Coming Home from St. Louis – Ripon, Wisconsin (1936)

Howard Krueger lived in Ripon, the city in south-east Wisconsin.

In September of 1936, Howard received a postcard from close friends or family members who were visiting St. Louis.

St. Louis is about 450 miles south of Ripon, but the party was traveling by train.

St. Louis was a major rail center for the mid-US region, and the travelers to Wisconsin had several possible routes home (in 1936).

The enormous station, the largest in the world, was completed in 1894 to accommodate the 22 rail lines using St. Louis – on 52 tracks.

The station was expanded in the early 1900’s to accommodate the trainloads of visitors to the World’s Fair of 1904.

The face of the postcard features a night view of the Union Station in St. Louis: the illustration was copyrighted by Banner Post Card Company of St. Louis.

The postcard was published by the E. C. Kropp Company of Milwaukee.

On the reverse, Howard learns that the travelers, using a time-table they got when traveling through Chicago, expect to arrive home tomorrow.

The group has had a wonderful time, a party at Dorothy’s home and a theater trip to see “Anthony Adverse” – the rambling film starring Frederic March and Olivia de Havilland released in 1936.

{Note:  The beautiful Union Station has been preserved and repurposed as a hotel, shopping mecca, restaurant destination, and tourist magnet.

I visited in the mid-90’s when the vast interior spaces were charmingly devoted to boutiques and restaurants.

The station complex now boasts an Aquarium and an amusement park.

Unfortunately, rail passengers who now travel through St. Louis are accommodated in an undistinguished and uninspiring travel center a few blocks away from the grand station.}

One hopes that the 1936 travelers returned safely to their homes and that they told Howard thrilling tales of their adventures.


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