Worth County Historical Society

 

 

 

office (641) 324-1180

Northwood in Pictures: Main Street in the 1900s

One hundred years ago postcards were the primary vehicles to present civic image. People purchased these popular items to illustrate their travel adventures to friends and family. Businesses and civic leaders eagerly produced them to promote their towns. Northwood's distinctive buildings and civic events were captured on these 3-by-5-inch cards and paint an interesting portrait of life in the 20th century.

The Worth County Historical Society has produced "Northwood in Pictures: Main Street in the 1900s," a visual presentation available to members.

Former Iowan Bob Jensen of Homestead, Fla., has collected more than 100 postcards of Northwood and allowed the historical society to reproduce them in July 2003. "The postcards are interesting time capsules in one sense, but in Northwood's case, they also show how much remains the same on Central Avenue from 100 years ago," says Peter Ausenhus, society president. "One benefit of the slide show is that long-time residents help us identify and reminisce about the buildings on Main Street and events depicted in the post cards."


A look west down Central Avenue in 1918 illustrates a vibrant social and business town. All buildings in the forground remain. TUNE, a non-profit community organization has purchased the J.B. Thompson building at the far right and intends to rehabilitate the building to its former glory at the heart of the business district.

'Northwood's distinctive buildings and civic events were captured on these 3-by-5-inch cards and paint an interesting portrait of life in the 20th century.'