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Contributor: Frances Stelter
Source: Personal Collection

 

Maria Street
Photographs courtesy Frances Stelter

As illustrated in Harney and Tucker's 1874 Illustrated Atlas Map of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin (below, left), Maria Street was originally planned by the village to connect the blocks north of Church Street with those proposed along Plocker Street to the south. It paralleled Main Street one block to the west. The southernmost block of the street, along with the southern halves of blocks E and F, Block G, and Plocker Street itself, was apparently never realized. The northernmost block, buried below the new Lutheran church constructed in 1958, likewise does not exist today. However, as indicated in the photograph on the right below, it was in active use prior to the turn of the century.

The photograph pictures the Lutheran parsonage on the west and, to its east, the Lutheran church (1872) and beyond it the original Free-Will Baptist church (1856). The row of buggies between the parsonage and church are parked along north Maria Street as it was before the turn of the century.

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Anchoring the south end of Maria Street for many years following the Civil War was John Brown's grocery, shown below. The grocery was located on the northeast corner of the intersection of Maria and Washington, while Brown's house was located immediately across Maria. A hard surfaced walkway, shown in the lower right-hand corner, connected the house and business, presumably to protect Brown's shoes from the mud of the street. Although the store was demolished to make way for what was for much of the current century the Lieske home, Brown's house still stands, surrounded by its original wrought iron fence.

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