I love these old photos! This picture shows people filling about half of the 500 block of Water Street during Princeton’s Fall Festival and Jamboree in September 1943.

I try to imagine my mother and her siblings among the crowd caught by the photographer enjoying the festivities on that wet Sunday. My father, meanwhile, was serving overseas with the Army Air Corps.

The Fall Festival and Jamboree was the successor to the German Days celebrations of the early 20th century. The Princeton Service Club sponsored the 1943 jamboree from Sept. 17-19 amid the third war bond drive in support of World War II.

The festival opened on Friday with the Community School Fair managed by the high school homemaking and agriculture departments. After entries were judged, many were displayed in store windows downtown.

Karrupa Rides set up carnival rides and games on Washington Street. Other events included bicycle races Saturday and a military parade featuring servicemen and Red Cross volunteers Sunday. Rain affected the Sunday plans.

“The parade is being staged for the express purpose of boosting the sale of bonds in the third War Loan Drive,” the newspaper said.

The Princeton and Neshkoro high school bands performed, as did the 628th Squadron Band stationed at Truax Field, Madison. Local residents opened their homes to house band members overnight.

Farmers-Merchants National Bank stayed open on Sunday to encourage bond sales.

Princeton Times-Republic, Sept. 23, 1943 – “While the rain marred the program Sunday afternoon, the 1943 Fall Festival and Jamboree will go down in history as the most successful affair of the kind ever held in the city. Despite the rain that drove a large part of the number of people to their cars, $15,000 worth of war bonds were sold at the bank Sunday afternoon. Many others bought on the following day.”

(Princeton surpassed its $150,000 quota by the drive’s deadline.)

The newspaper said 890 tickets were sold to a dance Sunday evening at the Community Hall featuring stars from WLS radio station’s National Barn Dance Program from Chicago including Red Foley and the Barn Dance Band.

The Service Club, meanwhile, raised over $500, which was used to buy Christmas gifts and other items for servicemen and their families and to send them the local newspaper.

Back to the photo. If we were among the crowd pushing up Water Street toward the Ferris wheel on Washington Street in 1943, here are the businesses we’d see on the north side of Water before we got there:

528 West Water – Breity’s Drug Store (A.F. Breitengross), 1919-1957, today Bentley’s Drug Store.

524 West Water – Art Luedtke’s meat market, 1917-1964, today Dover Street Collected Home and Hannabarger photo studio.

522 West Water – Ray’s Place (Ray Winiecki, tavern), 1942-1943, today Ann Marie’s Boutique.

518 West Water – Teske’s (G. Teske & Sons), 1872-1964, today west room of Levee Contemporary gallery.

514 West Water – Nyeggen’s dime store, 1935-1944, today east room of Levee Contemporary gallery.

512 West Water – Bill Schwenzer’s tavern, 1920-1960, today Beer Belly’s tavern.

508 West Water – Stan Hoffman’s tavern, 1933-1945, today Loading Dock tavern.

504 West Water – Al Warnke’s tavern, 1909-1944, today Pizza Factory.

502 West Water – Lichtenberg Drug Store, 1880-1943, today ThedaCare clinic site.

Continuing east of the Ferris wheel:

444 West Water – American House and Puggy’s Tavern (Augusta Hennig, owner; Leo and Louise Schewe, proprietors), 1915-1944, today Hiestand Apartments.

440 West Water – U.S. Post Office (John Nickodem postmaster), 1917-1957, today Whimsy Mountain.

438 West Water – Ed Manthey’s shoe shop, 1942-1943, today parking lot.

436 West Water – Dr. C.F. Schroeder’s office, 1940-1945, today vacant office building site.

432 West Water – James Mulhern’s grocery, 1943-1946, today Candi’s Corner.

428 West Water – The Pantry restaurant and ice cream shop (Jennie Beaver, Mildred Deau), 1939-1943, today Princeton Public Library site.

If you have any questions or spot any errors, please let me know.

Thank you for reading and caring about local news.

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