As we head west down Racine Street my kids know they'll hear, "That's where I was brought home after I was born". Now that they're older I get the, 'whatever Dad' look which I understand, yet I still like sharing my history with them. I'm not a historical expert by any means but I enjoy learning and wondering what it was like to be in Janesville in the 'olden days'.
The neat thing about watching my children grow up in Janesville is that I lived their 'olden days'. A few weeks ago we drove past my grandparents old house on Eisenhower Avenue. We turned and passed what is now an apartment at the corner of Glen and Caroline. I told them that I used to walk to the corner grocery store with grandma. They didn't know what to think. How could a 600 square foot building house a grocery store?
If we walk through the mall I'll bring up the fountains in centre court and the stores with owners who actually lived in Janesville. I try to really explain the energy (and teen stink) of Aladdin's Castle but that's something only Generation X will really appreciate. :-D
The Tallman House fascinates me (and my son), and the Look West and Courthouse Park neighborhoods are the fabric of Janesville history. However, each time we drive through Wuthering Hills I share the areas where mini-bike trails ruled the land and how the Hart kids built the coolest BMX track EVER. That paradise has been paved. Their olden days.
If you want to read some great 20th century history on Janesville, check out 'Stories of a Century' at Hedberg. I skim through it at least once a year and I still come across something I missed.
Care to share any of your 'olden day' memories of Janesville?