Vintage Boating Postcard from Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin is one of my absolute favorite places on the planet. We used to go on vacations there when I was very little. My husband and I had our honeymoon there. And if I ever get rich, I will live there someday. For now, since it’s only about 90 minutes away from where we live, we just visit frequently on vacations and day trips.

Lake Geneva totally appeals to my vintage-loving side – not just because of my personal history there, but because the town has tons of history in its own right. It looks very much like it did in its heyday of the Roaring 20-‘s – lovely art deco architecture, cobblestone streets, and a quaint boathouse on a beautiful pier right in the center of town. Al Capone and other mobsters made it their haven in the 20’s and 30’s because it is so close to Chicago. In fact, many of Chicago’s wealthy elite built mansions and summer homes there, including The Wrigleys (as in the gum) and the Mortons (as in the salt).

My grandparents used to take my mom and aunt up there as children, and their favorite place was an old-fashioned ice cream parlor and candy shop in the middle of town. Then my parents took me and my brother there when we were children. And now I take my own kids to the exact same sweet shop. It really feels like a walk back in time – homemade candies, 20 different kinds of fudge, hand-scooped ice cream, and gorgeous, ornate mirrored candy displays on the walls.

I need to stop now, I think. Because I really want to go up there right this second.

Anyway… a few months ago I took part in a live internet auction in which I purchased a ton of vintage postcards. One lot was all Christmas postcards (just you wait till you see them in December!). The other lot was all vintage boating postcards. They are seriously one of my favorite vintage purchases ever made. I let out a squeal of delight when I found one of the postcards was from Lake Geneva, postmarked in the summer of 1942:

Vintage Boat Race Postcard from Lake Geneva, WI - Click for printable scanned image

Vintage Boat Race Postcard from Lake Geneva, WI - Click for printable scanned image

We spent 2 and a half weeks up there last summer for vacation – here are a few pictures from that trip, which may make you fall in love with Lake Geneva as much as I have:

Summer in downtown Lake Geneva at Dusk - you can see that the buildings have been there for many, many years.

Summer in downtown Lake Geneva at Dusk - you can see that the buildings have been there for many, many years.

The Riviera Boathouse in downtown Lake Geneva - where you can take boat tours, launch your own boat, or even take horse and buggy rides.

The Riviera Boathouse in downtown Lake Geneva - where you can take boat tours, launch your own boat, or even take horse and buggy rides.

The angel statue fountain in front of the Riviera Boat House at night.

The angel statue fountain in front of the Riviera Boat House at night.

In the summer you can take a ferry boat out onto the lake to watch the fireworks.

In the summer you can take a ferry boat out onto the lake to watch the fireworks.

And this is what I did for most of the time we were there - hanging out on the water with my puppy doing next to nothing. :)

And this is what I did for most of the time we were there - hanging out on the water with my puppy doing next to nothing. :)

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