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Monroe's Square: Then and Now
ABOVE: The south side of the Square was rebuilt after a fire destroyed the west end of the block in the beginning of 1870, though wooden buildings remain to the east. This photo is included in Monroe, Wisconsin Area Pictorial History. BELOW: Rainbow Confections now stands where a fire once took the wooden building that once housed the James A. Banks shoe store. Once rebuilt as a brick structure, the building later became a drug store.
MONROE - Since its formation in the 1830s, Monroe has made strides to keep up an active downtown Square despite the challenges early development posed. One such hindrance was fire: Buildings, most made of wood, lined the downtown blocks and often shared walls or staircases. In the 1860s, most of the buildings in the bustling downtown were at a risk for fire whether the flames began there or not.