Free Printable Vintage Racine Wisconsin Postcards

Vintage Postcard Racine Monument Square

Free printable vintage Racine Wisconsin postcards highlight an underrated gem of a city on the shores of Lake Michigan.

I’m sure that it doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone that I have more vintage postcards of Wisconsin than any other location. While I’m releasing collections of postcards from all over the country and further afield, Wisconsin remains a primary focus. I already have Wisconsin Dells and Holy Hill collections available and will be releasing many more sets over the coming months. If there’s anything you’d like to see here, let me know.

I absolutely love the look of vintage postcards from this era and am excited to share so many of them with you. The vintage Racine Wisconsin postcard collection features 25 postcards, covering a wide range of history about this Midwest city.

Racine, Wisconsin is located 80 miles north of Chicago and 22 miles south of Milwaukee at the mouth of the Root River and on the shores of Lake Michigan. It has a rich history of industry and architecture and has one of the most well-maintained and active historic downtowns in Wisconsin with bustling shops, restaurants, bars, salons, and art galleries.

Racine Wisconsin Vintage Postcards Collage

About the free printable vintage Racine Wisconsin postcards

You may download and print the postcards as many times as you like for personal use. Personal use includes classroom use. You may use the postcards for limited runs (5,000 items or less) of handmade physical items that you sell (i.e., coasters, pillows, mixed media art). You are not authorized to sell the postcard images themselves as prints, only the items you create with them. Handmade physical items DOES NOT include made to order sites, such as Society6 and Zazzle.

You may use the postcards for limited runs (5,000 items or less) of handmade digital items as well. The sale of the download files themselves is not allowed, either as individual images or as part of larger collections. You must create original digital content with the images to sell it.

Additionally, please don’t distribute the download files. If friends, family, or co-workers are interested in vintage postcards, please send them a link to this post where they can download their own files. Thank you!

I have a comprehensive guide explaining the various download sizes I offer for my vintage postcards. It will help you select the best sizes for framing and DIY purposes. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

The low-resolution preview images in this post are purely intended for preview purposes. They are great for sharing on social media. They are not suitable for printing. Please use the download links to ensure you’re getting high-resolution images in the size(s) you would like.

Vintage Postcard Racine City Hall

City Hall

Racine’s first City Hall was built in 1885. It was located at the intersection of 3rd and Main Streets.

Original size | 4×6 | 8×10 – slight border | 8×10 – large border

Vintage Postcard Racine First National Bank and Court House Monument Square

First National Bank and Court House, Monument Square

This image depicts Racine’s second courthouse building. Constructed in 1877, it was a $40,000 Second Empire building designed by Milwaukee’s Henry C. Koch. It replaced the original courthouse building, a Greek Revival structure built in 1839. [Source]

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Vintage Postcard Racine Scene at Goodrich Boat Docks

Goodrich Boat Dock

The image features a typical scene at the Goodrich Boat Dock. The dock was named for the Goodrich Transportation Company, which was founded in 1868 by Albert Edgar Goodrich. It operated through 1933, when it went bankrupt and closed permanently. [Source]

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Vintage Postcard Racine Steamer Entering Harbor

Goodrich Passenger Steamer Alabama

An image of the Goodrich Company’s passenger steamer Alabama entering the harbor. The perspective is from the end of the pier.

The Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company in Manitowoc, Wisconsin built the Alabama in 1909. She measured 275 ft (84 m) long with a 46 ft (14 m) beam. She drew 17 ft 1 in (5.21 m). The Alabama boasted a 2,200-horsepower quadruple expansion steam engine and three coal-burning Scotch marine boilers.

The Goodrich Transportation Company in Racine was the first transit organization to own the Alabama. When the company went bankrupt in 1933, she joined the Chicago, Duluth, and Georgian Bay Transit Company. The Georgian Bay Line sold her to barge service in 1946. They removed her passenger cabins and renovated her haul, so she could haul scrap metal as a cargo barge on Detroit’s Rouge River.

Dean Construction bought the Alabama in 2005. They towed her to LaSalle, Ontario, Canada and eventually scrapped her. [Source]

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Vintage Postcard Racine Horlick Malted Milk Company's Factory

Horlick Malted Milk Company’s Factory

Horlick Malted Milk Company was founded in 1873 under the name “J & W Horlick Company” for the two brothers behind it, William and James Horlick. The company specialized in producing malted milk as a nutritional supplement. Their products ranged from basic powdered malted milk to special tablets called “diastoids,” named after the diastatic enzymes that break down starches into sugar.

The Horlick Malted Milk Company got its start in Chicago, Illinois. After James returned to his home country of England to establish a branch there, William managed the United States operations, which moved to Racine in 1975. Eventually, the company become a leading force in Racine’s food industry.

The company operated through 1975, running production in Racine for nearly 90 years. You’ll still find many Horlick products on the shelves in the United Kingdom today. [Source]

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Vintage Postcard Racine River View from Horlick Park

Horlick Park

A beautiful view of Horlick Park along the Root River. The park is located near Rapids Drive and North Green Bay Road. In addition to the lovely green space, it has a boat launch for small boats and canoes. The Root River Parkway offers green space along the river’s upper reaches. [Source]

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Vintage Postcard Racine Hotel Racine on Lake Michigan

Hotel Racine on Lake Michigan

The Hotel Racine pictured in this postcard is the second Hotel Racine. It was built after the first one was torn down in 1925. The estimated date for this postcard is 1939. [Source] The linked source here has a lot more information about the history of Hotel Racine, including events that took place there.

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Vintage Postcard Racine Lake Michigan from 8th Street

Lake Michigan from 8th Street

It’s a little known fact that Racine is situated right on the shores of Lake Michigan. There are numerous spots around the city that offer fantastic views of the Lake. I’ve rounded up just a few postcards featuring beautiful Lake Michigan views in Racine.

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Vintage Postcard Racine Lake Michigan from Memorial Hall

Lake Michigan from Memorial Hall

The view from the outdoor balcony of Memorial Hall. Keep reading for more information about Memorial Hall below.

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Vintage Postcard Racine Lake Michigan from Top of Court House

Lake Michigan from Top of Court House

I have more information below about the history of the Racine County Court House buildings. The view here is from the courthouse that stands today, which is the tallest building in the county, offering prominent lake views.

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Vintage Postcard Racine Memorial Hall

Memorial Hall

Built in 1924-25 in downtown Racine, Memorial Hall serves as a convention center and meeting hall. The nearly 17,000 square foot, 2-story hall was designed by Chicago architect Howard Van Doren Shaw. It boasts a Neoclassical style with a 2-story raised portico front entrance, featuring four Corinthian columns supporting an entablature. Built in memory of those who died fighting in war, it features names of famous battles inscribed on the west facade. Above the auditorium doors, there’s an inscription that reads “The Noblest Motive is the Public Good.”

Memorial Hall is an ideal location for large weddings and events. The eight great rooms on the main and lower levels have beautiful wood and marble floors. There is also a mezzanine overlooking the main auditorium and an outdoor balcony, offering gorgeous lakefront views (see the lakefront view postcard above).

Memorial Hall was gifted to the city by William Horlick of the Malted Milk factory. Today it is operated by the Racine Civic Center. [Sources: 1 | 2]

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Vintage Postcard Racine Monument Square

Monument Square

Monument Square is situated in a prominent downtown Racine location. Initially, it was known as Hay Market Square. It received the name Monument Square on July 4, 1884, when the still existing Civil War monument was unveiled. It honors Civil War soldiers. [Source] The city chose this date to unveil the statue because it was the city’s 50th anniversary.

The monument features a soldier on picket duty. The pedestal he stands on is 61.5 feet high. It weighs 140 tons. [Source] Today the soldier has a clear view of Lake Michigan over the downtown Johnson Bank building across the street.

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Vintage Postcard Racine The Offices of S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc.

The Offices of S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc.

The Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Johnson Wax Headquarters or Johnson Wax Administration Building is the world headquarters and administration building of S. C. Johnson & Son. Wright constructed the building from 1936 to 1939 for the company’s president, Herbert F. “Hib” Johnson. The iconic “lily pad” columns and other innovative designs of the administration building revived Wright’s career at a critical point when he had begun to lose influence.

The nearby 14-story Johnson Wax Research Tower is also Frank Lloyd Wright-designed and was constructed from 1944 to 1950. It’s featured prominently in the second postcard here. Both the Administration Building and Research Tower were designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1976. [Source]

The source I’m linking here has further detail about the architecture of both of these iconic Frank Lloyd Wright designs.

Vintage Postcard Racine The Offices of S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc.

Johnson Wax Administration Building

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Vintage Postcard Racine The Offices of S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc.

Johnson Wax Administration Building and Research Tower

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Vintage Postcard Racine The Old Mill Dam

The Old Mill Dam

The Old Mill Dam or Horlick’s Dam was situated just north of Highway MM and Northwestern Avenue. Originally the spot was home to a saw mill, which William See built in 1834. Joseph Horlick took ownership of the site in 1874 and constructed the concrete and stone dam and operated a mill from the power of diverted river water.

A fire destroyed the mill in 1922. A version that was built from the original millstones stood until 1969, when the land was developed for a Holiday Inn. Today this spot is occupied by the Quality Inn. [Source] There is still an active waterfall there.

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Vintage Postcard Racine Post Office from Monument Square

Post Office, from Monument Square

The corner of Monument Square is one of many locations that the main downtown Racine post office has occupied since the city got its first postal service in 1836 (before Racine was officially a city or Wisconsin was declared a state). The Journal Times has an excellent article about the history of the post office buildings in Racine.

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Vintage Postcard Racine A Familiar View at Racine College

Racine College

Located on the south side of the city right along Lake Michigan, Racine Collage was an Episcopal preparatory school and college that operated from 1852 through 1933. Today the campus is known as the DeKoven Center and is operated by the Community of St. Mary via the DeKoven Foundation. The historic Racine College buildings are among just a few collegiate non-Gothic buildings still standing in the Midwest. [Source]

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Vintage Postcard Racine County Court House

Racine County Court House

This vintage postcard features the third Racine County courthouse, which still stands today and serves as the current courthouse. It was constructed in 1930 by Holabird & Root. The tallest building in the county, it stands out prominently on the skyline. The striking Art Deco building features numerous carved reliefs on the exterior. [Source]

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Vintage Postcard Racine Richter's Restaurant

Richter’s Restaurant

Richter’s restaurant was housed in what is now the Ivanhoe Pub & Eatery in Racine. The building was constructed in 1889 as a saloon, designed in the German style. Barney Richter opened Hotel Badger in the building in 1921. Years later, he added a restaurant on the lower floor that became the famous Richter’s German restaurant. The restaurant took on the name Ivanhoe in 1957. After sitting empty for nearly 15 years, the restaurant re-opened as an Irish-inspired tavern. [Source] The source I’m linking here has quite a few additional Racine postcard images and history of Racine narrative to accompany them.

The Journal Times ran an article with a history of the building when the Ivanhoe re-opened in the early 2000s, which provides a little more information.

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Vintage Postcard Racine United States Post Office

United States Post Office

The main downtown Racine post office pictured here and still in operation today was built in 1931. The Office of the Supervising Architect completed this classical revival-style building under James A. Wetmore. The post office is located at 603 Main St. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. [Source] Again, The Journal Times has a detailed article about the history of the postal service in Racine and the various locations the post office has held over the decades.

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Vintage Postcard Racine Washington Avenue Uptown

Washington Avenue, Uptown

The Uptown or Greater Uptown area of Racine spans from West Boulevard on the West to Park Avenue on the East and from 10th Street on the North to Dekoven Avenue on the South. The community is made up of three contiguous neighborhoods: Towerview, Slausondale, and Uptown. [Source] Washington Avenue runs through the heart of Uptown’s business district.

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Vintage Postcard Racine Washington Park High School from Valley Drive

Washington Park High School from Valley Drive

Washington Park High School is a four-year, public high school. It’s also referred to as Racine Park or simply Park. Racine High School was the first public school to open in Wisconsin in 1852. The Racine School Board replaced Racine High in 1926 with the school that eventually become Park. Racine architect J. Mandor Matson designed Park. The new Washington Park High School opened in 1928, the same year that Racine’s Horlick High School opened.

Much of Racine High School’s memorabilia and history were moved to Park, including the Joan of Arc statue, the school newspaper The Beacon (which references the local Wind Point Lighthouse), and the school yearbook Kipikawi, which is a Native American name for the Root River. [Source]

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Vintage Postcard Racine Washington Park Swimming Pool

Washington Park Swimming Pool

Washington Park’s north border is 12th Street. It backs up to a high wooded bluff on the south side. The park was established in 1908. Throughout the mid-20th century, Washington Park was home to a number of recreational features including an ice rink, toboggan run, ski jump, open air theater, and 47,200 square foot swimming pool with a pool house.

The swimming pool cost $150,000 to construct. It was considered state of the art and was the only one of its kind in Wisconsin, offering a seashore atmosphere right in the heart of the city. The pool closed in 1968 and was later removed. The pool house was designed by local prominent architect J. Mandor Matson. It was constructed in 1939 as a WPA project. Today it serves as a community center. [Sources – 1 | 2]

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Vintage Postcard Racine Wind Point Lighthouse

Wind Point Lighthouse

The Wind Point Lighthouse is one of the oldest, tallest lighthouses still in operation on Lake Michigan. Built in 1880, the lighthouse was designed by Orlando Metcalfe Poe. After serving in the Civil War as a Brigadier General, he took on the role as engineer secretary of the Lighthouse Board and was in charge of the lighthouse’s construction. The lighthouse was lit for the first time on November 15, 1880. The light had to be lit manually until 1964 when the light was automated.

The U. S. Coast Guard transferred the lighthouse to the Village of Wind Point in 1997. Wind Point is required to maintain the lighthouse as a historic site and landmark. The Village is also responsible for caring for the lighthouse and its grounds. [Source]

Visit the Wind Point Lighthouse site for more information about the lighthouse.

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Vintage Postcard Racine Woman's Club

Woman’s Club

The Woman’s Club of Racine was chartered in 1896. They began with 75 members who met in the parlors of the First Presbyterian Church. In 1916, the club established its own clubrooms in the Buffham Building at 403 Main Street. They moved into the Woman’s Club building pictured here in 1930. The Woman’s Club building was designed by Milwaukee architects Roger Kirchoff and Thomas L. Rose. Most likely it’s the largest building in Racine constructed in the Georgian Revival Style. [Source]

Original size | 4×6 | 8×10 – slight border | 8×10 – large border

I have a comprehensive guide explaining the various download sizes I offer for my vintage postcards. It will help you select the best sizes for framing and DIY purposes. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

Pin this post for easy access to the free printable vintage Racine Wisconsin postcards later!

Free Printable Vintage Postcard Collection Racine Wisconsin

Free printable vintage postcard collections:

Visit the free printables section for even more printable postcards and other vintage printables, including sheet music, textbook pages, and dictionary pages.

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