I grew up on the northwest side, and attended 53rd Street School, where
the teachers generally spent the entirety of their tenure
with MPS. This meant that they had your older and younger
siblings, and your parents really got to know them. Mr.
Jacks was the principal and he was there forever, it seemed.
Every Christmas we got candy canes, and chocolate Santas,
and at Easter, chocolate bunnies, from whatever local candy
company donated them.
One PTA meeting, Eddie Mathews, Johnny Logan and Warren
Spahn visited our school, and the entire school showed up
to welcome them. I loved Eddie Mathews, so it was a dream
Until I entered 5th grade, we had no hot lunch program, but
since I lived a block from school, I ran down the alley and
across the yard, into my back door, where my mom had soup
and a sandwich waiting. Sliced bologna or liverwurst on
buttered white bread was the read deal, with tuna salad on
Fridays. The school lunches from MPS were awesome, though,
even though the food was said to be army surplus. I remember
Swedish meatballs on wide buttered noodles, and cornmeal
cookies--I think they were called Ranger cookies--were
amazingly delicious, even though we used to have contests to
see if the cookies would break when they hit the floor,
which they usually didn't. Yet it was when I came home for
lunch on Friday the 22nd of November, back in 1963, a day I
will never forget, when I was innocently eating a PB & J
sandwich, while my mother watched "As the World Turns," that
a news bulletin suddenly appeared, with Walter Cronkite
informing the county that President Kennedy had been
assassinated in Dallas.
The following year I entered John Marshall Junior Senior HS,
where we saw movies like "Drums Along the Mohawk" at lunch
hour in the auditorium, and I swam in the indoor pool for
water ballet. We had new textbooks, loads of electives like
Creative Writing or German or Speech, and those teachers
seldom seemed to leave, either. Mr. Wergin was an
influential principal, who invited the Health and Human
Services Chief of the US to speak at our graduation in 1969.
My childhood memories include school field trips to Kettle
Moraine dairy farms, where, invariably, someone asked where
the chocolate cows were that gave chocolate milk. I remember
my mother absently exiting a Dutchland Dairy forgetting the
watermelon under her shopping cart, and frantically running
back to pay for it. I remember trick or treating and getting
homemade cookies and candy apples. We lived smack dab in
between St. Stephen's Czechoslovakian and St. Catherine's
Catholic churches, and usually attending the former since my
dad spoke Czech and it took forever getting out of there.
There was roller skating at St. Pius and ice skating at
Sherman Park. I took out 7 books a week from the Finney
Library My best friend Maureen and I took ballet, acrobatics
and modern jazz dancing at Pat Marquardt School of the
Dance, which was Pat's mom's house converted into studios
and a waiting room in the basement. I recall our frustrated
mothers sewing sequins on our tutus every June before the
big recital at the Uptown theater, where Miss Pat hired the
Pete Jolly Orchestra. I danced the Robert E. Lee with a cane
and top hat, while Maureen was the Irish washerwoman. Patty
Jacobs did "I Enjoy Being a Girl," and she went on to become
Miss Wisconsin, despite once forgetting her entire routine!
I remember walking to the corner I. G. A store for penny
candy like Snaps, wax coke bottles, buttons, and the 2 cent
Boston Baked Beans. Candy bars like Three Musketeers and
"Oh Henry," named for Hank Aaron, were a nickel, and if you
were rich enough to lose ten cents, a Maple or Vanilla Bun
Bar was worth it. The IGA became Shutkins Pharmacy, but
after numerous robberies in the 60s and 70s, they closed
I recall gong to the A & P on FonduLac with my mother, and
smelling the Eight O'clock Coffee brewing. The floors were
wooden and creaky. Next door was Heinemann's Bakery, where
my mother treated me to a frosted chocolate bar cookie--the
recipe for which I spent years attempting to locate, but to
no avail. Ruby Chevrolet was on the corner.
Capitol Court was where my mother, sister and i often spent
our Saturdays shopping, and where she eventually was
employed part time at the Grand, in order to afford our
clothes as we entered high school. remember Maru Imports,
dreaming I would one day decorate my house with everything
in that store, as well as the porcelain figurines from
I lived on 51st Blvd. here nothing ever happened, and the
kids all knew each other. Every snow day we met in my
backyard to build a snow fort and have "war," until someone
got hit with an icy snowball, and cried, so we had to go
inside. I remember shoveling until my mom had hot chocolate
for us, and we pretended to be shivering and sickly, so we
would not be forced to go back outside.
I remember that Jesson's Cleaners' deliveryman Tony arrived
with my dad's white starched shirts every Friday. Mrs.
Baines was our local "egg lady," who brought fresh eggs down
from her farm in a wicker basket.
I remember Captain WITI, Gretchen Colnick, having nightmares
after sneaking downstairs to watch "The Mummy," with The
Advisor, (white image against a black background), Dr. Bop
and O.C. White, Barny Puip, Bob Barry, Eddie Doucette, Bill
Carlsen with the weather, The Library Story before the
Saturday cartoons like Mighty Mouse and Heckle and Jeckle,
and, most especially, the Lombardi Packers, who played the
Lions every Thanksgiving, when you dare not ask for second
helpings if Starr had the ball on 3rd down.
I remember the summer after my freshman year at Madison
going to the first Summerfest, and Sly Stone showed up an
hour hate, sang "everyday People," and passed out on stage!
I recall Edgar Winter and J. Geils Band, along with B.B,
King, who was taking heart medication even then.
I recall a Marquette game against Wisconsin where Al McGuire
jumped upon the scorers' table when there was a call he
My parents sold our house to the first black family on 51st
Bd. of which I am very proud, but which also caused them to
receive death threats. It was the beginning of very unique
times and much change in Milwaukee. What makes me sad about
the city--I left to live in LA in 1976, where I am a
screenwriter and author--is how much ethnic flavor has
seeped out of the city. I mourn the loss of so much
manufacturing, the decline of the school system, and the
freedom to walk home as a child and sneak through the milk
chute, when I forgot my house key.
Those were some amazing times! Gummutlekeit!!!
Bill Carlsen with the weather
I lived in Milwaukee from 1952 to 1957.....
and rode horses at a wonderful riding school
there. I don't remember the name of the school
or the man who ran the school. The farm had an indoor arena
and ran a very professional program for training young
Could you please post this and see if anyone remembers the
school name or the name of the man who ran it?
Let's see - I worked at Wisco 99
going through college. On Sherman
Blvd, in Tosa on Bluemound and the Car Wash
off Oklahoma. They were owned
by Pure oil then and eventually Union 76.
They were great folks to work
for. You ran your butt off in those banana
suits. I also worked for WBON in
New Berlin till it was sold to Youth For
Christ. I did afternoon drive
opposite WTMJ's Jonathan Green. Sometimes we
had fun with each other on the
air. The 60's were the days. I loved
getting a sizzling steak at Dutchland
Dairy. Sometimes one of those huge ham
sandwiches at the Pig and Whistle. I
grew up in West Allis on 77th street by the
race track at the fair. Nothing
better than a brat and fries to walk around
the fair with dripping ketchup.
Loved Zuli's Pizza on Hwy 100 and
Greenfield. Graduated from Central High.
Zulie's was a hangout for us. Oh and the old
happy says... The soda shop on
Greenfield avenue for a malt or banana
split. But the BEST of the BEST was
Flemings A&W... They had the best roast beef
sandwiches ever. Remember Lou
Ehlers Buick in Shorewood, at Wilson and
Capitol drive? In my Junior year
of high school, I worked for Billy
Wisniewski's Midas muffler shop. That
wasn't much of a thrill in winter. Well
heck, it wasn't in summer either.
Riding the # 10 Wells-West Allis streetcars
to downtown Milwaukee, that old
wooden trestle always made me anxious. How
many folks remember Johnny
Anthony's Dance Party on channel 6? That
Now in the Warmth of the Tama Bay, Florida
area with lots of fellow
I moved to Milwaukee from
Upper Michigan, in 1962...
it was a big deal to
move to the city.
I first lived on 30th and
Vliet. Then moved to 30
Highland in one of the old
mansions. Across the street
from one of Marquette
U.'s Fraternity House. That
was fun, loads of parties.
In 1962 I was hired
at Allen Bradley with my
friend Sharon. We were
living high then. Good wages
finally. I also lived on
Lincoln Ave. and 30th &
Arthur Avenue, Ellen St.
off of K.K. 76th and
Oklahoma. Etc. etc. My
daughter Tracy was born at
Lukes Hospital in 1963. I
hung out at the Clubhouse &
Mary's Log Cabin
across from A.B. Ate a lot
of meals at Dutchland Dairy
on Oklahoma, big boy
on 27th St. Shopped at
Gimbal Schusters at South
Gate Mall. Later hung out
on the North Side of
Milwaukee. Clef Club,
Marquee . South side
Donuts & Nick M. What party
animals? Loved to eat Steak
& Eggs at Mazos
early in the morning on the
way home. Ice Cream at Leons,
Grocery shopped at
Arlans. No car, used to push
the shopping cart over the
RR tracks. That was
an adventure? I love
Milwaukee. I attended my
first Summerfest in early
1970's. It was so small.
Then watched as it grow
almost too big. My love for
the city has never dimmed. I
recently returned, wish the
Steak House 100 was
still there. We danced &
drank many nights there. I
worked at Milwaukee
Electric Tool, G.E/Beltmann
North American. Bartended on
the East side at
Monreals. Worked at Best
before it became Best Buy.
So much more I could
fill a page of good times on
Lake Michigan, the beautiful
Parks. Living at
Lake Shore Towers
overlooking the lake. Bike
riding, hiking in the
The city has it all.
Recreation, shopping, a
beautiful downtown area. I
very happy to see it so have
so many new places to eat.
We took the boat
ride. I have mega friends
there still. I'll always
call it my home. Even
though I have lived in many
states as far away as
Alaska. I am a true blue
I was looking for pictures of what I thought was a pharmacy.....
on the NE corner of Greenfield Ave and 71st in West Allis.
My Aunt and Uncle owned
Seder Jewelers on Greenfield
Ave. between 70th and 71st.
Spent many hours there in
was born in
going on a
1964 to a
park in the
seemed to be
a year round
love to know
the name and
for the "Old
Back in the
50s and 60s
corner of E.
sign in Apt.
of the wall
put his two
the holes in
Rumor had it
hilly, had a
This was my
over at N.
the bank was
an A & P
she let me
Not bad for
a kid who
and how can
All in all,
On the top
met at the
market and I
got to look
Town on the
Sheet of the
I know everyone says this, but I have enjoyed this site for years.
I stumbled upon it probably 8-10 years ago. I check back often for new additions.
In one of the early "memories" pages, someone makes reference
to a "spiral staircase" that used to be at Mayfair, and asks if anyone else remembers it. I did not see
any further reference or follow-up to this.
As a latch-key kid in the late 70's-early 80's, I spent most of my afternoons and weekends
at Mayfair. Also, my grandparents both had heart-attacks in the 1970's and were advised by
their doctor to walk, so they'd go to Mayfair every morning. I guess they were the original
"mall walkers." On my days off from school, I'd tag along with my grandfather and we'd
have breakfast at McDonalds and watch the skaters from the big picture windows above the rink.
I remember the spiral staircase, but for the life of me, I can't remember what it led up to.
This was in a small, dimly-lit, obscure part of the mall, I believe it stood where the main
(mid-mall) entrance is now, but remember that no one considered that an entrance back then,
as most people entered the mall through one of the anchor stores, Marshall Field's on the north
and Gimbel's on the south. There was a cheesy fountain which was not connected to the stream
that ran down the center of the mall itself, with it's plastic-floored gazebos and swimming goldfish.
The spiral staircase was adjacent to the fountain. I can still picture the surrounding shops: There
was a pretzel store, an arcade, a card store (i.e. Hallmark-type place) with Bresler's 33 Flavors and
Merle Harmon's Fan Fare just steps away across the cobblestone floor. I know that staircase went
upstairs, but I can't remember what was up there. It's very odd. My mind draws a complete blank,
even though I can picture everything else.
Other sights and sounds of early Mayfair that stick with me to this day were "Tiffany's" bakery;
some accused them of piping faux-baked goods smells into the mall to make passers-by hungry.
There was Spencer's Gifts, where you could purchase rock posters and blacklights and disco balls
and other things at a back counter that younger folks weren't allowed to see. The place always smelled
like patchouli oil. Years later, I understood why.
Lastly, I recall with great joy the upstairs, formal, sit-down restaurant inside of Marshall Fields
which I am guessing most have long since forgotten. It was called the "Linden Room," and at
Christmas each year, hosted "Breakfast with Santa." They had a mammoth Christmas tree that
would rival many trees even by today's standards. I don't know if it was fake or real, but it stood
in the center of the dining room, and reached to the huge ceilings and skylights. The women of the
store would trim it every year. My mom worked security for Marshall Fields and would have to work
late-night shifts in the days after Thanksgiving as the women worked overtime to put the tree up.
If that was a fake tree, I wonder where it ever wound up. I can't stress this enough: The thing was HUGE.
And every year, after Breakfast with Santa, all the children in attendance would make their way out of the
Linden Room and through the Marshall Fields Toy Department (which you just HAD to pass through
to get back to the elevators) and dream of surprises to come on Christmas morning.
P.S. I am a direct descendant of the Cook Coal Co. / Henry Cook Co. My grandmother, Margaret (Cook) Robel was one of George Cook's daughters.
I have done extensive research on the company's history/locations, etc. I have also accumulated some company photos and memorabilia,
ink blotters, etc. If anyone ever asks about Cook Coal, or has additional information to offer, I would love to hear about it!
Hello again. My original post from around 2010 is on page 10....
Here’s something you may not have.
This is a beautiful 1956 Buick Roadmaster parked at Feerick Funeral Home on E. Capitol Dr, where my mother worked in October 1960.
I had just returned from 2 years Army duty in Germany and bought this car before moving on to my next post at Ft. Carson, Colorado.
It was a nice warm day and I had just spent a few hours waxing the car with all that chrome.
Someone has posted a picture of a 1950 Buick Special on your site which prompted me to send this picture.
My first car after graduating from South Division H.S. was a 1950 Buick Roadmaster purchased at Berndt Buick on 26th and National.
Good to see your pages expanding. Also good to see I’m not the only Milwaukee native still looking for Candy Raisins and a recipe for that special Milwaukee cheesecake.
Best regards to the people of Milwaukee, young and old. I still have family in the city and many fond memories like when I was a kid living on 15th and Burleigh and the baseball games at Borchert Field.
The Schusters store on Third Street was great!...
My Grandma took me and my sister shopping there for our fancy new Easter dresses, new shoes and hats. I can still remember the smell and sounds of that store. The floor was carpeted and there was a constant ding ding ding ringing in the air. Never knew what that was. The best part of the trip was the basement snack counter. The freshly popped popcorn had real butter and you could ask for as much butter as you wanted. The hot dogs were delicious. So back on the bus we went with our greasy popcorn hands and new apparel. Then there was Sundays at Grandma and Grandpas on Warren Ave., off of Brady Street. Church at St. Hedwigs was always followed by a visit to Scortinos Bakery for hot ham and hard rolls. Then home to eat. On the table was always great bakery from the National Tea grocery store. The donuts were spectacular. You can't get those kind of donuts anymore. National Tea also had those fun S&H Green Stamps. Waking up in the morning on Warren Ave. to the refrain of "rags - rags", from a man pulling a cart full of rags. I wonder still what he did with all of those rags. Does anyone know? Wasn't it nice to get fresh milk in bottles put in the milk chute? There was the Home Juice Company who delivered big bottles of Papaya Juice and Lime Juice. I can still taste that Papaya Juice. The Five and Ten Tap was not far from Warren Ave. and sometimes after church on Sunday, Grandpa would hoist me up on one of the stools so he could have a beer or two. That was the best place to go for a Hamburger and beer. Friday fish and chicken fries had people lined up outside. I agree with the person who said it was great to be alive in the 50's. It really was.
I am 76 yrs old and lived in Milwaukee till the late 40's...
then came to Racine with my family where I am now. I remember my cousin and I went to the natatorium on north ave to swim. You had so much time and then the lady would call you to get out. I believe it was made into a restaurant in later years but didn't last too long. We lived on 27th and Brown and was within walking distance to Washington park where we hung out during the summer and ice skated in the winter. I remember the 47 blizzard where the snow was almost up to the second floor and the street cars and autos were stranded for days. I remember going to the butcher shops where the floor was covered with saw dust. I remember the lady that owned the grocery store across from elm st. school where I went, calling my mom and telling her she got cigarettes and that she would put some away for her. And on the next block my parents would send me to the store there to get a chicken. They
didn't want to stand in line. I remember the ration stamps where you were allowed so much gas, (if you were lucky enough to own a car) We didn't. and I think one pair of shoes. Sometimes we had to put card board inside cause the leather was all worn away. I remember going to the rainbow theatre on 27th and Lisbon on Sundays where you saw two movies and the cartoons and the news. Times were tough but every one helped each other out and families were close and watched out for each other. I wonder how the generation of today could put up with that?
My memories date back to the forties, is that okay?...
Lived on Kane Place, Milwaukee's lower east side.
Pulaski playground was our Mecca. And Wolski's
was there before they grew famous. Brady Street was great, the Astor
theater where our mothers collected dishes on "dish nite". Lerner fruit
market, Sajdak's shoe store, the Kosobucki jewelry store with its
unattainable diamond rings in the window, but best of all was Polish Annie's
Dry Goods Store. There you could buy all kinds of fabric and thread, and at
Christmas time a dozen ornaments imported from Germany cost about sixty
cents a box. Though gone from Milwaukee now I still subscribe to the Brady
Street News. You can take the girl out of Milwaukee, but you can't take
Milwaukee out of the girl. Oh. I can't forget how we went "crabbing" in the
Milwaukee River (our house was right on the river, and how our summer days
were spent at Caesar's Pool.
Vern Marie Pukenis Rolbiecki
As a boy growing up on the south side, I remember going to the public natatorium for 25-cents on men's day.
I can't seem to find any information on where it was or when it was torn down. I was only eight and nine years of age back then (1961-62).
I am also interested in anyone with memories of Casanova's hobby shop just off of 16th and Greenfield. I remember buying model cars there for $2.00, and the old, squeaky wooden floors. What happened to the store?
Did anyone go to Greenfield School off of 21st and Scott from 1959-1963? Would love any copies of class pictures or names of teachers. I remember a Miss Shelton and a Mrs. Schlondrop.
As a child from Chicago, I remember coming to Milwaukee to eat at a
place that had dolphins swimming in a pool in the center. I think it was on
the south side off the highway, but I am not sure. I currently live in
Germantown and would love to remember the name of this restaurant and am
hoping you can help me out:-)
Editors Note: Public Natatorium Restaurant. It went BK around 1985 and the owners
left the animals to fend for themselves. The heating plant broke down
and Soda the Dolphin nearly died during the outage. Eventually the
animals all found new homes.
I was born in Milwaukee in 1945....
and lived there for approximately 30 years.
I will submit my memories of Milwaukee in a follow up email, however, my purpose for writing you is in the hope that you might have a photo of the Pig & Whistle Drive In that was located on East Capitol Drive, one that you might consider putting up on your wonderful website dedicated to Milwaukee Memories.
I have so many memories of Milwaukee that I could write a book, I grew up on the northeast side which was the Mecca of the city. If there was even the remotest possibility that a time machine would be invented before I died, I would buy a ticket immediately, Milwaukee was, in the truest of terms, "The Big Little City", "The Machine Tool Capital Of The World", and "The Brewery Capital Of The World."
It was greatest time in history between 1945 and 1965, a great economy, everyone had a job, kids were polite, girls wore skirts, we had real American cool looking cars, Rock & Roll, we had Wisconsin Avenue for cruising, sock hops, The Braves (many who actually shook my hand), and so much more. There's no book big enough to describe Old Milwaukee.
Thank you for taking a moment to read my email and hopefully, that you might find an old photo of the Pig & Whistle Drive In.
I was born in 1956...
Tearing up reading all the people's comments about Milwaukee. I was born around Hopkins and Hampton next to La Duca brothers music store and a Boy Blue on the other side. Moved to 88th and then 90th and congress... then to 52nd north of Hampton for 3rd and 4th grade. Walking down (yes, I said "walking down") to the Villa theater for I think Saturday afternoon movies. There was a candy store not far from our house on other side of 51st st. that sold penny candy. Waiting for my friends to get done with their catholic classes on weekends so we could play basketball. Fishing bottlecaps out of the soda vending machine at the gas station with a coat hanger and a magnet because they were worth something. Playing with the neighborhood kids and using our imagination... nothing could be better than a big cardboard appliance box. Playing monopoly in the hallway of our duplex when it was raining.
Moved to 103rd south of Hampton for 5th grade thru high school. Riding our bikes to so many area golf courses with our clubs on our backs. Enjoying food from the grills at Hanson and Currie. Zarders by Dineen, and the elusive giant goldfish in the pond aside from the pool. CYO dances in the Wauwatosa East neighborhood. Went to junior high at longfellow... great places down North Avenue towards 60th street. Just playing with my friends outside and having a ball. Talking the bus downtown to the Moon Shop on about 5th and Wisconsin... looking at all their different items and purchasing a few. We went everywhere on our bikes and on the bus and no one ever bothered us even though we were only 12 or so years old. I won't mention the other places that other people have already. Milwaukee was a great place to live in the 60's and 70's for me. I live in Madison now, and it is sad to see what has become to much of Milwaukee. But it is still home, and I love to
visit even though most of the places I loved are gone. Leons is still there... Webb's are fewer but still around... Kitts and the old Kopps turned Roberts turned Juniors is still there but not the greatest place to go now. Only one complaint: BRING BACK THE BROWN MUSTARD THAT WAS AT MILWAUKEE COUNTY STADIUM!!! Miller Park doesn't have it like it was. It was the BEST!!! Stopped at a White Castle on the way through Chicago the other week and took about 40 packs of their brown mustard that looked just like the MCS mustard... brown and smooth without the grains in it. I once brought it up to Wendy Selig at a season ticket holders banquet, but she scoffed at it and went on her merry way. Long live Milwaukee!
Born and raised in Riverwest in the 60's...
Some great memories. Went to Fratney Street School (still operating), then Boys' Tech High School, where it took me a few decades to realize how great that place was. I remember all of my friends lived either "upstairs" or "downstairs", but no one I knew of had a single family home (except my "rich" aunt who lived in Menomonee Falls). Played at Kern Park a lot, sledded down the hill at Pumping Station Park in the winter, but avoided the pool at Gordon Park 'cause that's where all the tough kids hung out. We could hear the 1968 riots from our front porch on Weil Street, and I remember the neighborhood was never the same. Most everyone was either Polish or German, and the Catholic kids all went to St. Mary's or St. Casmir's schools. I was actually jealous that they got to go to catacism (sorry about the spelling) on Saturdays. We bought penny candy at Pop's store on Bremen Street. Our parents went to the corner taverns (many corners had four of them) for weekend socializing. We watched 3 channels of black and white TV, and WOKY and WRIT were THE radio stations to listen to on our clock radios. Vietnam war was on the TV all the time, and I couldn't understand what all the protesting was about. Silver Spring was the suburbs, Appleton Avenue was two lanes, and Capitol Court was the hot shopping area. I remember my 10th birthday party was at the Capitol Court Cinema. Got to go to one Brave's game as a kid and thought I was in heaven. I had so much fun in Milwaukee as a kid that I never even realized I was poor.
Help! I'm pretty sure this little amusement park was close to Milwaukee...
and I'd love to know where.
The big clues are:
- weird building the shape of an oil can (the domed kind with a centered spout)
- four lane road in front of it
- an intercity bus goes by at 2:20, and it may be a badger coaches bus
- the sign in front of the place says "weber beer"
I lived in what they call "Riverwest" ....
now but Pierce and Auer was where I
spent my Grade school years and Humboldt and Burleigh was for high school.
We walked the "tracks" to get most places and had to be in when the street
lights came on. Remember when your Mom called out and you could hear her a
block away? Remember when you literally "called" for your friends to "come
out and play"? "OH FOR CAROOLE... OH FOR BOBBEEEEE.."? How about Goldman's
on Mitchell and White Castle Burgers? George Webb's had the coupon for 7
Burgers for $1 but then the State tax came in and sometimes we couldn't get
them because we needed another $0.04 for tax.
We had Torner's Ice Cream
Parlor on Chambers and Holton and would always stop there for some "penny"
candy on our way to the GRAND Theater where admission was a nickel on a
Saturday afternoon for a matinee and 15 cents on a Sunday for first run
color movies like Fantasia, Snow White and Bambi.
A few blocks to the North
was Aldo's Pizza where we hung out many times having just a Coke. There was
Fratney Street Playground where during the day we could play "Bottle Cap
Hockey" and "beater" and at night we would play "Snatch the Bottle", "4
Square" and "Red Rover Red Rover". We traveled to other playgrounds for
softball games and welcomed them to ours.
In the winter they Froze the
playground and made an ice rink out of it. The Journal shack was right next
to the playground and we had to go and "sub" the Sunday paper on Saturday
night before early morning delivery. There was the 4 lane bowling alley
with pin setters called the North Shore Bowling Alley and if you could
afford it you went up to Capital Drive to Strachota's Bowling Alley that had
24 lanes. There was the "Pig and Whistle" that had the very BEST BIG CHIEF
double hamburger and custard ice cream shakes and malts. Estabrooke park..
Kern Park.. And Gordon Park which had the swimming pool and also had some
swimming meets where you could see swim races almost like the Olympics.
There was "Pumping Station Park" where we sledded down the huge hill and
went screaming across the street onto the other side. The little league
teams played and sometime you could even watch the high school games where
they had full uniforms and all. If you went all the way down the street to
the river you could sit on the river bank and go "crabbing" with some
chicken livers you got from the butcher at the corner market. And if you
walked the path to Gaenselen School you could find a "tarzan" swing that was
hung in the trees by the river.
This is an excellent site.. Brings back so many memories. I WILL be
Diane in West Bend now.
I just found this website. What a hoot!
I was born in Milwaukee in 1943 and left permanently for the New Mexico frontier at age 24. On the occasions I returned for visits to family it was disconcerting to see all the changes. All in the name of progress, I’m sure. I saw a reference to Chick’s Chicken Shack. My parents owned Chick’s from around 1953 when it was located on the corner of 6th and Wells until it closed sometime in the 80’s; they also bought Pinky’s Tap next door. Both of them built in the old ‘half-timbered’ architecture. It had a REALLY scary and disgusting second floor which was totally unused but good for a ‘creep fix’.
The kitchen fans exhausted across a 3 foot wide space between us and the pawn shop and Club Terrace (I was too young to go see ‘Dagmar”, the famous female impersonator) next door. The grease would just run thick down the wall but no one (except me) ever ventured back there – I marveled that an ailanthus tree grew right up through that disgusting mess in the gloom. (I’m sure the Health Dept would object to that nowadays but it certainly didn’t affect the chicken we turned out.
Us kids worked in the restaurant as soon as we were able to navigate the city on our own – back then, that was about age 11! We’d start out making toast, graduating to dishwashing, waitering, cooking and, finally, running the place when Dad would take an infrequent vacation. I started tending bar at Pinky’s on my 21st Birthday – I recall having a difficult time learning how to pace myself with all the drinks everyone bought for the owner’s son.
I can remember hurrying to get my chores done before opening the doors at 3:30 so I would have a chance to just sit in the front window and watch the activity on Wells, especially the streetcars. I loved the streetcars – I loved riding to the end of the line just to watch the conductor get out and switch the electrical connection to the overhead wires and everyone would get up and swing the backs of our wicker seat backs to face the other directions – absolute magic to a kid!!
Swimming in the Natatoriums, getting REAL custard at the huge port cochere of Gehl’s creamery, missing several buses home hanging out in the sort of forbidden territory of the bookstore on 6th and Wisconsin. S&H Green Stamp building on 6th and Wisconsin where my parents moved Chick’s when they tore down the old one and everything else in the neighborhood for the civic center. There was a barber shop where they’d catch all the fuzzy hairs with a burning splint and toss in a quick head massage even if you were a kid.
Every year we’d go to the the Arena for the Sports show and watch fly fishermen cast from one side of the pool in the middle to the other. Gene Autry showed up one year – I was crushed when my hero appeared paunchy, dressed in a shiny chartreuse cowboy shirt. I think the car show may have been separate but that was always exciting because, back then you could tell, in a second, every year, make and model of each car maker. I remember the viaduct that the streetcars drove over – deliciously scary.
Concerts at the Riverside Theater – Jerry Lee Lewis and Fats Domino stand out. My grandmothers worked in the drapery making department on the top floor of Gimbels overlooking the River – a great, cavernous room with big tables a lot of old ladies.
And GREAT food: the Carradero Club for pizza, that incredible Swiss Chalet up in Mequon, not to mention the Chalet on the Lake if you had to impress your date, learning how to love lobster (much to our parents’ chagrin) at the semi-fancy restaurant on the corner of Washington Avenue and Sherman Boulevard – The Boulevard Inn, I think. There was a statue of Baron Von Stueben out front – (see below) La Choy’s where we’d stop for Chow Mein on the way home from work. White Tower on 6th and Wells where we’d go when we got tired of chicken at work – and George Webb’s was too far away.
High School proms at the Eagles Ballroom. Driving Hawley Road through Miller brewery checking out the huge copper kettles. Holding your breath while driving past the Red Star Yeast factory next to the freeway. Foreign films at the Downer Theater. The Domes at Mitchell Park (?). Watery excursions to Mauthe Lake or West Bend – the freezing temperatures of Lake Michigan never appealed. How cool and modern the new War Memorial at the end of Wisconsin Avenue was. Day-Tripping on the Milwaukee Clipper (what ever happened to that?) and just wandering around the docks or down in the industrial valley.
We moved to Wauwatosa at some point a half block from the Menominee River and the wild green forest that bordered it on the west side (the east had it’s attraction as well – skating lagoons and picnic areas). But it was the forest that held the most fun – we’d swim and build rafts and every Spring we’d harvest the gazillion golf balls that washed down from Currie Park. It got pretty disgusting in the 70’s and 80’s but I think it’s been cleaned up. It was a new neighborhood and constant construction meant lots of raw materials for forts and lots of places to play games and jump off roofs onto dirt piles. TV held no attraction to compete with that.
Finally, the best tribute of all – whenever we have a family reunion we settle in to a hot afternoon of Sheepshead (5-10-15 or 10-20-30, if we’re feeling flush) No one else in the world plays this fantastic game (unless someone from Milwaukee has taught them). Of course, no else drinks from a ‘bubbler’ either nor ‘goes by’ your house, meaning that they are actually gonna stop there. It was a great place to be a kid.
Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben West Lisbon Avenue, by J. Otto Schweizer, 1921
I was born in 1945 and grew up on 64th and Lincoln...
I went to Don Bosco high and graduated in 63. This really brings back memories from the past like cruising Lincoln ave and Oklahoma ave and Mitchell street picking up girls and just having a good time. Gas was 22 cents a gallon McDonald's hamburgers were 15 cents and a new Corvette was about $6,000. After high school I worked at rail road express in back of the Johnson cookie factory and across the street from Flintdrops guns. Then I was drafted and was sent to Vietnam were it seems that the nice world from the sixties ended. I will always have fond memories of Milwaukee and I thank you for this wonderful site. Tom
Born in 1930, lived on 39th and Chambers....
38th Street school. We celebrated
Decoration Day (Memorial Day) by placing geraniums at gravesites. Fourth of
July, we were given flags, marched to Sherman Park. Billie the Brownie,
Heine and his Grenediers at noon on WTMJ. Skating in the winter on the
lagoon in Washington Park or an iced area in Sherman Park. Peckham Junior
High for a while until we moved to California in 1942. Peckham was a tough,
but good school.
High snow drifts in the winter, walked to school. No school buses.
A different time.
Seal Beach, CA
I played drums in Virg Hoffman's (sax) quartet at the original Mamies Grotto in the mid-fifties along with Harv Lachmann (piano) and Floyd Stindle (bass). The two sons of Mamie Gigliotto ran the place.
Contact me if you want any information about this great restaurant... but don't wait too long because I'm 82 years old now.
What if my memories are from the 40s?
I was born in 1935 and attended Clarke Street School on 29th and Clarke St - still there? Now Peckham is gone - apartment building? Attended Pulaski High School, on S. 27th and Oklahoma Ave, and graduated in 1953. Pulaski and its twin Rufus King High School both built just after WWII. Married at Hephatha Luther Church on 17th and Locust. My husband worked at Krueger's Bakery on Center St and Holton St. Hankins Store on 27th and Center, the Savoy Theater. Jefferson Hall on Fond du Lac which used to be the Turner Verein Hall for those who enjoyed gymnastics, or just getting together. Wedding receptions held upstairs. The firehouse on 30th and Locust that rang their alarm at the end of WWII. Ice Skating at both Auer Ave. baseball field, and Washington Park Lagoon. The original zoo on Vliet St (I think). Al's Frozen Custard place just across the street from the Mitchell Field airport. Taking a greyhound bus from downtown Wisconsin Avenue to Franklin, south of the city. Music lessons at Boy's Tech for band students from many Milwaukee schools. Going to the fantastic downtown movie palaces. Seeing "Gone With the Wind" at the Riverside Theater in 1939 with a box of Fannie Farmer candy to enjoy. The snowstorm of 1947. Wanderers' Cemetery - a place where wanderers could have their final rest. It's still there but the name does not tell the story.
I know you probably don't know much of these places - but your memories brought back mine.
Thanks for sharing. Now in CA. Betty Knuth Baumann
lived on N. 30th and Locust Streets from 1939 to 1949, then to towns of Franklin and Greenfield
So glad someone from good Ole Milwaukee sent me this site a few months ago...
I was born in 1938 on 5th & Melvina, a few blocks off Capitol Drive. I left the summer I turned 21 and moved to California on my own. In between those years, I had a wonderful childhood, so filled with memories of Milwaukee, growing up with family and friends that 12 years ago, I sat down and began to write about growing up in Milwaukee. Well, one memory led to another, and pretty soon I had covered more than a 100 pages, now grouped into chapters. There was Green Bay Avenue grade school, where I learned everything about reading, writing and arithmetic, and first kiss. Ice skating on every ice pond within 2 miles of the house, and there were many, Rufus King High School...of which I am immensely proud that it is just exactly as it was all those years growing up in the fabulous 50's. (Can you believe they still have those girl gang showers?), Milky Way Drive in, boys...Drive-in Theaters (not telling much detail there). And then I thought I had best add some of the old photos of family, friends, the house, picnics...the list goes on and on, ainna?
So I thought, well, there were all those great restaurants in the areas, Friday night fish fry, Pappy's, Mammy's (anyone remember that ribs place?) and hundreds of other wonderful eateries around the city and suburbs. Well, then, why not add a few family recipes...Christmas Cookies, Thanksgiving Dinners, Sunday night dinners.
Frankly, I couldn't stop writing. It was as if the words flowed like water through the sluice gates at the Michigan harbor during the smelt runs. There were vacations spent 'up north' at Grandma & Grandpa's place on the lake, fishing, digging for night crawlers, bass, perch, sunnies, blue gills, Pike, Walleyes, and frying them up in the cast iron pan with bacon grease and cornmeal coatings, the very morning they were pulled out of the lake.
Goodness. Here I go on again. Well, if I don't get this published (privately, as I named names!) this year, my family will disown me.
Major problem is that there were so many great things I remembered, my bio has morphed into more than 300 pages.
That says it all for Milwaukee, family and friends.
Again, thanks, Retro Milwaukee, for letting me share along with so many others who had the privilege of being a part of the heart of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Sybil Friedel Thomas
I worked at Porth Pie Company from 1963 to 1967...
when I was 15-18. The person who remembered getting broken pies may have received one from me!
I am trying to remember the name of the shoe store on Wisconsin Ave, near the
Riverside theatre that sold only men's shoes for $7.70/each...all of the
shoes were the same price. Can anyone help me? Many many great memories
of growing up in Milwaukee!
Does anyone have any photos (interior or otherwise) of their experience on the Hanna-Kildahl...
(excursion boat at the foot of Mason Street?) back in the 50's & 60's? This boat still has a following on facebook, but no pictures of the interior in her heyday.
Great site/collection of memories!
The Hanna-Kildahl in 2012
I was born in Milwaukee in 1943...
& lived on the Northwest Side off of 89th & Lisbon Ave.
I joined the Marine Corps while a senior at Washington High school. I graduated & left for
San Diego Marine Corps Recruit Depot in June of 1961.
During my last year in Milwaukee I played rhythm guitar for a Band called the Warheads.
We played a lot of high school Senior Proms & other gigs around Milwaukee and the
surrounding area. Milwaukee was a great place back then. A lot of wonderful times
fill my 69 year old head.
Does anybody recall ever seeing the Warheads?
I have been trying to find whatever info I can on the Band & the Band Members.
If you have any information I would appreciate it if you could pass it along.
Thanks in advance
Morgan City, La
I, too, am enjoying your site and Milwaukee Memories...
I, too, spent way too much time as a kid in front of the TV set! I loved watching the local shows. News, weather, movies, contests, it did not matter, I watched all of them. (Anyone remember Judy Marks?)
Here's another one. Anyone remember when one of the Milwaukee TV stations used cool moving weather graphics before there were computers for this sort of thing? (I think it was Channel 6?) The weather symbols on the map had animation. They were actual, physical pieces stuck on the map. The "high" symbols would turn clockwise and the "low" fronts would turn counterclockwise (or the other way, I don't remember.) The rain clouds would have drops falling and the sun symbols would have rays coming out.
I am now a TV engineer and can guess how this effect was done back (using a rotating polarizing filter in front of the camera lens) then but have never been able to find out more information about this.
Holloway House restaurant
Trying to find any information, especially pictures, of the old Holloway House restaurant my mother and I visited a few times downtown. I don't know if it was on Wisconsin Ave., or where?
I'm looking for photos of town pride on 61st and villard ave...
if I knew how or where I can find at least 1 of the building It would mean everything to me. It was my hangout when I was young in the early 80's and a picture is truly worth a thousand words
I was born at St. Joseph's hospital in 1943....
Our family lived in a duplex on 30th & Courtland
from 1948 until 1956 when we moved to 89th & Townsend St, Milwaukee. This is the Northwest part of Milwaukee & there wasn't any paved roads in the neighborhood. I played
In a rock & roll band for all of 1960 & part of 1961. I went to Pius High School for 3 years
and graduated from Washington High School in 1961. The Band name was Jerry & the
Warheads or it could have been just the Warheads. Does anybody have any info about
this band? We played a lot of Senior Proms & other gigs.
I just got a 45 record of Thunder Wagon by the Noblemen. You couldn't beat Milwaukee
for great Rock & Roll music. I just found out that Bobby Nelson , who played at the Clef
Club & at Timmerman Field passed away. He was living in Las Vegas at the time & he
recorded 2 songs that I know of. One is "You can't pick a winner every time", and the other
is "there's nothing true about you".
That was a long time ago & I miss those innocent days. I left Milwaukee and headed out
to San Diego, Ca. For Marine Corps Boot Camp. I have been living in Morgan City, La.
since 1966. My wife & I make frequent trips to Milwaukee to visit friends & relatives and
always visit my old neighborhoods.
By the way, I really loved the chocolate ice cream from Carvelle on Burleigh. And who can
forget Winter's frozen custard.
If any one has any info on the Warheads I sure would appreciate a heads up.