Tuesday, November 15, 2011

From the Mailbag: 1958 Topps Photo Mystery?

Reader Tom Vivian sends in this mystery:

Tonight on Topps Archives auctions, the attached picture was posted, it is a picture of long-time Packers receiver Billy Howton, it is listed as being from 1958, but it could be from 1956 or 1957 as well.
I was curious about the stadium structure behind it, which appears to be an all-rock structure with concrete steps for seats.

There is a high school stadium similar to this one in Monterey CA (near where I live), and I have not seen too many others like it.

This one is somewhat different though than the one in Monterey, because this one appears to be built from the ground up where as the one in Monterey is cut in to the side of a hill.

I am wondering if you know where this site is or was.

What I do know is that the Green Bay Packers training camp has been at St.Norbert's College since 1958.

There are a lot of other Packers photos that I believe were probably taken at St.Norbert's and there is no structure like this pictured anywhere.

However, from 1954 thru 57, the Packers trained at UW-Stevens Point, so I am wondering if this is possibly an old stadium from there.
I recognize the gorgeous 1950s uniform Howton's wearing, of course, but am at a loss about the surroundings.

These pictures were often taken at Training Camp, so Wisconsin State University-Stevens Point, as it was known at the time, might be a possibility, but I've never been.

What do you say? Does anybody recognize the structure?


Johnny O said...

Hey Chance. The search for this studium literally hits home. I am from Stevens Point, and went to college at St. Norbert College.

If this photo is from anywhere in Stevens Point, it must be from Goerke Field. (Currently where UW-Stevens Point, SPASH, and Pacelli High School play their games)

I am slightly embarassed to say I don't know the history of Goerke Field other than it is very old. The interwebs doesn't help either. There is literally nothing about it online. I am going home for Thanksgiving, and my Dad works at UWSP. I will make this a special project of mine while I am home for the Holidays.

In the meantime, there is one image online that might shed a little light on this. Even in its modern stage, Goerke Field still maintains its old stone wall. This does look kind of similar to the Packer photo.


- Johnny O

Tom said...

I recognize the structure ... but only from numerous Photo Day pictures of Packers players from the '50s. It's such a distinctive background, clearly not City Stadium I or II or County Stadium. Perhaps it is Stevens Point? Or: Did St. Norbert's College have a football stadium, one the Packers opted not to use once they'd set up on Oneida Street?

Jeremy said...

I wish I could help you, but I have no idea where this photo was taken. Cool stadium though. Really nice blog to.

Anonymous said...

From 1954 to 1957 the packers trained in Stevens Point, Wisconsin where this structure is located. "Goerke Field" was built in the 1930's as a depression era WPA project. FYI- I lived across the street. Hope this info clears up the mystery.

Anonymous said...

Goerke Field? Stevens Point official website History of our parks states concrete and stone stadium build in 1937.Maybe some old Pointers can come up with some pictures. Wisconsin weather hell on these old stadiums know we lost Marquette Stadium and North Stadium in Milwaukee.

Anonymous said...

On ebay there is a Wisconsin State University Stevens Point Yearbook 1969 showing guys running hurdles showing some of stadium. Top angles look alittle funny but the front short wall looks real close,check it out!

kmjutr said...

I was intrigued after seeing the picture of Billy Howton. I live in Stevens Point and I went over to Goerke Field today and I found where the center piece and posts are on top of the grand stand. They are now covered from the field side by the press box but if you go out the main entrance you can still see the stone work. Great Picture!