Home > Parish Roots (Pre 1914) > Growth of Superior’s “Eastern Suburb”

Growth of Superior’s “Eastern Suburb”

1019

1905


From Mosquito Village to the Best Homes

At the turn of the 20th century, despite years of growth in Superior, the eastern edge of the city beyond the Nemadji River remained undeveloped. Allouez was known as “mosquito village,” home to transients. Although at times hard to squash infestations of the blood sucking pests would surface from the standing water of “the swamp” near the river and bay, this did not stop “squatters” from putting up a stake, and calling Allouez home.

Things started to changed in 1905, a year in which the Superior Telegram reported that more houses were being built in Allouez than in any other section of the city.

In 1905 the population of Allouez was 1,131 , (with another 428 people living in Itasca). A year later the population had rose to almost 2,000. Most of that increase was due to men employed at the Great Northern ore docks, the largest in the world, which at the time employed 500 men.

With all the construction, the city began to take notice although it would be almost a decade before Allouez would receive needed improvements to its infrastructure .
Improvements, however, occurred on other fronts. For example, those calling Allouez home who for years had been either transients or “squatters” were ordered to vacate the land, or put forth the required money to build new homes. Lots near Itasca street and Fourth Street which sold for about $50 each, a year earlier, were now being sold for around $200, with choicer lots selling about $250 or more.

Not withstanding though, the Belgians did have a propensity and affection for building their own homes. “Every Belgian is born with a brick in the stomach”, was a popular slogan among Belgians who would rather build their own homes than buy an existing property. 

With new homes being constructed, the town was receiving a fair amount of press coverage in the Superior Telegram, with one article on November 10, 1907 with the headline “Allouez= A Suburb of Homelike Homes.”

The article reads as though it were written by W.R. Hallam, Tenth Ward Alderman, himself, who lived in Allouez. The caption under his photo refers to the city council member “as one of the best citizens in the suburb.” Other prominent Allouez residents whose photos were included were, James. C. Morrel, superintendent of the Allouez ore docks; Fred Hertlein, called the “Genial Mayor of Allouez,” a street foreman who invented a grading machine ; and James G. King, principal of Franklin School.

Indeed, hyperbole was in the air as the article exaggerates the wonders of Allouez. For example, the residents were the “most valuable asset of the City of Superior.” The eastern suburb had “the best kind of homes” in which “the working people who earn their daily bread and a few of the luxuries of life by the sweat of their brows and who are always counted among the very best citizens of any town.”

 



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Growth of Superior’s “Eastern Suburb”
 

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