For a few decades after Racine was settled, Racine was projected to be the largest port on the western edge of Lake Michigan. However, several times large fires broke out that devastated the surrounding area. One was so large that it took days to extinguish and required the services of the Chicago Fire Department. Many of its members raced here by train to help fight the flames. The end result of one fire was that only one building downtown was left unscarred. That building which survived is now the D P Wigley building, which at the time was the only building with a metal roof. The Littleport building was also damaged, and recently required repairs to fix what was damaged in the 1880s. Racine was thus relegated to be a little port on a Great Lake.
When we purchased the DP Wigley building in 1998, Christine’s father, Melvin Corson, had a sincere desire to help us in our plan. Melvin was born in a little town called Littleport, Iowa. It was a town we visited several times over the years. Sadly, a number of floods caused much damage to the town, and about 18 years ago, the federal government decided there would be no more flood assistance granted. The town was bulldozed to the ground, and turned into a park. The only building remaining was the blacksmith shop, above which was where Melvin was born. Melvin last visited the town with a tear in his eye as he viewed the landscape where he spent his formative years.
So, we are named after Racine, a little port on a Great Lake, and after Melvin’s hometown of Littleport, Iowa.
- Let the floodgates open and the beer flow smoothly!