Packers Heritage Trail: A Walk Through History from Lambeau to Lombardi

© Photographed April 22, 2017
Erected by Packers Heritage Trail
Green Bay, Brown County, Wisconsin
44.515321, -88.015321
Google Map

[scroll down for markers and panels and transcriptions]

Packers Heritage Trail: A Walk Through History from Lambeau to Lombardi is located Packers Heritage Trail Plaza on the northeast corner of the intersection of North Washington Street and Cherry Street, Green Bay, Wisconsin 54301.



The Packers trace their roots
to 1919. It was a time of
sandlot fields, trench warfare
and leather helmets.

By the Lombardi Era, helmets
had changed. They were
made of hard plastic, included
a bar or facemask, and the
Packers "G" became one of
the most iconic logos in
sports.

The back panels, moving from left to right:


Curly Lambeau was 21 years old
when he played a lead role in organizing
the Packers in 1919.
Photo: Courtesy of Neville Public Museum of Brown County

Hagemeister Park was the Packers' first home
from 1919 to 1922. A fence and bleachers were
erected in 1920 after the Packers played on
an open field in their first season.
Photo: Courtesy of Neville Public Museum of Brown County


The Packers' early railbirds would patrol
the sidelines at games at both Hagemeister
Park and Bellevue Park.
Photo: Courtesy of Neville Public Museum of Brown County

The Packers played at Bellevue Park
from 1923 to 1924.
The wooden scoreboard and the barn
with the Bellevue Ice Cream
sign at the back of the north end zone
vividly illustrate the team's humble roots.

No telling how many broken noses
and missing teeth there might have been
in this picture, but this was the hale and hardy
bunch that represented the Packers in 1921,
their first season in what became the
National Football League.
The Acme Packing Co.
sponsored the team.
Photo: Courtesy of Neville Public Museum of Brown County

Lineman Cub Buck
was the Packers' first
big-name player.
A native of Eau Claire and a standout
at the University of Wisconsin,
Buck signed before the 1921 season
after having already
made a name for himself
professionally with
the Canton Bulldogs.
Photo: Courtesy of Neville Public Museum of Brown County


The Astor Hotel, located on
Adams Street immediately
east of here, was a popular
hangout and also where many of the
Packers lived during football
season, especially in the
1930s and '40s. In this 1946 picture,
tackle Baby Ray is at the left
with retired stars Arnie Herber
(middle) and Clarke Hinkle (right).
Photo: Courtesy of Neville Public Museum of Brown County

The Packers might have suffered a tough loss to
the Chicago Bears on Nov. 14, 1948, but that didn't
stop some 3,000 fams from giving them a hero's
welcome when they arrived home at the
Milwaukee Road station on Washington Street
just before 10 p.m.
Photo: Courtesy of Neville Public Museum of Brown County

Maybe they weren't the best seats in the house,
but they filled up quickly as fans perched
on the garage at City Stadium to
watch the Packers play the Chicago Cardinals
in October 1947. City Stadium, located north
of East High School on Baird Street,
was home to the Packers from 1925 to 1956.
Photo: Courtesy of Green Bay Press-Gazette

Not only did the Packers' rivalry
with the Chicago Bears grow
into the most storied in pro
football but it also produced
a string of brutal slugfests in the
late 1940s. In the Packers' 1946
opened at the Stadium,
end Carl Mulleneaux had to be carried
from the field, the victim of a cheap shot.
Photo: Courtesy of Green Bay Press-Gazette 

The end of an era
-- or more like a sovereign reign --
was near as Curly Lambeau exited the
Brown County Courthouse in
November 1949 following a contentious
board meeting over
his future coach of the Packers
Photo: Courtesy of Green Bay Press-Gazette


With the Packers broke and barely clinging to life,
community leaders launched an ambitious stock drive
in the spring of 1950 to save the franchise.
A tote board was erected on the lawn of the Brown County
Courthouse to measure the drive's progress.
Photo: Courtesy of Green Bay Press-Gazette

The potent and hated Chicago Bears
traditionally attracted the biggest crowds
to City Stadium. Almost 25,000 fans
flocked through the gates
and filled the stands for the Packers'
1951 season
opener against their archrival.
Photo: Courtesy of Green Bay Press-Gazette

In an effort to generate more support, the Packers tried to
engage more women fans in the early 1950s. Marion Kollin, Ethel
Buckarms and Mildred Isaacson attended a dinner
at the Beaumont Hotel after participating in a
two-day season-ticket drive in the summer of 1951.
The old Beaumont was cherished by several generations of
local residents and located two blocks north of here.
It was razed in 1963.
Photo: Courtesy of Green Bay Press-Gazette

Received Bob Mann was
the first African-American to
play for the Packers. He joined
the team prior to the last home
game of the 1950 season and
payed until 1954.
Photo: Courtesy of Green Bay Press-Gazette


Green Bay adopted the nickname "Titletown U.S.A."
as it prepared to play host to its first NFL Championship game
in 1961. Titletown signs and banners were displayed throughout
the downtown area as the city flaunted its civic pride. Then
the Packers lived up to the name by crushing the New York
Giants, 37-0, for Vince Lombardi's first of five league titles.
Photo: Courtesy of Neville Public Museum of Brown County

Fans stormed the field at City Stadium after
Gary Knafelccaught [sic] an 18-yard touchdown pass
with 20 seconds left to all but assure the Packers
a victory over three-time defending conference
champion Detroit in the 1955 season-opener.
It took authorities five minutes to clear the field
before Fred Cone's extra point capped a
20-17 upset.
Photo: Courtesy of Green Bay Press-Gazette

More that 70,000 people lined a 2-mile route for the
Stadium Dedication Parade, held on Sept. 28, 1957,
the day before the Packers played their first game in
their new $1 million stadium, later renamed Lambeau
Field. The parade started on the near west side and
cut through downtown before heading to
old City Stadium.
Photo: Courtesy of Green Bay Press-Gazette

At his introductory press conference and
luncheon, held at the Hotel Northland on
Feb. 3, 1959, newly named [sic] Packers head
coach Vince Lombardi huddled with
scout Jack Vanisi, who had helped lay
the groundwork for his hiring.
Photo: Courtesy of Green Bay Press-Gazette


The Elks Club, then located at the corner
of Adams and Crooks streets [sic], was the site
of a Lombardi Testimonial Banquet on
April 30, 1962. The highlight of the night
was Commissioner Pete Rozelle
presenting a beaming Vince Lombardi
with the 1961 NFL championship trophy.
Photo: Courtesy of Green Bay Press-Gazette

Vince Lombardi speaks at a press
conference at the downtown Beaumont
Motor Inn during Green Bay's "A Salute to
Vince Lombardi." [sic]  The daylong event was
held on Aug. 7 [sic] 1968, six months after
Lombardi stepped down as Packers coach.
An early breakfast and press conference
and later a noon lunch were both held at
the new Beaumont. They were sandwiched
around a ceremony at Lambeau Field
where the street immediately north of it
was renamed Lombardi Avenue.
Photo: Courtesy of Green Bay Press-Gazette

In 1961, celebrating fans spilled from
a station wagon as they cruised Adams
Street, immediately east of here, while
others rode the goal post that had been
town down moments after the Packers
had won their first NFL championship
under Vince Lombardi. The fans also
had another reason to celebrate: [sic]
It [sic] was New Year's Eve.
Photo: Courtesy of Green Bay Press-Gazette






April 22, 2017

May 28, 2017

Packers Heritage Trail Plaza
is located in downtown Green Bay, Wisconsin.

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