June 7, 2012
Every summer, for as long as I can remember, I’ve spent the Fourth of July at my parent’s cabin in Spooner, Wis.
The small town of 2,500 people has found a place in my heart. I loved (correction — still love) walking up and down the main drag with my mom, stopping at the antique stores, bake shoppe, other small stores, and occasionally seeing a movie at the two-screen cinema.
Although, now that I have graduated from design school and am a professional graphic designer, I have found new entertainment on that main drag: the odd assortment of signage.
From store fronts that have been standing for decades, to signs that try to look like they’ve been around for decades, to every unfortunate era in-between. If you pay attention, the collection of signage within a two block stretch will entertain more than just designers.
Established in 1839, The Red Cross Pharmacy his one of the oldest family businesses in Spooner.
Though the Red Cross Gifts was a bit short lived — In the 1950’s, the new owner showed some ingenuity and re-purposed the “Red Cross Gifts” sinage, and created a new store “R.C. Gifts.”
The Palace theater has been showing two or three movies a week, since 1939.
The local Bake Shoppe has been serving up sweets since 1952.
The Cat’s Meow certainly shows it’s age, being established in 1986.
The Spooner Outlet has been selling fine goods for over 40 years, and their sign as trucked on the entire time.
The Rusty Bucket is Spooner’s newest antique store, but they pay tribute to the small town and nature of their store with their quaint hand painted sign.
Jerseys is a modern affair in the small town, with over 100 martinis to choose from. Their modern sign certainly stands out.