The Red Caboose Page
Maps of the City of Altoona, Wisconsin
arly on, it was decided to go way back over seventy years and
construct a map of the Altoona of that era. Residents of the city in
1935 were contacted to provide information and advice. Prominent
among these were Roger Rasmussen, Marvel Schilling Newton, Laura
Semisch Christy and John R. Thurston. It was an exercise that made
great demands upon the memories of these “historians.” Contradictions
in the information provided were identified and reconciled. Eventually,
detailed maps were constructed that showed both locations and the
names of the people residing in each of them at that time. A relative
newcomer to the Altoona scene, Jack Blackburn, utilized his
considerable computer skills in their construction.
For clarity, it must be emphasized that John Thurston originally
conceived the idea of an historical map and was subsequently joined by
Jack Blackburn and Roger Rasmussen to create a map especially for The
Red Caboose – this is not something unearthed from a dusty City Hall
This segment is thought to be of special interest to surviving old
timers as well as to those people making genealogical investigations in
years to come.
As part of this, there was a studied effort to recall any and all
memories/information about each dwelling and the people who lived in
each of them. Even fragmented recollections are better than none at all.
It is best that the maps, their accompanying informational data
base, and “The Red Caboose” are viewed as a “work in-progress.” This
work may never be completed. Feedback from anyone and everyone
will be appreciated at any time.
Additions and corrections regarding the map’s accuracy and
accompanying narrative information are welcomed and appreciated. All
will be considered fully and integrated into any future map whenever