|Downtown Westby in 1972|
In little more than one generation, many changes have taken place in downtown Westby but at the same time many buildings have had very little change and look about the same as they did when this 1972 photo was taken.
Starting top center and proceeding clockwise, the buildings that have been torn down or drastically changed are the following:
The cupola topped building was built as the carriage house for the Martin Bekkedal residence. Torn down to make parking space for Community Action Program (Couleecap). To the right of the carriage house is another building CAP had taken down, also for parking space.
Hardly visible to the left of the white building with three upstairs windows is Goettels Meat Market. Torn down to make green space for Weber’s Jewelry.
Right of center is the entrance to Vosseteig Funeral Chapel. The Norwegian-styled entrance was converted to a garage door when the Funeral Chapel was moved to the Main Street side of the building.
In the bottom right-hand corner is the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific railroad. For more than 100 years the Milwaukee Road made stops in Westby. First, four stops a day, two going north and two going south, then one trip a day each way. By the 60s, the train went south one day and north the next day after spending the night in Viroqua. Finally it was one trip a week and some weeks none at all.
The elevator, bottom left, was first seen in photos in 1907 and was torn down in the early 70s for safety reasons.
Immediately to the right of the elevator is what remains of the barn, later garage, for the Hotel Vernon. Time Hotel in 1972. Torn down for the expansion of Old Times - Assisted Living.
Directly above the garage and behind the tree is Westby DX service station. Closed in 1970, it first became part of Erickson’s Department Store and now is the Connelly Law Office.
Center left are three buildings that are also not with us anymore. Walt’s Grocery, Westby Theater and when this photo was taken, Roehl’s Clothing. Today in their place is the building and parking lot rented by the Westby Co-op Creamery for the production of their bottled coffee syrup.
The final part of this photo to discuss is all the semitrailers parked to the left of top center. Sloane Brothers Trucking and later Sloane Foods was headquartered in Westby and distributed dairy products nationwide. Shortly after this photo was taken, Sloane Brothers moved to Viroqua and today, Couleecap is located where Sloane Foods once was.