Then & Now
March 20, 2013 8:52PM
Mokena in the 1920s. FROM THE DAVE BELDEN COLLECTION
Updated: April 22, 2013 6:03AM
Corner of Front and Division streets, Mokena
The arrival of the Rock Island Railroad in 1852 led to the plotting of the village of Mokena by Allen Denny. The original plot included 13 lots on what now is Front Street from present Wolf Road to Mokena Street and six lots from Mokena to Division streets. Looking west from the corner of Front and Division streets, this early 1920s photograph shows a view of downtown Mokena. The building on the right, on the northwest corner, once was a saloon owned by John Groth. In 1921, Mokena brothers Milton and Roy Kropp started a hardware business that eventually moved into the former saloon building. Later, the building also housed the village post office, a general store and a church and had apartments on the second floor. In 1945, the nearly 120-year old structure was known as Dunham’s Hardware Store. In October 1974, the business and building were destroyed by fire. The Now photograph shows a similar view of the north side of Front Street from the Division Street intersection.
The Then photograph is from David Belden and the Local History Project digital collections. The Now photograph was taken by Christine O’Brien. If you are interested in contributing a postcard image, email Belden at: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org call 815-467-2140, Ext. 260.