Then & Now
December 5, 2012 9:34PM
Photo from the Dave Belden Collection.
Updated: January 7, 2013 6:13AM
Mokena Hall, Mokena
The arrival of the Rock Island Railroad in 1852 led to the plotting of the village of Mokena in that year by Allen Denny. The original plot included 13 lots on what is now Front Street from present Wolf Road to Mokena Street and six lots from Mokena Street to Division. After the first town hall, located at this location, was destroyed by fire, local businessmen George Hacker and Emil Krapp erected this building.
Constructed in the 1913, the Mokena Hall, shown in the Then photograph, was a building that was used socially by residents as a meeting hall, for church gatherings, dinners and banquets and early Hollywood movies. Located on the north side of Front Street, just east of Mokena Street, the building and land eventually became home to the Cooper & Hostert Ford Dealership from 1920 until the late 1970s. This Mokena landmark building was lost in a 1993 fire. The Now photograph shows a view of the location today, 11018 Front St.
David Belden is publishing local postcard books with Arcadia Publishing. He and his students are looking for Joliet and Lincoln Highway photos or postcards for a new publication. Email : firstname.lastname@example.org or call 815-467-2140 Ext. 260.
The Then photograph is from David Belden and the Local History Project digital collections. The Now photograph was taken by Christine O’Brien.