4th & Washington Streets

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Springfield Journal Register, date of paper which originally published the following is unknown.

Today we glimpse back to the corner of Fourth and Washington Streets, looking to the east in what was probably the Winter of 1888. The five-story building at left was the Hotel Palace of those days, formerly the historic Chenery House of the Lincoln period. On the street floor were the Palace Bar, George Ritter's tonsorial parlor and N. J. Mellin's tailor shop. Just beyond was the old French Restaurant, then a popular rendezvous - and farther on, the thirst emporiums of Joe Delaney, William Shaw and Lee Ensel; Charles Wiesenmeyer's saddlery, Martin's lunch room, the Zimmerman & Prouty wall paper store; and at the end of the block, facing on Fifth, the Broadwell drug store. On the south side in that block, from Fourth Street, were the old Sommers drug store, the Schlierbach & Blucke harness establishment, A. Dirksen & Sons furniture store, the Springfield Trunk Factory, J. M. Rippey's plumbing shop, C. W. Busher's tent and awnings store, the J. T. Wright grocery, George Blood's restaurant, the furniture store of Henry Williams, Gaa & Fleck's barber shop - and at the end of the block, on Fifth, the Stebbins hardware store, where the Myers Building now stands. Of all these firms, only Dirksens and Wiesenmeyer's survive today, but it is interesting to recall the names and establishments along the block in that period. Springfield then had a population of from 25,000 to 30,000. It is worth recalling that Washington was one of the first business streets, in the early days of the community. This is certainly a calm and peaceful scene, as compared with the same setting today.

Submitted by: Jeanie Lowe.