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Life for Karlen Block starts with stone
This sketch of the Karlen block shows the proposed building as seen from the southeast. It was done by Art Young, who made it from a photo provided by architect Mansfield of Freeport. The building was to be about 70 feet tall and might be the most ornate, privately-owned building ever in Monroe. If you save each of the columns about the Karlen Block, you’ll be able to compare this sketch to the buildings in its later years.
Since we ended the fourth year of Back in the Day with four columns about the history of the United States House, I thought that it would be appropriate to start the fifth year of the column with three columns about the history of the building that replaced it, the Karlen Block. As was mentioned in the previous columns, Jacob Karlen purchased the hotel after Louis Schuetze’s death in 1886 and ran it as a hotel for a few more years. There was talk of him having another building erected on the site, but that didn’t happen until after he moved the saloon out by April 1, 1890 and had the old hotel moved to the west part of town in June.