1872.

The real story: Edward and Gustav Teske, doing business at 520 West Water, built this two-story building in 1872 on the site of a wood-frame store erected in 1851. The Teskes designed their building to complement the brick buildings built at 514 and 508-512 West Water in 1870. The Teske general store remained a family-run business for nearly a century. G. Teske & Sons Inc. sold the store to Lois Jankowski in 1964. She operated LoAnn’s Ladies Apparel here for several years. Joe Tondu opened the Fox Note Jazz Club here in 2007. Levee Contemporary art gallery moved into the space in 2019.

Location: 514 West Water Street

Grade: C

Fact check: This building was built in 1872, not 1859, alongside the Thiel double block at 508-512 West Water Street. The rest of the plaque is fine but overlooks some key occupants.

The real story: Built in 1872 by insurance agent Josiah Luce, the first sheriff of Marquette County, this brick building went up at the same time as the neighboring Thiel double building. It later housed the Teske boot and harness shop, Eugene Kidman’s grocery and ice cream parlor, Van Dyke’s Cash Grocery, Nyeggen’s dime store with soda fountain, Volpel’s Variety Store, and the Dahms and Seavecki dime stores. James and Carol Siddall opened a paint, home decorating and real estate office in 1974. Blue Moose Mercantile occupied the building at the turn of the 21st century. RossHaven Gallery Art opened here in 2019.

Location: 512 West Water Street

Grade: F

Fact check: The Thiel double building was built in 1870 not 1884. The west building (512) did not host an early theater. The east building (508) did. There was no venue named the Liberty Theater. The theatre at 508 was named the Loyal Theatre. Movies were shown regularly at Turner Hall years before The Loyal opened.

The real story: Successful wagon manufacturer August Thiel built this double building in 1870 but was killed in a riding accident just before the opening of Thiel’s Hall, the second-floor space that served as Princeton’s premier gathering spot for meetings, concerts, and celebrations for at least the next decade. Dry goods and grocery stores filled the first floor until J.D. Koeser opened his furniture and undertaking business in 1891. Eugene Thomas, “The Price Maker,” sold groceries and meat. Since prohibition, when William Schwenzer operated a pool hall, the building has housed several taverns including Aerts’ Antique Tavern in 1960 and BeerBellys since 2010.CHECK

Location: 440-444 West Water

Grade: B

Fact check: I don’t see any factual errors. I think we can improve on the history, however. Each address, 440 and 444, warrants its own story in future history walks.

The real story: Hotels named the New York, Freeman, Temperance, Jarvis and American House stood here before the original building burned in 1885. Henry Priest rebuilt with brick, then erected an addition in 1895. Taverns such as Maulick’s and Puggy’s occupied the front room. The east room, originally a sample room, housed the post office from 1907-1957 and later Ralph Hartman’s jewelry store. Handcraft company founders Ernest and Martha Hiestand bought the building in 1943, built an addition and leased space to Frank McNutt and Sam Garro for doctor and dentist offices, respectively. Fox River Publishing Co. occupied the corner in the 1970s.

Location: 432 West Water

Grade: F

Fact check: Mrs. Hugo Stern did not donate this property to the city in her husband’s memory in 1948. Emma Stern, Hugo’s aunt, owned the property when the library moved in in 1947. The property passed to Hugo upon Emma’s death. After Hugo died in 1962, his widow, Adeline Stern, gave the property to the city in 1965 as a memorial to Hugo and herself.

The real story: Josiah Whittemore built this quaint building in 1880, and his son, William, opened a jewelry store. Other uses have included a doctor’s office, lawyer’s office, grocery store, and musical instruments shop. John W. Shew moved his grocery store here in 1901 and monitored Princeton’s growth from the bench out front for nearly 40 years. The Princeton Public library arrived in 1947 and rented a second room in 1963. Adeline Stern donated the property to the city in 1965. The library moved one door east in the 1980s. Cindy Gossage opened Baubles Jewelry here in 2007. Candi’s Corner followed in2017.

Location: 424 West Water Street

Grade: D

Fact check: Not mentioning previous occupants of the lot at 424 is a mistake, in my opinion, and Emma Stern did not donate the building at 432 to the city in 1948; Adeline Stern did, in 1965, to honor her husband, Hugo.

The real story: The Princeton Woman’s Club in 1933 spearheaded efforts to start a public library. It opened in a second-floor room at 545 West Water, moved to 201 Short Street in 1934, relocated to 432 Water in 1947, and moved to a new building at 424 Water in 1983. The building was renovated and expanded in 2019. The first building on the lot was the law office and residence of Judge Abram Myers for many years. Thomas Roberts opened a restaurant in 1909, and other eateries followed: The Pantry, Gruber’s, Cozy Café and in 1948 the Princeton Café operated by Bob and Marv Dugenske.

Hang onto your hats, folks. We are going to make a U-turn, jump to the south side of Water Street and proceed from east to west.

Location: 429 West Water Street

Grade: C

Fact check: There are a couple of minor errors – stock certificates didn’t finance Turner Hall in 1880 and the Seaveckis had operated a dime store at 514 West Water before moving to 429 – but the history also misses some key moments. The plaque infers movies were not shown here until 1958; moving pictures were shown regularly at Turner Hall since the early 1900s. The theater ran into hard times in the ’50s and closed for a time before local merchants helped reopen it. This did not drop to D level, however, because the plaque avoided the mistake the Princeton quasquicentennial booklet made in 1973 when it stated that the building was built in 1908.

The real story: The Turn Verein, a German gymnastics and cultural club, built Turner Hall in 1878. After fire destroyed their hall and 10 other buildings, the Turners rebuilt in 1880 on the same site. In addition to gymnasium and stage, the hall included a tap room and dining room. It hosted concerts, plays, vaudeville shows, roller skating, rallies, graduations and other celebrations. Princeton’s first moving pictures were shown here. The hall was renovated and enlarged in 1905 and rebranded as the Opera House. It discontinued silent movies in 1929. The Princeton Theatre Corporation took over in 1958. Country Mercantile opened in 2016.

Location: 435 West Water Street

Grade: B

Fact check: The bowling alley opened in 1944, and the Andersons purchased the building in 1961. We could clean up the writing to squeeze in more lot history.

The real story: Five years after Rat Parsons’ jewelry store burned in 1880, Fred Cooke moved a building here from the 500 block that served as grocery store, bakery and restaurant before Harry Drake replaced it with this brick building in 1916. Gilbert King built early snowmobiles for doctors and postal carriers here. After Drake left to work at FWD in Clintonville, Isaac Craite built an addition in 1944 and converted the garage into a bowling alley that, after multiple owners, remains in operation today. In 2014 the bowling center was featured in “Pints and Pins,” a documentary about historic alleys in Wisconsin.

Location: 501 West Water Street

Grade: F

Fact check: The building was built in 1901 so no one opened their doors in this stately building in 1876. Whittemore moved in when the building opened in 1901, Kreiser and Mueller in the 1930s. Princeton State Bank succeeded the private bank of F.T. Yahr in 1893, preceding First National Bank by eight years. Princeton’s telephone exchange moved to the building from the American House in 1910 not 1902.

The real story: Built in 1901 for First National Bank of Princeton, this building’s highlights include polished red granite, raindrop sandstone trim and Akron pressed brick. Rings used to tether horses are preserved on the east wall.  The brick bank replaced a frame structure erected in 1854 known as the Hopkins, Behm and Crain building in the 19th century when it housed hardware, dry goods, jewelry, and millinery merchants. Farmers-Merchants National Bank succeeded First National Bank in 1924 and relocated in 1964. The Wisconsin Telephone Company moved its exchange to the building in 1910. Dr. G.G. Mueller occupied a second-floor office from 1930-1977.

Location: 511 West Water Street

Grade: C

Fact check: The building was built in 1882 by Julius Hennig and sold to Christoph.

The real story: This elegant wood-frame building was built in 1882 by Julius Hennig and originally housed the Christoph Hennig & Bro. meat market. Although the space was converted into a grocery and restaurant for a time, it most often remained a butcher shop. John B. Zodrow operated a popular meat market here from 1926-1965. Dr. Duck’s Soda & Phosphates and Ice Cream Parlor occupied the space in the 1990s, and Pastimes opened in 2000 featuring folk art, books and antiques. The owners later acquired the building at 513, knocked down part of the stone wall and expanded into Princeton’s original “brick block.”

Location: 523 West Water Street

Grade: B

Fact check: No errors to report but important history is missing.

The real story: Fire destroyed a barber shop at 521 West Water and jewelry store and saloon, the former Fox River House moved here from St. Marie-Hamilton in the 1860s, at 523 West Water in 1897. William Yahr filled the gap at 523 in 1901 with this two-story brick building housing a furniture and undertaking business, which continued for many years under owners like H. Warnke & Son, A. A. Sommerfeldt and R. G. Wachholz. Mimi’s Restaurant opened in 2001. Green3 debuted in 2015. The wall with 525 Water was opened in 2015, but many of the building’s original architectural features remain intact.

Location: 525 West Water Street

Grade: D

Fact check: F.T. Yahr was co-founder of the Yahr, Thompson & Co. Bank in 1875, not 1893. He later bought out his partners and formed the private banking house of F.T. Yahr, which he sold in 1893 and helped reorganize as Princeton State Bank. Also, the Victor Yahr (nephew of F.T. Yahr) grocery and clothing store was located three doors west, at 535 West Water not 525.

The real story: Pioneer businessman and one-term state senator Ferdinand T. Yahr built this brick building in 1875 for a hardware store and the Yahr, Thompson & Co. Bank, which opened in a corner of the store that October. The original stone vault is intact and used as a merchandise display area. Richard Artman and G. J. Knaack operated hardware stores, and Fred Bunce and Mel Gerlach grocery stores here in the 20th century. Other occupants over the years included clothing, hobby and auto parts stores. The arched entry was added in 2000 to complement the ornate facade. Daiseye moved in in 2007.

Location: 527 West Water Street

Grade: C

Fact check: There is important lot history missing here, which lowered the grade. The only thing that keeps this from being a B is the line that “the bank failed during the Depression with money being lost by depositors.” That is not true, according to reports in the local newspaper that indicate no depositors at either of Princeton’s banks lost money when they closed due to the national bank holiday in 1933. Princeton State Bank reopened relatively quickly for a small bank because it had recently reorganized due to a scandal involving its cashiers. Farmers-Merchants National Bank did not reopen until December, but depositors eventually reclaimed all their money.

The real story: Princeton State Bank organized in 1893 and built this brick building in 1894. The bank replaced a frame building, the first store in Princeton, built in 1849 for Ferdinand Durand. The first item sold there was a plush cap purchased by Chauncey Boylan. Princeton State Bank was forced to reorganize three times, twice due to illegal banking practices that landed cashiers in state prison and once during the national Banking Holiday of the Great Depression. In 1937, Farmers-Merchants National Bank of Princeton bought out the state bank’s assets. Breity’s and other restaurants filled the space from 1938 into the 1970s.

Location: 535 West Water Street

Grade: C

Fact check: The building was not built in 1910. I have not found the specific timeline, but it was built between 1904 and 1907. The fire in 1897 that destroyed the wood buildings at 521 and 523 West Water did not threaten the stone building at 535.

The real story: The first building on this lot was a three-story stone building erected by Christoph Krueger in 1859. When Silas Eggleston owned the store, it was a popular trading post for American Indians. The building, also the site of a cigar factory, was replaced in the early 1900s. Victor F. Yahr moved his grocery store here in 1923. His son, Vic, remodeled in 1940, expanded into 531 Water with a clothing line in 1944. Ken Krueger operated Kenyon’s Klothes here in the 1970s. Michael Lehner, the third generation of Lehners to practice law in Princeton, housed his office here from 1981-2017.

Location: 539 West Water Street

Grade: B

Fact check: Stern acquired the building in 1925 not the ’30s.

The real story: The first building here was built in 1860 and used primarily as saloon and residence. It housed the real estate office of Pooch & Megow in the 1890s, and John Shew moved his grocery store here in 1898. Edward Megow sold the lot to Edward Teske Sr., who built a two-story cement-block building in 1907 that housed Lillian Worm’s millinery for several years and then Hugo Stern’s jewelry shop for nearly 25 years. Fred Stelter, whose sister went to prison for stealing his diamonds and smuggling them into the U.S. from Germany in the heel of her shoe, succeeded Stern.

Location: 541 West Water Street

Grade: D

Fact check: Megow was not Princeton’s first barber and did not operate the first cigar store. Those claims were based on faulty family lore published in the newspaper in 1948 and repeated elsewhere over the years without being verified or documented.

The real story: Silas Eggleston built the first building here in 1858 and sold it in 1883 to Herman E. Megow, a barber who became a photographer and in 1898 added a third story to the building for a photo gallery. Megow also served five decades as justice of the peace and several terms as school board director, edited a German newspaper, sold real estate, bought a cigar factory and ran a cranberry brokerage. His son, Herman A. Megow, opened Ham’s Market in 1916. HIs products were shipped all over the U.S. The building was removed and in 1994 replaced with Megow Park.

Location: 545 West Water Street

Grade: D

Fact check: Not mentioning the Nickodem Bros. in the history of this building is a serious error.

The real story: This brick-and-stone building was built in 1891 by early settler and dry goods merchant Anton Rimpler and replaced a wood frame building built in the 1850s. The original building, which served as a saloon, residence, harness shop and dry goods store over the early years, was moved to Farmer Street. Charles and Fred Nickodem, dba Nickodem Bros., leased the store in 1905, bought it in 1907 and manned the corner into the 1930s. Arthur Klotzbuecher opened Princeton Home Bakery in 1936 and was succeeded by Earl Okey in 1949. Flower shops utilized the building in recent years before the spa.

Location: 631 West Water Street

Grade: B

Fact check: No significant factual errors but we overlook a couple of key occupants.

The real story: Gardner Green, who at times owned five commercial buildings and 13 houses in Princeton, a lumberyard and dry goods store, and a share of the mill and mill channel, built this small now-standalone building as a wing to his residence, erected in 1877. The west wing was used as a doctor’s office and shoe shop but mostly as a harness shop, first by Julius Hennig Jr., then Emil Hennig and later Fred Siepert. The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts fixed up and occupied the building for six years. Barber Carl Kuehneman moved in in 1941 and remained for three decades.

Location: Bridge (south)

Grade: F

Fact check: The Wisconsin Legislature in 1850 authorized Princeton founder Royal Treat to build a bridge over the Fox River here. Newspapers reported a “substantial” bridge in Princeton that December. Prior to that a scow was used to ferry teams, wagons and goods across the river. Like others on the Fox at the time, the first bridge was a floating wood bridge with a draw capable of opening to allow steamboats to pass, as required by the Legislature. The last wood bridge was replaced with an iron structure in 1878, which was replaced with a bascule bridge in 1930. The The draw superstructure, including the huge concrete counterweight and steel work, was removed in 1955. The most recent bridge was erected in 1983 as efforts to preserve the Dizzy bar failed. The errors occurred because the plaque author ignored information about the 1850s reports from a local history expert and relied on oral tradition repeated by a local newspaper writer without documentation or primary source verification.

The real story: Princeton’s earliest settlers and Indian Land squatters used a scow to ferry wagons and teams across the Fox River. The state authorized founder Royal Treat to build the first bridge here in 1850. Like others on the Fox, it was a floating (pontoon) wood bridge with a draw capable of opening to allow steamboats to pass. The last wood bridge was replaced with an iron structure in 1878. It was replaced with a bascule bridge in 1930. The most recent bridge was erected in 1983-84 as efforts to preserve the Dizzy bar at the east end of the bridge failed.

Location: Bridge (north)

Grade: F

Fact check: Silas Eggleston did not build the first Indian trading post along the Fox River, in Princeton or elsewhere, or any building in 1860. He built the building at 541 West Water Street in 1858 and traded with American Indians primarily at the stone store at 535 West Water Street from 1860-1877. He purchased the site of the future Dizzy tavern, including a small building near the east end of the bridge, in 1875. DeWitt Eggleston opened DeWitt’s Place as a restaurant in 1897. He built an addition and opened a hotel in 1898. The business remained in family hands until 1983 when Dizzy’s closed after efforts to preserve the building failed as plans were made to erect a new bridge. The errors occurred when family oral tradition was repeated in the newspaper without being documented or verified.

The real story: Silas Eggleston purchased this lot, including a small building near the east end of the bridge, in 1875. Eggleston would meet trains at the depot just across Main Street and direct travelers to his general store on Water Street. DeWitt Eggleston opened DeWitt’s Place as a restaurant in 1897, built an addition and in 1898 opened a hotel that went through several iterations before becoming the  Princeton icon known as Dizzy’s. Paul Ladwig Jr., Silas Eggleston’s grandson, closed Dizzy’s, known best for its chicken dinners, after efforts to preserve the building failed amid plans to erect a new bridge in 1983-84.

If you find any errors in my summaries, please let me know.

Thank you for reading and caring about local history.

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