North Side of Main Street

North Side of East Main Street

Anonymous photographer

North Side of Main Street

circa 1937


Galesburg Civic Art Center Permanent Collection

The photograph shows the Galesburg Centenary Parade in 1937, which marked the 100th anniversary of the town’s founding as a pioneering settlement. The image documents the citizens’ civic pride, but it also records such important historical details as retail establishments, vintage signs, as well as trends in clothing and public ceremony in Galesburg in the 1930s. This view was taken at the intersection of Main and Seminary Streets and includes a model “reindeer” train that represents the prominent role of the railroad in the economic and social history of Galesburg. The train also commemorates the larger role of industry in the evolving economic power of the Midwest in the early 20th century. Such community events during the Depression served to promote a sense of social and economic recovery for the nation through a sense of collective unity and pride in American pioneering and industrial achievement.

Paulina Dickson

Industry, Towns, and Urban Spectacle
North Side of Main Street