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Take some time to get lost in our collective history

Teryl Franklin | Wisconsin State Journal​ ​ ​

Dear Wisconsin State Journal member,

One of the rewarding things about working for a newspaper is the sense of history that comes with it. The State Journal has existed in some form since 1839, covering everything from world wars and the lunar landing to school board meetings and local businesses. Looking back at coverage over the years gives us an interesting window into another time, and into our own community today.

We've tried to reflect the lighter side of that history in a popular series of "throwback" photo galleries that highlight many aspects of life in Madison over the years.

Our most recent effort on the subject involved creating a new installment of a nostalgic series highlighting more than 240 popular local restaurants that have closed over the years -- but still left their mark. This time, we also asked readers to share their special memories of these now-shuttered eateries. You did not disappoint.

Stories of wedding rehearsal dinners, revered fish fries, first dates and even tea parties poured in. We compiled many of these memories into an expansive feature that ran in this week's Sunday Best section. And we shared even more of those memories online today. You can see the full series, and the additional reader memories, at

This type of hyper-local series is possible because of your Wisconsin State Journal membership. Your support allows us to pursue a wide range of coverage, including entertaining features.

In recent years, our throwback series has touched on State Street Halloween celebrationsCapitol Square shopping, V-J Day, the Packers' win in Super Bowl I, the evolution of Bucky Badger and, of course, beloved bars and restaurants that have closed.

We've also mined our archives to remember Vietnam War protests, the 'oleo wars,' the Barneveld tornado and a massive spring snowstorm. We invite you to take a few minutes and get lost in our history -- it's your history, too.

Don't forget to check out our members page. Thank you for your support.