KEOKUK STREET FAIR - 1940 and 1951

Each fall, for many years, all traffic was shut down and Keokuk’s Main Street was transformed in to a magnificent Street Fair, filled with rides, stage performances, wild animals, food, and everything that is found in the best of carnivals of today.  All the tents, rides, and attractions were firmly attached with stakes driven into the surface of the street.  I was left to wonder who patched up the street at the conclusion of the Fair.

Esther and Bobby in the Airplane  

This airplane ride was positioned in front of the Trinity M. E. Church, which no longer exists.

 Great chauffeur, eh?

Esther seems perfectly content in the passenger seat where she tends to the baby doll’s needs in 1940.

 Esther and Bobby ride the horses

Keep an eye out for the brass ring in 1940.

Pete, Bob, Bill and Wayne

Cotton Candy Boys - Including Uncles Wayne and Bill Willows in 1951.

Pete and Bob       Esther on the Catapillar

The Ferris Wheel was set up near the Golden Rule clothing store and Ward's Cigar store.  The Catapillar Ride had a canopy that closed over the cars giving the rider the sensation of traveling through a tunnel. 

The Old Covered Bridge

Tommy Inman's Liquor Store on left.

This bridge was at the foot of Main Street.  Tommy Inman's liquor store is to the left.  The bridge spanned the slough and led to the dike road to the Mississippi River bridge.   It burned down in 1967 and has not been replaced.


Good sibling grouping, plus Dick's buddy, JB

It looks like the two older boys are set for fishing. Dick Wells and his buddy JB Terrill, with Bobby and Esther.


Not the smartest mode of transportation, but admittedly a pretty envious set of wheels.  Averaged two miles per can.

"Borrowed Nanny Goat. But she liked to Butt."

 "Last ride with Billy Goat.  Dick and"  -  1940

                          Yes, it looks like the Billy Goat is on the left and the Nanny Goat is on the right, but this is the way the photos were captioned in 1940.

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