More Retro Milwaukee Memories Page 11

Around Thanksgiving, 1968, I was sent from.....
Atlanta to hire personnel for the photo studio at the JC Penny chain  - Treasure Island.   I have vivid memories of how cold the climate was, and how warm and welcoming the people were.  I truly did not meet even one unpleasant person.  I was enchanted by the food in the cafeteria at the store - the CHEESES!   How good the milk was!  I was there for two weeks, and honestly?  Had I not had a fiancé waiting in Atlanta, I might have moved to Milwaukee.  I have always wanted to return.  Now 65 and retired... who knows... maybe someday? 


I was a brakeman for the Milwaukee Road in 1951.....
 and later worked at the Evinrude plant on North 27th St. If you have an Evinrude outboard from the 1953 era check the boat clamps and if there is a #8 punch mark there that motor passed through my hands. I remember the radio personality Joe Dorsey and his program coming on at 10pm playing the Les Paul instrumental 'Little Rock Getaway'. It is a haunting melody - does anyone else remember this? Also, I remember crewing freight trains out of the Menominee valley bound for Portage and points West before the first stadium was built and watching hobos coming out of the 'jungle' and clambering aboard our train. Warm memories.

Ed Godec- Lodi, WI


I was born in 1932 in Milwaukee...
My Dad had a print shop and then a Tavern (Barmann's Bar) on Atkinson Ave between 10th and 11th where Nash ends at Atkinson. When the Braves moved to Milwaukee he would rent a bus on Sundays and take a load of customers to the game. I skated at the Riverview Roller Rink on the east side. Went 5 nights a week and then tended bar at the roller rink on busy nights. Emil played the Organs there for your skating music. Got the greatest hamburgers at a place on Green Bay Ave. They would slap a big hunk of butter on the burger. I think it was Sollie's . I also looked through the holes in the fence to see the Brewers play. I was a Cub Scout and the brothers that owned the Burliegh Theater would have us come in Saturday morning and scrap gum off the seats. Then we could stay and watch the Saturday Matinee. Did your mother ever say "I'll meet you by Schuster's where the Streetcar bends the corner"? I can close my eyes and hear her now. I worked at Bluetone oil delivering fuel oil. People down here in the south find it hard to believe that I would deliver oil and it 35 below. It was on State Street across from a little brewery. About 3 blocks down from Miller Brewery. There was a Popcorn Wagon that would park on Wisconsin Ave and have that great buttered popcorn.
I have some old pictures of the bar at this site.
Dick Barmann





                          Click for a full sized view of the 1948 opening of the 41 Twin
I grew up in Milwaukee in the late 70's Early 80's....
Remember all the car frames at AO Smith on 35th and Capitol. Don't forget seeing the latest AMC car on the corner of Richards and Capitol drive. Godfather's pizza on 71st and Capitol. Zwiefel Ford on Lisbon ave. The little Red school house on Appleton Ave.
Great memories on this site, hope these few helped.


I was born in Milwaukee, 1938......

Originally lived on the "Polish" south side around 11th and Mitchell St right across from Schusters. We lived there until about 1944 when we moved out to the "suburbs" around Humboldt Park. I remember the holidays in Milwaukee, especially Christmas, when we would listen to the radio and Santa Claus reading off toy lists from all

The hopeful kids. I believe Billy the Brownie would help Santa with the lists. As we got closer to Christmas, there were calls placed up to the North pole to talk to Santa as he got ready for the big trip down here.

I loved walking into the Sears-Roebuck store on Forest Home Ave and the smell of the roasted nuts and the noise of the vacuum cleaner demo being run right across from the roasted nuts. Somehow I would always get my dad to take a walk past the electric train dept hoping he would loosen up on his purse strings.

The Grand and Schusters were stores for the well-to-do people, so we never went to those stores. We patronized Goldmans, Hills, etc.

As I got to be about 12-13 yrs old, the winter probably was more fun than summer, especially the ice skating at Humboldt Park and the sled riding down the Humboldt Park hill. Now that I think back about it, that park was like my 2nd home.

I still live close to Milwaukee and every time I go there I still go past some of my favorite places of fun, eating, dancing, etc. I had so much fun that it makes me feel kind of sad to hear the younger people talk about how bored they are. That was never the case with me or my friends.

So much has changed that most of my memories of Milwaukee almost feel surreal. However the good memories and all of the fun we had will always seem almost like yesterday.

Jim W.


The Streets of Retro Milwaukee?
 To webmaster, your web site is too wonderful to describe! One simple thought came to mind, as you are well aware the Milwaukee public museum had, and likely still has a turn of the previous century "old streets of Milwaukee" section, I would think they could and should do likewise for the 20th century. The information you have, from such true and forthcoming folks could be invaluable. As an old kid who grew up there I would think an " NEW old Milwaukee streets" could be a great and prideful civic resource.

Jack toal. ex- Milwaukeean

Madison, WI

Click for a full size view of Milwaukee Downtown in the early 60's


WOW! What a walk down Memory Lane – love this site!
  I was born in 1945 in Milwaukee; my parents were natives too. Until 1957, we lived at 10th & Clark & walked or took the bus everywhere. Started grade school at St. Boniface & it was a huge event when the old school was torn down & a brand new building came into being. No AC, of course; we slept with the windows open & I’d hear a quartet of neighborhood boys harmonizing on the street corner. My grandpa lived upstairs in our duplex – he was from Sweden & worked as a masseuse at the Pfister Hotel. My uncle was a toy buyer for Schusters so we always rec’d good presents – their Christmas parade holds many happy memories for me. A bunch of us kids frequented Hoyt Pool in the summers or braved the lake at Bradford Beach. We later moved out to the boonies near Mount Mary College. I graduated from Pius High & worked at the main library downtown while attending Marquette. All the elderly Germans would cool off or warm up in the library while reading German newspapers. Once, a patron died in his chair there & I was spooked because I had just walked by him. I miss Mama Mia’s (loved the greasy garlic bread), frozen custard, real brats & my Mom’s dill pickles.

Sue Janda Haley

Wisco 99 Revisited   
Saw reference to Wisco 99.  As I understand it, it was owned by the
Schroeder family.  My father was the local Wisco 99 distributor in
Madison.  I have a few pictures of his truck and one copy of the logo,
but have a hard time finding anyone who remembers much about the
company.  In Madison at least, the company was legally known as
Hollywood Oil Company and I have no idea why.  There were 6 stations in
Madison.  They were the first "gasoline only" stations in the area, and
were discounters.  They had double stamp days on Tuesday and "Ladies
day" on Thursday.  On ladies day women who filled up got a free gift.
They also gave away Hop Along Cassidy mugs, which were very popular.  I
would love to hear more from anyone who has any knowledge or pictures of
Wisconsin stations or operations.  The corporate entity was apparently
Wisconsin Independent Oil Company and at least in later years was based
in Palatine, Illinois.  They also had stations in Kenosha and Rockford.
Randy Paul




Randy Paul,

I read your notes on Wisco 99. I can fill in the story of the company. I am the son of the founder who was Willard T Hansen. the company was started in 1938. It consisted of one station on State Street in Milwaukee [ an area called Pigsville ]. It wasn't until 1946 that the 1st Wisco 99 super station was built. It was a brand new concept of getting people in and out quickly. the stations were large, had 4 islands and 8 pumps, they were clean and each customer would be greeted by at least two or three attendants depending on the amount of business. all glass on the car was cleaned, oil checked, battery levels checked and the transaction concluded as quickly as possible. Every person who worked had to go to Wisco's school before they would interface with the customer. How you treat, greet and handle customers and their expectations. There was a definite culture. The company was sold to the Pure Oil Company of Ill. in 1958, at that time there were 40 stations in Milw, Madison and Racine. They were selling approx 40 million gallons at that time. The company was merchandised heavily in radio, some TV [Boston Blackie] and outdoor advertising. Promotions such as double stamp day, ladies day gifts, were part of the promotions. There would be big promotions at the opening of new stations with gifts and special pricing. Cars would line up for blocks during some of the openings. The stations were 24/7 and a lot of the help was high school and college kids. The typical corner gas station would pump about 25,000-40,000 gallons a month. On grand openings Wisco would do that in one day. The average gallonage for Wisco stations was 200,000- 300,000 gallons a month. At that time gas was selling for .17 to .24 per gallon. So now you know the rest of the story. The founder, Willard T Hansen passed away at guess...99. Two months short of his 100th birthday.

 Don Hansen

Milwaukee holds such a deep place in my heart.
 The memories of precious people and places will live on in me for the rest
of my years. I grew up on Vliet street in the 60's and 70's until I left in  
1976 for a career in the military. I went to Saint Michael's school  
and can remember the scent of charcoal in the air on early brisk  
winter mornings.  The excitement of trudging through the freshly  
fallen winter snow as I played along the snow banks, and watched the  
canals the formed underneath them as the snow melted.  On the corner  
of 24 th and Vliet there was an old time candy store with the big  
glass display case, and I believe the proprietors name was Woody.   
That kindly old gentleman always had a smile on his face as he  
patiently filled our candy requests 1 penny at a time.  May God bless  
him.  Across the street was Anne's restaurant where my mother took me  
to eat after school and after I gave her my 3rd grade project/gift,  
two Christmas candle holders.  Just west of Anne's restaurant was the  
Empire fish company which incidentally was directly across Vliet street  
from the Saint Michael's Church Catholic Nun's Covent.  There also was  
a Bardhall oil distributor across the street.  More to come.


This site takes me back in so many ways as someone who was born in 1960 in Milwaukee and has basically lived here all my life.
Interesting to see the stories of Wisco99. My dad drove truck for the General Electric shop on 3rd and Oklahoma and always filled his trucks up there. Also often filled our station wagons up there. They always had great giveaways there and since Dad was such a regular customer, the store folks were generous with him as far as store giveaways were concerned. My brother and I both had our first baseball gloves because of giveaways from that station -- pretty decent "Super Pro" gloves, too, that lasted us through a few years of Cub Scouts softball (played over at Tippecanoe Park behind Clement Ave. School). Dad was the coach for the Immaculate Conception teams from about 1967 till 1973 or so. Also, sets of drinking glasses and such from Wisco99 filled the family cupboards. When Wisco closed, that station on 6th and Oklahoma became a Martin for quite a few years before becoming a McDonald's. Quite a few Friday nights we'd ride with dad to fill up the car and then go across the street to pick up a bucket of fish from Dutchland Dairy for dinner.
Growing up in Bay View in the 60s and 70s was a truly great experience. From 1958-'63 Mom and Dad owned and ran South Towne Records on Kinnickinnic. Then we moved over to Delaware Ave in '64. As a kid I watched At Random be built from the ground up. Groppi's was our grocery store. We moved down a few blocks on Delaware in 1969 for two years, right even with South Shore Park, then settled into a house on Hanson Ave. between Oklahoma and Euclid (right by the old American Motors factory). What a childhood. We'd walk down to Oklahoma Tap as kids to buy soda (Orange Nesbitt) and candy (yes, Snirkles!).
In about 1972 they built a new Boy Blue (It's now the Gyro Stop) on Oklahoma just west of Clement. My friends and brothers and I walked there so many times a week in the summer.
I saw someone else previously mention spending summers by her cousin and trying to fall asleep to the BOOM BOOM of the Drop Forge factory. That was such a huge part of the soundtrack of my youth.
Attended Immaculate Conception for grade school, Fritsche for ninth grade and then Bay View. Just the greatest era to be a kid in Milwaukee.I could go on and on, but will save some for other times.
Rick Braun


I happen to stumble upon this website and I am glad I did!
 Growing up on south side (Bay View area) in the 50s, 60s I was reminded of the "good old days" that my parents used to tell me and now I too can relate. Some memories have stuck in my brain - Fenzel's Bowl on KK in the 50s which then became Rogahn's (with Russ Ten Pin Grill) and lastly Bay View Bowl. It was almost next door to Gabey's Beer depot where I would return bottles found in trash for pennies and nickels and also would buy "Double Cola" soda , and it is a few blocks from Siegel's (still there). Across from Siegel's was Gladys Bakery where I stopped every day to buy "butter horns" after delivering th Milwaukee Sentinel for 2 yrs. A little north on KK how many remember Prentice Drug Store (now an trendy restaurant) or Frank's Barber Shop on the west side of KK. And the Franz opened a shop around the corner from Prentice Drugs. Also on KK, the Masonic Temple on the corner of KK and Otjen. As I got older like 12 I was allowed to go to Frosty's on Howell Ave across from St Auggie's church. Moving west a bit one memory was Johnson Municipal Hospital on 13th and Muskego and later changed the name to Johnson Emergency.

Also a little older I heard about the submarine races at Jones Island. It was a passion pit and every night would have dozens of cars parked there with the windows steamed up.

I know I could mention many many more places that would bring pleasant memories but will let others jump in and I will enjoy reading.


Ride the Monorail for 25 cents
 Does anyone have a picture of the Boston Store from the 60's. The toy
department on the 8th floor had a train that you could ride on the  ceiling. We
would see Santa Claus too.
Thank you, Anne


  I remember.....
The stage show productions between the double feature movies at the
Riverside theater.  My grandmother used to take me downtown to the matinees
& I can remember Xavier Cugat with his little chihuahuas and his wife Abby
Lane.  I can even remember Carmen Miranda appearing once.  Those were first
class productions.
And my husband remembers Roy Rogers or Gene Autry appearing as well. 
Those were good times in my life.
Mary Louise Metzke

Waterford Wisconsin

I was born in 1951 in Milwaukee and left in 1984....
 I grew up about 4 blocks from Humboldt and North Ave. on the East side. It was a great place to live and grow up.

All my friends and classmates would swim all summer at Gordon Park. The park had a huge pool that cost 15 cents for the entire day. In the winter months we were back at Gordon. They had 2 skating rinks, one in the park and the other on the Milwaukee River. Both were groomed on a regular basis and both had warming houses.

As a teenager I worked for both the Journal and Sentinel newspapers as both a station captain, carrier and collector. It put enough money in the pocket to buy my first car and motorcycle.

On Sundays my mother would go to Pete’s Bakery on Chambers Street and get hard rolls ham and pastry. There were other bakeries in the area but Pete’s was the best. Occasionally, on Friday or Saturday for supper orders would be taken for sliders. George Webb made the best in the world and at 7 for a buck you couldn’t beat the price. Marc’s Big Boy on Prospect and North also had good hamburgers. The Big Boy and Brawny Lad were great burgers. As for subs there are still none that could beat Suberpia or Cousins.

Another great memory is the Grand Theater on Holton and Locust. Another great bargain. A bunch of us would get together on Friday nights and see a triple feature horror show for 15 cents. I saw movies like “The Day the Earth Stood Still”, “Earth Battles Outer Space”, The original “War of the Worlds” numerous Vincent Price and vampire movies. After seeing “War of the Worlds” I had a recurring nightmare for years. The same dream would come back about twice a year, well into my twenties. I saw the movie when I was about 10.

Milwaukee was always a great place for music. It was amazing. Major acts would schedule a tour date in Milwaukee and skip Chicago and Minneapolis/St. Paul. How many of you remember 1812 Overture, record store and “head shop” on Brady? It was the best place in Milwaukee to buy records. In the summer months Free City Music put on a free concert down by the lake front across from Bradford Beach. It was awesome, a natural amphitheater with the best bands in the area. There were always at least 500 people there. Heart, Journey, Cheap Trick, and Ted Nugent played there in 78 to a packed house. The best concert I ever attended.

I could go on for hours with memories from childhood to young adult. If we only knew what we had then...

Someone wrote about opening the "hoity-toity Hi Fi Salon on 78th or so and Greenfield.... 
 I worked there all through high school.  I'm wracking my brain trying to remember the name of the man who owned it.  Tom something, but can't come up with a last name.  I do remember another teenager who worked there, Ken Pangborn.  Anybody have any further info?

Kathy - then Knief

I grew up on 57th & Euclid (between Oklahoma and Morgan)......

 and have nothing but great memories of Milwaukee.  I especially remember THE FOOD!  There seemed to be something great around every corner, such as:  Captains Steak Joynts, Big Boy, Al's Hamburger stand on Layton across from the airport, the birthday cake from Heineman's Bakery (the Heineman's that used to be in the Dell Farm store on 60th & Oklahoma, not the other chain of Heineman's - which I know was spelled differently, somehow.)  The frosting roses on their cakes had a little piece of almond paste in each of them.  I'd KILL to have that again! Cory's Restaurant on about 3lst and Montana?, maybe. It was in back of St. Luke's hospital on a side street.  They had the best cheeseburgers and a casserole called "chicken gourmet" which I would also give anything to have again!  The Paul Bunyon burgers from Dutchland Dairy and the shreddy onion rings.  I worked as a waitress there in high school and remember when they came out with the 79 cent "Quickie" which was a small hamburger, handful of fries and a Coke.  For 10 cents more you could get cheese on the burger.  I was a very innocent little thing back then and recall feeling funny when I'd have to say "Quickie" to the cooks.  I knew it carried a bit of a sexual tone.  It was probably pretty nervie for the Dutchland exec's to name it such a thing, but I think I repaid them for the embarrassment by making sundeas way larger than regulation size for a couple of relatives.  Oh, the good old days!  Remember the Dutch girl delight sundae?   I also remember pizza from a place called Guiseppe's which came delivered to my friend's house.  It would have been on about 35th & Villard.  It was the best pizza I've ever had and I've had pizza in many parts of the world. Villa Roma was on 35th & Oklahoma and as gross as this sounds, it was so greasy that when it came delivered to your house, there was this orange liquid floating on it and the paper from the wrapper would stick to it.   The pizza was good and there was so much cheese on it, you would choke.  My kind of food! (and no, I don't weigh 400 pounds.  Not yet, anyway.) There was a restaurant at the top of Chapman's Department store on E. Wisconsin and Milwaukee streets.  Their lunches were great.  I even liked the ones that Penney's had in it at Southridge and the one at Gimbel's at Southgate.  The Boulevard Inn, Sally's on Juneau, the Peppercorn(?) across from Victor's on Van Buren, Baker's on Mitchell Street, Beyond the Sea on Brady, just to name a few.  Sometimes I wish I could pop back to that time (for a time) in a time machine.  It makes me smile just thinking about those days.
To the lady from 57th and Euclid:
I don't see your name here, but I must've
known you since I also grew up at 57th and Euclid (3212 So.57th) from 1952
til 1964. Also, didn't the Dutchland Dairy on Forest Home burn down around
1963 or so? Did they rebuild it? I don't recall, but if you're younger than
I am and you worked there, I'm assuming they did rebuild it.
Dean Milano
Memories-Retro Milwaukee:

I just came across the site. What a treasure! I lived in Milwaukee from 1933 (born) to 1970 (left for Florida). Lived on S.44th street from 1946-70. Having lived in other places, Milwaukee still has the nicest, most cordial people on earth. High school - Pulaski and Rufus King had identical designs, having both been built (1936, I think) during the depression when construction flurried, to create much needed jobs. The January 1949 still ranks as one of the worst. My dad was out of town and had to walk, through more than a foot of snow, from the depot  downtown to our home in the Jackson Park area. Enjoyed the snow until I had to work in it -most of the day -  as an ad salesman at WISN and WEMP. Earliest radio people I remember were Bob (Coffeehead) Larson and Johnny Michaels at WOKY. Later, WISN had who I consider to this day to have been the funniest and most clever morning man, I've ever heard: WISN's Charlie Hanson - with his imaginary sidekick "Shaky." People outside of Milwaukee still look at you funny when you mention frozen custard. Like. what is that? Only the best and the creamiest. My favorite spot for that was Dutchland Dairy, at S. 45th and Forest Home. Played basketball at Pulaski and then at Marquette University. All travel games were by train or prop, as jets weren't yet in the vogue in the mid-fifties. As a result, MU didn't play games on the east or west coast, and very few to the south, playing almost all in the Midwest. Clybourn street gym, where most of the home games were played, had five rows of stands on two sides, plus one ring around the upper balcony. If pushing it, it held 3,000, compared to the 19,000+ in today's Bradley center. Bryant's was the favorite "upscale" cocktail lounge of all, on Lapham Street at S. 9th. Unbelievable high octane drinks to impress your dates. Wonderful dark corner booths, where I took my later-to-be wife. Specialties for most holidays. "Scotch Fiesta" was my favorite. I have no idea how we managed to live, after driving with so much alcohol. on board (Not just Bryants, but all the bars and clubs.)  Another good spot was "Some Place Else," downtown. So many memories.

Russ Wittberger

Here are a few that I have not seen mentioned....
- Alsta's pizza on Howell and Howard
Avenue's, Little Richards Drive In on Oklahoma and Clement in Bay View, The
Sail & Rail Bar on Greenfield Ave, the Quarter Midget Car Club of Milwaukee
with the 1/8th  of a mile dirt track across the street from the State Fair
Park Milwaukee Mile  1957 - 61, the Telstar drive in on 6th and Layton (now
called Beer Bellies), and Packard Plaza in Cudahy.

 Rick Shady

I was born in Milwaukee in 1956.....
 and grew up on 33rd and Silver Spring.
My parents still live in the same house. Playing in Smith all year long
was great. The park system had Summer baseball leagues and during Winter
the baseball filed was turned into an ice skating rink complete with
pavilion. Another favorite memory was going to Dog and Suds to get ice
cream and root beer floats and going to the Ritz Theater on Villard Ave.
on Saturday afternoons.
Steve Block
Northwest Side Memories
Born in ’56, I grew up near 76th and Center from ’63 t0 ’80. Wow… where to begin? Mama Mia’s on Burleigh, A&P, Hank and Charlie’s Meat Market, Wenzler’s  Food on 76th St. (can you spell mortdella?), Halan’s Food Store, Red Bell Market on 84th and Burleigh, Dutchland Dairy, Ben Franklin (every dollar I made mowing lawns or shoveling snow was spent there on 45 rpm records and penny candy), open air Mayfair Mall, open air Capital Court Mall (with the big chrome Christmas tree that looked like a rocket ship, Hobby Horse, Maru Imports, some swank record store with albums in the window by the Brasil ’66, the Kooky Cookie House with Santa and the free gingerbread cookies), hanging out at 81st school playground every summer playing endless softball, tetherball, playing some game made from a wooden soda crate with small holes, like hockey – using popsicle sticks and bottle caps, playing tackle pom-pom with the girls after dark until one by one we’d hear our parent’s calling us home from a nearby alley, playing chess at Hawthorn Glen park in a city wide tournament – hundreds of kids sitting cross legged  in a vast lawn area playing chess until you were dq’d, dad would bring home the big bags of broken cookies from Johnston Cookie Company, sacks of Kopp’s burgers, Northern Pasty’s (still in business). I remember riding our bikes everywhere – all the way down to Chet’s Variety in Bay View for magic tricks and some comics.
There was always a transistor radio on with the young rascals, grassroots, beatles, dave clark five. Greasers everywhere, the rumble of big cycles - Harley’s, Indians, Triumph’s, beautiful girls all over the place.  The constant whine of chainsaws as the cathedral canopies of elms were taken from our streets, butterfly handlebars and banana seats, little kids with playing cards and clothespins attached on the back bike wheel spokes, drinking fizzies with a few pretzel sticks in the shade after playing waffle ball out in the sun all afternoon, having a GIANT brand candy bar. The Alcoa aluminum homes down the block, roller skating at Pius on 76th south of Center… so many fond memories. More to come… thanks for this great site!!!

A Lustron Home in Milwaukee

My Mom grew up on Mt Vernon Ave in the St. Rose of Lima parish in the 40s.....
There was a drugstore in her neighborhood named Curly's.  Does anyone have
and information or photos about it?  Thanks.

Ellen Ruble

I was only 5 when we moved to the 22nd and Keefe area of Milwaukee in 1957....
 I remember walking to Merten's Dime Store, Brauer's Shoes, The Egyptian Theater, Kohl's and others on Teutonia and Nash streets. We would also walk to Capitol Drive and see the various stores and restaurants such as Crown Shoes, Bavarian Wurst Haus, Paul's Superette, Tompkin's Malt Shop, Volpano's House of Prime Ribs and also Doege's Drive-In a little further north on Teutonia. There was also a corner grocery store on 23rd and Keefe called Donath's which is where we often shopped.


I was born on Gauer Circle across Howell Avenue from Humbolt Park....
 I remember playing grade school football at St. Augustine's where Father
Konerchild would take us to our games in his station wagon and our coach,
Bob Vasey would kick us in the butt if we were not in a proper three point
stance. I remember the Nuns in our grade school providing "old time"
discipline  which today would get them a jail sentence. Humbolt Park
provided much of our recreation. Summer fishing in the lagoon and winter ice
skating on it. We played baseball in the park every day.

 I remember Don Bosco High School which began in the old Whitnall Avenue
grade school after it was condemned by the city.

 Finally I remember Marquette University and the glory years of Al McGuire.
Father McAvoy would hear confessions on the street corner.

 Milwaukee was a wonderful place to grow up!

 Ken Michalski St. Augustine '58, Don Bosco '62, Marquette '67


I bet donations are rare these days....
So I sent in a donation and now my 2 cents on top of it. I looked at the last memories page (11) and remember quite a bit of it, but the south side stuff is new to me. The porcelain house (Lustron Home) is probably still there. At least the one we toured when it was new. It was on Capitol Drive on the north side of the street, maybe around 38th. It had an echo, like inside a farm silo.

Mama Mia's may still have carry-outs. They were on Silver Spring around 26th. Everyone remembers the greasy garlic bread.

Henri's salad dressing was made kitty corner from Mama Mia on 27th. We could tell when they were making Tastee dressing, as we could smell it from our house. It was a murky yellow with black specs in it. They had a strange logo, like an aristocrat with a patch on one eye.

Anyway, great site, where people can spill their guts and tell their story.


Where to begin?
B. S. Wisniewski's, WZMF, WTOS, the 41 Twin Outdoor Theater, Rocket Gas stations, Grandpa Graf's, Pig & Whistle, 15 Outdoor with sci-fi or war flicks every Saturday night, Ned's Pizza, Pizza Man, Medusa Cement, "Roll 'em, Lester!", Young America On Stage, Young America On Wheels, Bob Eisen Motors, Wolski's, Mother's Nightclub, Axel's Bar, Gardetto's, Paul Gilles Drive-In, the Paradise Theater, Dr. Cadaverino and Igor, Garman's Hobby Shop, Faust Music, West Allis Music, Uncle Bob's Music, Modern Music, Beneath The Street, Sail and Rail, The Alternate Site, Ox, The Robbs, Vic Pitts & The Cheaters, Century Hall, The Palms, Teddy's, Humpin' Hanna's, rumble with Tech after the game!

Please sign me... Anonymous
I was born in Milwaukee in 1968....
 Grew up in the Uptown crossing neighborhood, on 49th and W. Garfield. I remember seeing the movie Zorro at the Uptown theater( now the Milwaukee Police District 3)

My Dad was a Milwaukee Police officer, and I remember the Policemen's picnic at Muskego beach,(Dandolion park). I remember taking Kempo-Goju Karate lessons at Muhammad Sabir's Community Martial Arts and Fitness center at 4535 W. North AVE, and when the Karate class would jog to Washington park and practice Karate.

I remember buying comic books at Polaris Comics at 4935 W. Center, also during the holiday season, the tower antenna of the old Zenith tv shop at 5924 W.Center had lights that made it look like a Christmas tree and could be seen for blocks.

I went to St. Seb's, and then Christ King school,but we moved out of Milwaukee when my Dad retired.
I was born at the old st Luke's hospital........
 on first and Greenfield. Now Allen Bradly/Rockwell. When I was five years old I saw JFK in a parade we were standing on a little balcony over the door of the old Knights of Pythias  castle on 19Th and National, it's still standing.  I remember my dad telling me there goes the next President and that he was a war hero. I remember Muskego beach later dandelion park and Harvey wall bangers that was a dance place under the old wooden roll-a-coaster, with a drink named after it . Drive in movies, the Victory was on Hampton ave. and Pilgrim RD. the 15 outdoor national just east of Sunny slope RD. the 24 on Jainesville Rd east of Tess corners, the 59 outdoor hwy 164 and Greenfield ave and of course the mighty 41 twin. We used to go in our pajamas and never got past the second movie and the grease pizza
Does anyone remember "The Scorecard".....
, published by Al Cissa.  It was
delivered via bicycle-routes to both Southside and Northside taverns
recapping the baseball scores of the day during the 1950's.  These were
printed at a print shop on 13th and Beecher and southside kids would pedal
them to all the bars six days a week while Al drove his big Buick somewhere
to the northside to distribute an equal amount to all the kids on the
northside for them to deliver to the neighborhood watering holes.  I'd like
to hear from someone who knows where was that distribution point on the
other side of town.  He had an office in the Cawker Bldg. at 108 W. Wells
St., just west and across the river from the Pabst Theater, but I'm not sure
if that was the distribution point for the northside kids.  Northside pubs
were O'Connells's Bar at 21st & Vliet; Sal's Ol'South near 48th & Lisbon;
Andy's Knotty Pine on 35th & Vliet; Ray Wallen's on No.2nd St.; Little Blue
Tavern on 28th & Clybourn amongst others.  I did several of the southside
routes in the early 50's and sure would like to chat with someone who did
the same on either side of town.  Gary   Go Braves!
'er I mean Brewers!

The Scorecard
Milwaukee Memories Northside early 70's
Where do you start?  I remember Arlan's Department store on Teutonia and you could get a pet alligator there.  Dog n Suds on Sherman Blvd. near McGovern Park.  We would swim all day on the free days and just pay a dime for a basket to put your clothes in.  If we didn't have a dime, we just stashed our clothes in the woods.  Afterwards we get a small rootbeer float for like a quarter.  As a teenager we would hang out at the pool hall on Villard and maybe see a movie at the Villa (2 for a buck) on the weekends.  The Northwest Teen club was a favorite haunt of mine.  Bands like Ultimate Trip, Themes of Variations and the Brahunda Knights would play there, again a buck on Saturday nights.  Cruising on Villard Avenue was a great time too.  If you were lucky you might have gotten to see Truc perform their Rock and Roll show somewhere around the Northside too.  Dean's Sporting Goods was where we got our wrist rockets and bb's.  We would hunt rabbits on the tracks behind the old Army barracks near Berryland.  And finally, you could redeem yourself by just saying I went to Edison or Custer for that matter.  Lon Johnson   Cass of '76
Retro Milwaukee brings back a lot of memories.
 I graduated from Rufus
King in 1950. Tended bar at the Riverview Roller Rink. It had a bar and
a soda fountain. Emil played the organs for skating. There was a
Wurlitzer  and a Hammond. He had played for silent films at a theater
before coming to the roller rink. I worked at a drugstore while a senior
in high school. It was Kesselman's on 51st and Villard I think. Went
downtown and sneaked in the Burlesque on Third Street just north of
Wisconsin ave. First car was a 1933 Ford coupe with a Rumble Seat. In
cold weather my buddy, Rudy and I would flip to see who sat in the
Rumble seat with their date. Had to snuggle under a blanket. Had a 1948
Harley Davidson. Shift next to the gas tank.   Prettiest car I had was a
19? Oldsmobile  Convertible . Painted Powder Blue with a white top and
wide white tires. I think it was a 76 model. The last 6 cylinder they
made. Went to Robert M. LaFollette grade school. I have a picture of the
8th Grade class on my site.  I worked at a Clark
gas station. We changed oil by slipping a tube down the Dipstick tube
and a machine would suck it out.  I miss the hunting and fishing but not
the cold weather. I delivered the Milwaukee Sentinal and my folks would
not let me have a bike. Pulled a coaster wagon. Many memories. Google
Earth is great. I can look at the old buildings with a street view.
Dick Barmann
From Barmanns bar on Nash and Atkinson Ave.
Frank Monreal Fire Truck
Im writing from Sweden because i have bought a fire truck from Us and im searching the history of the truck.
I have found out that it has been owned by Frank Monreal Milwaukee 1970`s. He bought it from
Oconomowoc sometime in 1978.It was stored in a barn. He used the truck in parades and to promote his restaurants in Milwaukee.

Do you think that you or someone else can remember this truck and give me some more history about it I will be happy.

Med Vänlig Hälsning

Lars Andersson
Ahlsell AB
FC VVS Distrikt Dalarna
0243-257327 mobil 0708-352230
Graduated from Pulaski HS 1959.....
....I remember the tough gang that hung out on 43rd.St. Oklahoma Ave, The Loopers, they were called. Hung out in the Loop Restaurant.  they were originally the Dutchland Dairy Gang ....... What a bunch of Wussies compared to the gangs of today...........And then there was the Beer Joints of the South side, Bartels on Layton Ave,  later called Layton Place, listening to Sam McCue and the Legions....and Monreals where I watched Jerry Lee Lewis perform, The Sugar Shack way out in the boonies, and then to the best place to dance: Weilers in Port Washington.......I was a dancin fool in those days.........and who can forget Muskego Beach Ballroom..........and Leons for frozen custard.  All good clean fun and many memories.........and I ended up married to a guy that doesn't dance for 45 yrs.
My grandfather worked for Wisco 99 after WWII on into the late 50s. 
 He died in the early 70s.  I'm putting together a scrap book on my grandfather (who began his work life at age 17 on Mount Rushmore as one of those nuts who hung from ropes with a drill in his hands sculpting Washington's nose) for my aging father.  I'm wondering if anyone has a good quality color jpg file or better yet, an eps file, of the Wisco 99 logo.  If so would you let me know.
Dale Kvittem-Barr
Hi-this is such a great web site...
  I was born in  Milwaukee in 1949 at St.
Joe's.  I left in 1979, but these memories can  never be diminished.
Some of my memories include Cut Swittel's bar in the Tosa  Village and the
Allen Bradley Clock...we called it "the Polish  moon".
I am so grateful for the references to Solly's.  I was  afraid I was
getting senile.  Soooo good!  I think Memominee Park and  Parkway are still two of
the most beautiful sites in this country.  Making  the annual trek to Holy
Hill; the April (and sometimes May) blizzards that you  had to shovel out
even though you knew it would all be gone in a week; the  Uptown Theater;
bundlng up to walk to the corner bakery and the aromas would  transform you.  I
went to high school at Holy Angels on 12th St just north  of Wisconsin Ave. 
We stopped in at Gesu Church regularly.
There are many more and I am so grateful for the chance to  participate
PAS, Phoenix, AZ
I was born in Milwaukee in 1947....
at St Joseph's Hospital and lived there until I was 12. We then moved to Columbus, OH in January of 1959. I will, however, will always consider myself a Milwaukeean...
I have such fond memories of growing up there in the midst of family and dear friends. I too recall in the late 1940s/early 1950s the rag man in his horse-drawn wagon - slowly riding down the streets calling "Rags, Rags, Rags". When I was born we lived with my grandparents in the back of the little restaurant they owned called "The Swan" which I believe was locate near 55 St on W Vliet St. My grandfather was a bus driver for the city and early on drove the trolley cars... I can still recall the tracks in the streets, the trolley cables up above and the crackling sparks flying from them when the car passed a joint or crossover in the cables above.
I also used to go to "Kiddieland" and remember the rides and other delights there.
In our first house we lived within walking distance to McGovern Park and our older neighbor would take my brother and I there to swim in the pool.
I remember going every year on the fourth of July to watch the fireworks at Washington Park - and I can still smell the smoke from the expended fireworks as it came wafting across the park.
I recall the triumphant Milwaukee Braves and my grandfather even took me to see them play a couple of times. He also used to take us with him to his bowling league at Highland Lanes W. Vliet St. He would also take us (my brother and I) to The Ritz Tavern on the corner of 55 St & W. Vliet St where we would love to play the arcade bowling game off in the front corner of the place.
My first school was Hampton Elementary and after the 2nd grade we moved and I transferred to 95th St. Elementary School. We lived a number of blocks from the school and I had to walk everyday to and from school. Where we lived was not far from Billy Mitchell Field and from a quarry. The trucks used to rumble by our house with their heavy loads of rock. I could also smell the burning of trash from a nearby city incinerator.
The DJ, Bob Coffeehead Larson, used to come into The Swan either before or after his air shift each day. And I recall his theme song - "On The Sunny Side Of The Street".
I recall the TV commercials for Grampa Graff Root Beer, for Hamms Beer as well as all the locals - Pabst, Blatz, Schlitz & Miller. I recall the first shopping malls I every saw or heard of opening in the late '50s - Capitol Court and Mayfair.
My grandparents, for a time, lived right across the street from the Times Theater on W. Vliet St. Then The Times was running adult movies and the "L" had disappeared from their sign leaving it to read "Adu ts Only".
Mom used to take us clothes shopping on the bus, since she didn't drive - to Gimble's, and The Boston Store.
I remember when we moved into the first house we actually owned near 56th & Villard it took us many months to get our phone service installed. In the meantime, through sun, rain, snow & ice we had to walk with Mom all the way around our rather long block to the nearest phone booth to make any calls.
I recall that whenever you made long distance calls back then the connections were usually terrible with lots of crackling and many times you could hear other people talking, sometimes quite loudly, in the background.
I always will remember the strong lake breezes that would blow off Lake Michigan - the cold, blustery Winters, the wonderful, colorful Falls, and sometimes very hot Summers and gorgeous invigorating Springs.
I remember playing ball with my friends in the alley behind one of my friend's houses and the displeasure expressed by Mr. Balestreri whenever our ball would go over his fence and into his garden.
I always loved staying up late and watching the horror movies on Shock & Double Shock Theater hosted by "The Advisor" and his pet monkey - Sancho.
I wonder if he ever got bit by that monkey? HA!
I also used to watch Winky-Dink, The Howdy Doody Show, Roy Rogers, Gene Autrey, Wild Bill Hickock, the various old cowboy movies starring such luminaries as Tex Ritter, Lash LaRue, and Tom Mix as well as all the rest of the Saturday line-up on TV. I loved Zorro, The Mickey Mouse Club, Ding-Dong School, Kookla, Fran & Ollie, Soupy Sales, Andy's Gang with Froggie The Gremlin, The Little Rascals... and all the rest. What a feast of entertainment for kids on Saturdays.
We never got to go to the circus when it came to town because in those days there was the scare of Polio. We even had to take "Polio Naps" every afternoon.
I remember all the wonderful German bakeries, the hard rolls, so hard you could barely cut them open, Limburger Cheese, and smoked fish. And I remember when many restaurants would have "All you can eat fish fries on Friday's."
Milwaukee and it's warm and caring people will always occupy a large, happy place in my heart. I haven't been back there since I left in 1959 but I hope to one day soon visit there and relive some of those wonderful memories.
My great-grandfather was a stone carver and made the cherubs that sit atop some of the old municipal buildings in Milwaukee.
I also remember the wonderful museum and the "Streets of Old Milwaukee" display which was actually on the outside of the museum. I recall the Milwaukee Zoo which we often visited and the "stink" of the reptile house and the antics of the monkeys on monkey island. Fond memories which I have carried with me all these years. I was truly blessed to be born there and to spend, at least, a small but memorable part of my life there.

Don’t let your Milwaukee

memories fade away!

Milwaukee is unique among American cities. Throughout the ‘40s, ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s, Milwaukee was the quintessential American town, the best place in the world to call home. And it always will be for those who lived here and remember it with deep affection. Viewers of Happy Days and Lavern and Shirley can only imagine how much fun we had!

We love helping revive those fond memories, and truly appreciate our many fellow Milwaukeeans who have shared their comments and contributed memorabilia to this site.

Though we’ve maintained Retro-Milwaukee without support from advertisers, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to do so. Can you please help?

Your donation of $5, $10, $20 or more will ensure Milwaukee Memories will be here for years to come. Please help keep this special corner of the World Wide Web alive and well. Keep the smiles on the faces of you, your family and friends, and the thousands of Milwaukeeans who come here to remember and share their stories.

                                                                              Yes, I want to keep Milwaukee Memories alive!

Thank You!
On to page 12 of Retro Milwaukee Memories