July 31, 2013

316 S. 3rd Avenue

July 31, 2013 Photo of the day:
"316 South 3rd Avenue, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235"

This is my grandparents' house in Sturgeon Bay where my dad, his two brothers (Buzz & Jack), and three sisters (Edith, Marion, & Bertine) grew up. Along with the L.A. Larson & Co. building next door, this house has been in the family since the late 1800's. My dad was the baby, and when he left home in 1942 to join the Navy, an addition was built upstairs to provide housing for shipyard workers during World War II. After the war, my Uncle Jack moved back in and subsequently bought the house. My maternal grandmother, Dodo, rented the apartment upstairs for several years, and lived here when I was adopted in 1968. I still have a tiny scar on my upper lip where I fell on the second step from the top, going from Granny's house downstairs to Grandma's apartment upstairs.

I have so many fond memories here! There used to be 100 year-old maple trees in front of the house, but they were removed when the street was widened in the 1980's. In fall, we used to rake the leaves and jump in them. We played flashlight tag at night and "statue" on the two pillars near the sidewalk. We would strike a pose and freeze when cars drove by, absolutely certain that everyone believed that we were sculptures! I would hide in the "hidden room" behind the wooden mantle in an upstairs bedroom where I once found a china doll that must have belonged to one of my aunties (probably Bertine - she was the girliest). I used to love the lilies of the valley that grew along the foundation of the house, and Granny's peonies and poppies. Sadly, along with the maple trees, they are long gone. Also gone, is my dad's "shop." a barn-like building across the alley where my dad posted comic strips and photos, and cleaned many, many fish and ducks!

The house is for sale. Uncle Jack is 91 and splits his time between Sturgeon Bay and Colorado. It is sad to think that for the first time in over 120 years, there might not be a Larson living here. It has been neglected over the years and would require a lot of work to restore, but this house has so much character and so many amazing memories for the whole Larson family!  Click here for a virtual tour.

306 S. 3rd next door, built in 1875,
was my great-grandfather's furniture store, 

306 is now Mel's Café. 
How ironic: my grandfather's name 
was Melbourne Elmer Larson
My brother and lots of my friends call me Mel too!

306 & 316 S. 3rd Avenue, Sturgeon Bay 
Photo via Pinterest