2006 Augusta Wisconsin Sesquicentennial  

Remembering a 1956 Centennial Year History of Augusta Wisconsin 50 Years later.  How things were.  Rural phone service in the 1950's.  Friday night society remembrances, TV and Movies in 1956

Augusta Wisconsin as it was during the 1956 centennial. Small town America in the 1950's, the middle of the 20th Century

Dells Mill Class of 1956 One hundred fifty years after Augustas founding
The Augusta Wisconsin Dells Mill School Class of 1955 - 1956. The Dells Mill School (a one room rural school house - Grades 1 through 8)

Augusta Wisconsin, along with rest of the US, struggled through its  pioneer days, the civil war and it's aftermath, the First World War, and then later a very mean Depression, and an even meaner World War Two.  There were relatively few extended easy times during Augusta's maturity.  Only in the late 1890's  to about the 1910's and during the Roaring 1920's were there consistent peace, prosperity and the good life.

The 1950's brought an extended period of the good life to America.  Augusta Wisconsin and all of the US experienced the growth of the middle class and the democratization that such wealth and rights give- see note at the end of this article.  Here are rememberings and  changes in small town life and Augusta, as remembered by this site's author.

The population of Augusta Wisconsin has stayed almost constant from the 1870's through 2006.  The population of Augusta Wisconsin in 1870 was about 1,200, in 2006 it was about 1,400.  Seemingly Unchanged by Time

What life was like in 1956:

Country phone service in 1956 in rural and Augusta Wisconsin:

Remembering rural society in Downtown Augusta Wisconsin

Remembering Augusta Wisconsin Holidays in 1956

Other 1956 facts and remembrances.

1956 Entertainment in Rural America and Rural Augusta Wisconsin

Sherrif Bob

You can see a 3 Part Video Documentary about one of Augusta' Wisconsin's 1956 local superheros Sheriff Bob on YouTube
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3


"Sheriff Bob" on WEAU TV-13 in Eau Claire,
Wisconsin. Directed by Bill Olson for Chippewa Valley Community Television.

Remembered Business Changes 1956 to 2006 - Changes of Centennial Book Advertising and other Augusta WI Businesses from 1956 to now


See a Brief History of the Buckhorn Bar on the Buckhorn Tavern Page


Augusta Auto Company, Gas and new GM Cars 1915 to about 1970's when it moved to area west of the west lawn cemetery.  The owner operator was Gus Bremmer.  Was at the current location of John's I.G.A. parking lot at 100 North Spring, the old Lincoln street address became a Spring Street Address.   Augusta Auto facilities were moved to the west end of town near the West Lawn Cemetery and became Ralph Brewer's Auto - it is out of business now.  The building has become the Church of God. The Augusta Auto Garage was torn down and became the IGA Super market, with an about 20 car parking lot.  The Supermarket later became Family Foods
Ben Franklin Variety store 1940's to about 1970's Part of the current True Value Hardware; it was in the same building.  It was merged into one store when it became True Value Hardware
Korth's I.G.A 1940's to about 1970's Initially known just as Korth's Supermarket; then as Korth's I.G.A.  The I.G.A. Super Market, was located at the what is now part of the True Value Hardware at 128 West Lincoln Street.
Stringer's Department Store 1923 to 1960's Stringers was later named as A. C. Works, it is now the location of the Woodshed , Home of the Amish, at 105 West Lincoln Street
V. L. Dickinsen 1954 - now (2006) became Dickenson Insurance & Real Estate
Anderson Funeral Home 1954 to now (2006) still exits
Justesen Sisters 1911 - 1950's A millinery shop, is closed, it was on the south side of stone street. It was a fading industry even in 1956.  The site became Metz TV shop within the years following its closing
Harden's Red Owl Food Market 1954 - 1970's is now closed and was at a location on the south side of Lincoln Street
Swartz Shell Service 1945 - 1970's is now a vacant lot at the southeast corner of Lincoln and Stone Street.  You can see the location on a 19 Augusta Post Card Here
Coles Standard Service 1938 - 1980's In 2006 is a reconstructed and an Express Mart and Quickstop at the corner of Bills Street and Lincoln - Highway 27 / Highway 12 intersection at 719 W Lincoln Street
Metz's Motor Court 1951 - now The Metz Motel in 2006 is Al's Pioneer Motel at 606 East Lincoln Street.  Bill Metz later opened an Television and record store in 'downtown' Augusta on the south side of the street at the site of the Justesen Sisters Millinary Shop.
Nu-Cafe - Fred Kawell 1948 - now (2006) In 2006 is the Hungry Hunter Cafe at the same location of 125 West Lincoln Street.
Augusta Flour and Feed Co 1948 - now (2006) was located on Railway Street in 1956 (see Augusta Street Map); then to a location on Lincoln Street - it is now on Buckman Street between Spring and Stone streets
Erickson's Gamble Store 1948 - now (2006) then Skomo's Gambles in 2006 is the V&S Variety at 109 West Lincoln Street
Zemple's Confectionary 1940 - 1957 The candy, magazine, tobacco store became a Laundromat some time after Zemple's retirement; until the early 2000's, and is now closed.  Zemple's had a huge selection of Comic Books and Magazines and it had the best Butterscotch sundae in town

Other Business Changes remembered

Kohnke's Meat Market Became Frase's at 136 South Stone Street
Augusta Canned Foods cannery became Bush Brothers at 600 S Highway Street Augusta, Wisconsin in the early 1960's
Peoples State Bank located on the south side of Lincoln street became Unity Bank at the corner of Lincoln and Spring Street.  In 1956, the current bank site was occupied by 2 homes. The bank was on the south side of the street in 1956.  It later moved to a new building across the street (the current City Hall location).  A second bank, Bank of Augusta now serves the area
The Farmers Bar next to John's I.G.A in 2006 s now a gift shop for handmade fragrances and scented candles, the Hitching Post
Thode's Hardware became Thode's Antiques which was closed in 2005 or early 2006.  In the 1950's  part of the building store front became Thode's Drug Store
Wally Shong's Drugstore 120 West Lincoln Street, was owned by Wally Shong, even though by 2006 the original owner and the store's namesake is deceased
West Side Grocery The  was a tiny store, smaller then a two car garage, less then a block from the Augusta High School (near the location that became the Community Center) on Main Street. It was affectionately known as "the little store", Its livelihood was that is was open late daily, before any of today's 'convenience' stores existed.  It also served Augusta School students at lunch time and after school with snacks, junk food, and a few school supplies
The Riverview Bar, Augusta WI The Riverview was located at Highway 27 and the Eau Claire River bridge, now the location of Riverside Junction Rentals. In addition to it being a bar, it offered a "convenience store" selection of basic household groceries and needs.  The convenience store would be opened for you as long as the bar was open.  The Riverview bar burned down, circa 2000, and now is replaced in function by the Woodland Country Store, also known as Woodland Crossing, convenience store on the opposite side of the Eau Claire River
The Rodell Tavern, Rodell, WI In addition to libations, the tavern offered convenience groceries and household items near the corner of County Trunk V and Highway 12, between Fall Creek and Augusta. The Bar is gone and it is now a residence located on what is now called Rodell Road.  You can read more about Rodell by clicking here .  It is the full Rodell History
The Farmer's Store department stores Were in Eau Claire, Osseo Wisconsin and Fairchild Wisconsin, a tiny chain of general / department stores.  These stores served local residents at a time when traveling to regional shopping cities such as Eau Claire was uncommon, expensive and inconvenient.
The Black Bear Restaurant The Blackbear Restaurant  at the location of the Eau Claire River and Highway 27 exists today as it did in 1956.  During the 1950's it offered motel rooms  - loging is now offered by the Woodland Country Store next to the restaurant.
Klatt's Bar Klatt's is located at what is Feske Road and Highway 27 just a few yards from Eau Claire County V and the Augusta Wisconsin Dells Mill and Museum.  The bar was remodeled and expanded during the 1970's.  Doris Klatt became the 'gossip' columnist for the Augusta Area Times (formerly the Augusta Union) when she retired until her death in 2001.  It was called the Gateway Bar, Sue's (Mama Sue's) Bar and other names in the interim - its current name is Tim and Peggy's Pitt Stop Pub

This venerable eating and drinking spot has been continually in business even through today.  Stop by and say hello

Author's Notes: Remembered during the Augusta Wisconsin Sesquicentennial year of 2006 -

 Special rememberance: My mother tells of 'walking in backwards" to get into movies because she did not have the 10 cents to see a movie.  Obviously, the theatre owners knew this but let it pass. The longest extended 'good time' period for the US and Augusta Wisconsin ended, arguably, on September 11, 2001 (9/11)

This transcription is copyright 2006 by the authors of the site and Prorganize tm. Use of this information must cite this source, AugustaWI.com, including the copyright and this web site