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Digital Douglas County History

Looking Down Mass

Postcards taken through the decades help to commemorate how Massachusetts Street has changed over time. From dirt roads to cement streets, the view may be different but the appeal is the same.

Lawrence began using a form of a street railway system in 1871. In the beginning, the streetcars were powered by horse or mule teams. In 1909 the first electric streetcar was installed in Lawrence. The main focus of the routes were around the University of Kansas and taking residents to and from Massachusetts Street. The streetcars added a certain convenience, mostly during inclement weather, but for the most part they were extremely loud and sometimes dangerous during the winter. In 1933 the streetcar came to an end in Lawrence when it was decided that buses would be more useful.

 

In April of 1911, Lawrence was struck by a tornado. The devistation was massive and many homes and businesses were severely damaged. Mass Street's damage was well documented and several images were turned into postcards.