Milwaukee Memories Page 14

...wonderful site, takes me back  a lot...

Living in Portland OR but born & raised in Milwaukee in 53 (first year of
the Braves).  Lived a good many years in St Francis, under the
approach/departure path to Mitchell Field's Runway 19L/1R.

Being that close you ether had to love them or hate them.  I chose the

Used to watch  the planes fly over head all the time, got use to them.
Remember when the #1 Boeing 707 stopped by for a visit on it's national
tour.  Never heard anything so loud .  it looked so sleek next to the DC6s
of United, Connies & Viscounts of Capital, or DC7s & Stratocruisers of
Northwest that served the airport.  Northwest had the First Jet service
with 707 followed by United with a DC-8 that flew to Denver and Los
Angeles  after which came the Caravalles United used for the  Cleveland/New
York and Washington DC Flights (classy looking little jet).  Spent many a
Saturday plane watching on Layton or the parking spot near the end of
Runway 7R (which had the tunnel for S Howell Ave passing underneath it).
In the 1960s through mid 70s there was the Mitchell Air show which Later
became known as Air Age) was a weekend event that first was held in
September and then moved up to July.   Always a big event with great
aerobatic performances, precision military jet teams (for the1969 show,
both the USAF T-Birds and Navy's Blue Angels made an appearance with those
big noisy ol F4 Phanthoms) and static displays of military and even
international aircraft Like the RAF's sleek Vulcan bomber which became an
annual visitor and audience favorite).  It was at one of the earlier
air shows (1966) where I took my first flight, a 30 minute scenic jaunt
around Milwaukee in a a 1927 Ford Trimotor. cost: 5$ (a lot back then saved
up from my paper route and lawn cutting).

I remember the fist 747 to land there, a Pan Am flight from London UK that
was diverted from Chicago because of weather.  Never seen anything so
large.  Still remember the name of the plane, "Clipper Rainbow".  Sat there
until evening as there was some sort of mechanical difficulty that had to
be taken care of and none passengers could be let off at the time as MKE
had no customs or even a stairway that was tall enough to reach the door
(they had to use a stair extension flown up from Chicago)

Spring and summer thunderstorms in Illinois were a boon to plane watchers
at MKE as it resulted in a lot of diversions (recently seen a video of an
Air India 777 landing and taking off).

The airport because of how close it was (could easily walk there) however
isn't the only source of fond memories.

There were places and things like:

--The Cudahy Hobby Shop (a favorite hangout of mine as well) where I
bought all my models, from plastic display ones, to flying aircraft (both
free flight and radio controlled), to even rockets.
--The old A&W stand on Lake Drive near the (now gone) Lakefront Power Plant
where Grandad use to take us to get a gallon jug of that famous creamy Root
Beer during the summer.
--The old Carvel Custard Stand on S KK ave near the VFW post (later became
a Tastee Freeze)
--Getting milk delivered by Golden Gurnsey and Juice from Home Juice co.
--Hanging our at old Roman's corner grocery on S Rutland after finishing my
paper route and on weekends
--Getting Breakfast at the George Webb's on S. KK by Morgan Park after
finishing the Sunday morning paper route.
--Going to Black Bear Beverages on Packard just south of Lunham where we
used to get our weekly case of soda (found out they are still in business
but have since moved out to Oak Creek)
--The old Chicago & Northwestern lines, the freight line was less than a
block from our house and a down by St Francis Ave you could go watch the
400s pass by on heir way to and from Chicago
--Winter meant sledding and tobogganing at at "Paperboy Hill" along (S
Arctic Ave) so named because there was one of those "tin shacks" where the
delivery boys (including myself) would pick up the papers for our daily
--Watching the Circus Train from Baraboo arrive for "Old Milwaukee
Days". back then pulled by a real steam locomotive)
--The old #66 bus (fastest to downtown as it turned into a limited service
express line at S Pryor Ave).
--Nutty Ned's Pizza and Chicken Delight ("Don't cook Chicken

Speaking of The Braves, they were the team to cheer for (well next to those
guys in Green and Gold to the north) Many Memories of old County Stadium.
They had a special deal with Milwaukee County Parks for kids called the
"Knot Hole Club" where you got a bus ride and bleacher seats for 25¢ later (
50¢).  Got to see players who are legends of the game today: Aaron, Spahn,
Matthews, and Burdette.  I remember singing the last line of the national
anthem (as many other fans did) "...and the home of the Braves."

Downtown back then was a special place. There was Gimbels which still had
live elevator operators who called out the different floors and the cafe
with a "real" soda fountain. The Boston Store which had a suspended
monorail on the toyland floor during the holiday shopping season.  The
Riverside Theatre, and old Telenews (the latter which featured Saturday
double bill matinees with a mix of Sci-Fi, Western, and Adventure films
with cartoons for 50¢). Toy's Chinatown where mum always took me for my
birthday. Stopping for a cheeseburger at the Butter Bun or Marc's Big Boy.
Stores like Radio Doctors where you went to get the latest hit single or
Buddy Squirrel's to satisfy that sweet tooth,  The Museum, The War Memorial
(designed by  Eero Saarininan who was famous for designing the Gateway Arch
in St. Louis and TWA terminal at JFK International in New York), and
Central library which for a history nut and bookworm like me was akin to
being in heaven. The Arena & Auditorium was where we saw the Beatles in
1964, ice shows, the circus and other major exhibitions.  When I was old
enough, it was heading to night spots on Fridays like the old Stone Toad on
Water St. and The Safehouse.

Before the age of the mall, downtown was still the place for shopping,
dining, and entertainment.

Always loved riding on the old trackless trolleys which still operated into
the early 1960s on routes like the #14, #15, #18 (which took us to State
Fair) and  #19.  I also remember old North Shore which on part of the south
side ran along a high embankment right of way (which was still there the
last time I visited many years ago) next to S 6th St. We could catch a
train for a day trip to Chicago at the Oklahoma Ave. stop (lots of stairs
to climb) or on Chase St. before it ceased service in 1963.

Oh, and speaking of Wisconsin State Fair, that was the "Big" event of the
summer (long before Summerfest) I remember two major races during the fair
a USAC Stock car event and the Bettenhausen 200 Indy Car race both which
featured the "big name" drivers of the day.  Of course the best memories of
the fair were the food, like roasted ears of corn dripping with real
butter, "Pronto Pups" on the midway, and those wonderfully sinfully huge
cream puffs.

Made a good living as a kid, mowing lawns during the summer and especially
shoveling snow during the winter.  A friend and I worked up a routine for
clearing driveways for the sum of 10$ which we split. A good winter made
for a nice savings account. Cursed the of the snow blower as when more
people started to use them, our profits went down.

Would ride my bike to Humboldt Park with  friends where we'd chip in to
rent a rowboat to just float around on the lagoon on a hot summer afternoon
and get into splash fights with kids in other boats behind the island where
the caretaker couldn't see us.  Also spent a lot of time during the summer
at South Shore park in Bay View.

Summers also often meant a trip on the SS Milwaukee Clipper to Muskegon.
Always an exciting time for us as it felt like a mini sea voyage when we
neared the middle of the lake, you couldn't see either shore.

One thing I still miss being out here in Oregon are the Friday Night Fish
Frys. Those tasty perch fillets coated in flour & fried up with zesty red
cocktail sauce.  You could even get them delivered by the bucket. There
were those great smoked whitefish chubs. Tasty.  Out here much of the food
like that is so expensive and I can't even find Bier Käse or Old Dutch
Onion & Garlic Potato Chips.

Someday I have to make a return visit and check out the places I used to
haunt.  Most likely few if any are still there anymore (I understand the
old C&NW freight line is now a freeway, the nearby grade school, St.
Francis Heights/Faircrest was raised for an apartment complex, and the
Lakefront Power Plant is no more).

BCS - Portland OR.

Does anyone  know the name of the club on State St. that hosted live
Country western music on weekends?

Thank you

I am looking for pictures of the neighborhood near 4200 block of glenway street in Wauwatosa....
 My parents owned a house there but I wanted to see what it looked like in the early 1950s when their house was built.

Melissa K

Born here in 1943.....

I remember, Roxo Soda Water,  Gettlemen Beer, Virginia Dare Wine,  Drenk's Potato Chips,  Johnson Cookie Factory,  Jaeger Bakery,  Stark Candy Co.,  The Fruit Boat on the River,  The Natitoriums (indoor swimming) The Holiday Folk Fair,  Jack Winter,  Old Joe ('Boss' of the Zoo's Monkey Island),  Sampson, the zoo's gorilla,  Waldheim's Furniture store,  Schuster's malted ice cream cones,  Hixon's fine women's clothing in the Schroeder Hotel,  The Brass Rail, (jazz club),  The Telenews (movie theater on 3rd and Wisconsin Ave.)  Mary Lester, Kovacs Fabric stores,  Sealtest ice cream on Capitol Dr.  Hills Dept Store on Mitchell St.,  The Peach Sheet in the The Sentinel Newspaper, The Green Sheet in The Milwaukee Journal,  Brills clothing for Men,  The Gun Club North of Bradford Beach House, Heineman's Rum and Orange Crunch Cakes,  (you could smell the butter just walking by them)  Arlans (not sure of spelling),  Atlantic Mills, Spartan's discount stores, forerunners of Walmart.  "Paddy Wagons' (police carriers),  'Ponti', Phil Tolkan's 'talking car',    "Bombing Wisconsin Ave", (Teenagers in cars),  TheStrand (movie theater),  The Record Mart, on 3rd and W. Center St. (learned the dance called 'The Apple Jack),  Jack Brand (Host of 'The Schlitz Saturday Night Theater), Jack actually drank the beer during the commercial breaks,  Judy Marks (WTMJ? Weather girl), John Drury (WTMJ Anchorman),  Mayor Maier's vision of "A City of Fountains",  Nino's Steak Houses', Martins Gas on 3rd and Meinecke, one of the first 'self-service' filling stations,  General Merchandise, in the old 3rd Ward, sold to J. C. Penney's for their venture into the mail order business,  Gimbels Bargain Basement,  Mailing Shoes on 2nd and Wisconsin Ave. Routt's fine clothing for women, The Three Sisters (womens clothing),  Lerners (Womens clothing Crown Stores (Accessories for women) Keller's Liquor stores,  Sears on Fond du Lac and W North Ave, Dept store w/ full service auto repair.  There always seem to be a places to spend time and money and meet other people.

Don't forget Fazio's on 5th, starring Tommy Tune… The Butter Bun on 4th and Wisconsin Ave….The Camera Man between 8th and 9th on Wisconsin Ave., He took your picture as you were strolling down the north side of Wisconsin ave., handed you a small white envelope with a serial number on it, if you wanted your picture (for a fee). Little white envelopes would be blowing up and down the Ave….Windy Wisconsin Ave. between 6th and 5th esp. the South side of the street, women had to hold their skirts down.

I was on the Marquette University faculty as a NROTC staff
instructor/advisor from 1975 to 1978.
In no particular order:

Being on campus when the then 'Warriors' won it all in Al McGuire's last

Going to see the Bucks (post Kareem) play on the colorful MECCA home court -
yellow and red geometrics designed by Robert Indiana.

The SafeHouse

The Experimental Aircraft Association Museum in Franklin (since moved to

Summerfest 1976 with Elvin Bishop and Judy Collins among the headliners

The Miller and Pabst brewery tours

Hegarty's tavern a short walk away from Marquette

Ground Water waterbeds, El Sombrero Mexican buffet, Toy's Chinese
restaurant, Pieces of Eight on the lake, Ambrosia Chocolate factory and
outlet store

The smell of hops, chocolate and the rendering plant in the Menomonee River
industrial area

Pick-up volleyball at the YMCA

Sailing the small boats on Northridge Lake and the big boats on Lake

Northridge and Southridge malls

Eddie Doucette, Jill Geisler, Larry the Legend on the airwaves

Jogging around Lake Park and Brown Deer Park

The Melody Top Theater and polo matches at Uihlein Field off of Good Hope

Buying wood furniture from the R. Raml woodworking company on West Mill

Barbequing fresh corn and brats in the early fall and washing it down with


Does anyone remember the I.V.-a-go-go back in the 60's?
  I believe it was at or near Chicago & Jackson, perhaps?  What is in this area now?

Dear Retro Milwaukee.........
I am working on a book about two lads growing up in Milwaukee during the period 1965-1970. They live in the Capitol Court area and attend  John Marshall Middle-Senior School. Does your important living history of Milwaukee contain any information for this time period and this location?

Sadly many records of the Milwaukee Public Schools were destroyed c.1984. Does anyone know the material covered in science, social studies, English and maths lessons in middle school (7-8th years at Marshall) during this period? The School Administration does not.

What were the school hours in those days? 7.00-3.30? How many credits were needed to graduate from secondary school?

Although it is clear that uniforms were not worn in the public schools, what dress code did they have in c.1965-1970?

Corporal punishment was apart of the Milwaukee Public Schools until 1975; it became illegal in the State in c. 1988. Was it much used? How and by whom was it administered?

Additionally, I am looking for photos and information on the 1966 St. Martin's Fair that took place in Franklin. One of the vexing questions concerns the police command post (CP) in use at the fair in 1966. At that time, with the Franklin Police Department in its infancy (the police station was in an old farm house; Greendale provided communications and holding cells for prisoners until they could be taken to the county gaol, then located in the Safety Building), the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department was responsible for all law enforcement  functions at the fair. That said, I have been unable to locate their CP for 1966. It may have been at the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary Church, at the Parish Hall, or at the parish school (all located at S.116th Street). Does your organization have any information and or photographs for this period?

I have checked with the Franklin, Milwaukee County and State Historical Societies, as well as the public libraries. Sadly, without result. This seems to be a forgotten event in a forgotten time.

Finally, I am keen to learn of the experience of anyone who came to Milwaukee from the UK in the 1960s.

Any assistance will be fully acknowledged. My email address is.........



More Milwaukee Memories from Rob....

1. Capital Foods, 41st Capitol Drive

2. Sentry Foods, 44th Capitol Drive

3. The Northwest News, near Fond du Lac and Capital Drive

4. Summerfest Sports Programme. Secondary (high school) football (soccer) was played on weekdays and adult football (soccer) and rugby football were played on weekends. Additionally, handball, fencing, and archery were on offer. The sport area was located near the large stage. Multitudes sat on the playing fields during concerts. Ergo, very early every morning the pitch had to be cleared of broken glass and rubbish before the fields were safe for play.

5. The Blue Eagles Soccer-Football Team. Football (soccer) in the Milwaukee public high schools started at John Marshall Middle-Senior School (High School) in c.1967-1968. At first it was an intra school activity. Then it expanded as the team played exhibition games against Pio Nono and Cathedral secondary schools and the Milwaukee Kickers Juniors. By c. 1969 the team played in the Junior Division of the Wisconsin Soccer Football Association. By c. 1970 other Milwaukee area public high schools also had teams. They formed their own league that played throughout the year. The league held the first state wide high school soccer tournaments. Mr. John Schissler, Jr of Marshall was the leader of the movement and the head of the league. During this incipient period the Blue Eagles were not allowed to use the school name, Marshall.

6. Mr. Gene Edwards. Mr. Edwards was the president of the Wisconsin Soccer Football Association and the president of the US Soccer Football Association. He was active in getting the US into both the Olympic and the World Cup. Mr. Edwards was also a chief executive of Blue Cross & Blue Shield, which at the time was located in Milwaukee (downtown, I think).

7. Judge Ted Wedamyer. Ted was a prominent local lawyer, judge and eventually a Federal Judge.

8. Dineen Park Football Pitch. This was the home pitch for the Marshall Blue Eagles Soccer Football team.

9. Barnaby's Restaurant. Located on or near 69th and Capitol Drive. The Blue Eagles had many free meals there. 

10. The 84th (Royal Highland Emigrants) Regiment of Foot. This was an historical re-enactment group from Milwaukee c. 1971. They, along with many other such units, re-enact the American War of Independence.

I hope that this information will be of interest. Some of the information is little know, but is an important part of local history that ought not be forgot.



I lived in Milw (1954-1966) on the near southside....
 but do not recall where Hills Dept Store was located. Can you tell me the address.

I love reading through the memories on your site.
Thank You.
Sandy Rowe

I was born in West Allis in 1926......
 two blocks from the State fair park. I spent a lot of time at the fair grounds' I remember the 1 mile dirt track , and the quarter mile midget car track that had racing  every fri. evening. The state fair was different then. Horse pulling, and the wrestling tent. More people danced then The Roof, Eagles Modernistic ballrooms. I loved the big band sounds, and went to the riverside often listening to all of the big bands. West Allis was sports minded as well. Ice skating was big. central park was my favorite place to skate. I worked  for a while at  Flemings A&W as most of the local kids did. I remember when Hy way 100 was the edge of town. As a young kid I remember horses doing most of the delivery work. I am 87 years old now, and these memories make me feel young again. There were much less problems as the youngsters had more things to do. I am saddened by all of the industry that has left West Allis.  R.J.F..

Anyone remember a Kiddieland amusement park
 It was somewhere near Milwaukee?  I found this old photo which was marked
Kiddieland 1954 Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  The only problem is I can't find any
info on this place.  It looks like it had boat rides, a carousel and other
childrens rides.


Riverside, IL

The owner of Kiddieland lived in Illinois (Harry ?) and my father was the
manager of Kiddieland.  I, unfortunately, was too young to remember the span
of time Kiddieland was in Milwaukee, but I loved it.  I have such wonderful
memories as we went a lot because of my dad working there in the evenings
and of course I rode for free!  Oh, happy days!  Kiddieland was situated
where Point Loomis Shopping Center now sits.  Forgive me if it's not called
Point Loomis any longer, but I've lived in Dubuque, IA the past 11 years and
don't always get past there to know what has changed.  There was a Howard
Johnson's Restaurant across the street in what at one time was Southgate
Shopping Center, right on the corner of 27th Street and Morgan Avenue facing
east where we would go to dinner. 

Kiddieland had live ponies and I always got to ride "Brownie" as he was my
favorite pony and so was the merry-go-round.  They had lots of rides and it
certainly was fun while it lasted.  The reason Kiddieland closed was because
the owner had throat cancer and died and his wife didn't want to continue
with it. 

I remember.............
Filling the root beer gallon jug at A&W on Mill Road. GEX needed a card to
get in on 60th and Florist. Suberpia subs, Barnabys Pizza, and go karts on
76th and Good Hope. The garlic Chips at the Captains on Capitol Drive. I
remember standing in line to see Santa at the kooky cookie house at Capitol
Court. Boston Store downtown lunches, Quinlevan Buick 37th and Wisconsin.
On the corner of Jefferson and Wells you can hear cathedral bells..... Ask
your neighbor with Gordon and my dad listening to invitation to beauty on
the radio. Larry the Legend speak your onions... everyone has a cb. How
about melody top and the polo field looking for balls. That piranha at the
ABC fish store on Villard. Brewers chalet to eat on Good Hope.  I  love
back then.......Jolly good joke in the bottom of the can.....

Great site!!!!!
Born at St. Joe's in 51 and lived there till 83 when we moved "up north" for work. Great memories of the northwest side in the 60's and 70's. Don't know where to start.
Riding our bikes every summer day to swim at McGovern park. The penny candy store on 51st and Villard after swimming. A&W drive in on Villard, the Dog n' Suds by McGovern park.
Frank Sadlers DX station, my dad's favorite mechanic. Rex-all drugs and soda fountains. The Red Owl grocery store on Fon Du Lac Ave. that later became Peaches records. The start of
FM album rock with WZMF and WQFM, Reitman and Green the space commander. Suburpia, " get two friends to join you in a sandwich". Neds pizza and Petes pizza along with Barbierries pizza
in the Bonanza shopping center. Red's Hideaway and the Jolly Troll. Kinney shoes and GC Murphys (I worked there in high school). Capn's hamburgers and Siemers broasted chicken.  Bob Barry on WOKY and O.C. White and DR. Bop on WAWA. Albert the alleycat on channel 6 weather and Dick Johnson on Packer preview. Brewery tours at Schlitz, Pabst and Miller. Turning 18 and going to the old house and Marty Zifco's. Drive in theatres and Zeb Billings. Beneath the street to see Truc. 60's bands the Wrest, toni's tigers, D Rob and the Robbs and the messengers. How about Cleopatra running at the Strand for seemingly 2 years. Took the city bus everywhere. Went to UWM then and discovered Brady street and the great east side of the 60's and 70's. What a great time in a great place. Thanks for the memories.
MM Madison high school '69

Oh how I love this site!!!
I grew going to grade school in the river west area Yeah Fratney!.  Anyway moved away late 60's went to Edison and than  Custer.  So many memories. Fireworks at the lakefront.  The Fourth of July Circus Parade, The very first Summerfest,  Statefair, in West Allis before they changed it years ago, and the great sandwiches you could get under the beaches away from the weather.  So many memories.  I miss Milwaukee's Sundays hot ham & rolls, I miss Ned's, I miss Leon's. that are still there as of 2113.  But I miss Boy Blue coming Down the street running in asking mom for some change.  I miss just the safety we felt as kids whether we were 12 years old and on a bus on 6th & Wisconsin heading to one of many movie theaters.  Or on 24th & State getting off the bus to walk to a friends or all the way across town by Brookfield.  I loved it.  So very many places have come and gone.  Capital Court,  Northridge, Southgate, restaurants,  like Dutchland dairy, Lelanni's  Pig & Whistle, Shakey's, Ponderosa, Fontain Blue, than I can't remember the place but the were a family place that celebrated birthdays with Bingo the Clown?       Well old Blue eyes Frank Sinatra might of had his town to sing about but us here on Milwaukee memories It's Our Kinda Town!!!     By the way who has that famous fondue recipe?    Take care.

How about before the 50’s?.....
 Does anyone remember Ray, everyones favorite bus conductor on the little Wauwatosa route from 60th and North Ave to 60th and Vliet St? How about Hoyt Park and walking blocks in the hot sun to spend the afternoon there with your friends! On the way stopping at the Mother Goose house for ice cream  on 88th and North ave. Or the Lannon stone quarry  when you could get a group together and money to buy gas! Will never forget those streetcar rides on the Wells Street car over the viaduct...out of town visitors thought we were crazy to ride it! And of course, Washington Park with the row boat rides in the summer and skating in the winter. “Tosa”, a wonderful place to grow up....hope it stayed that way.

I lived on 50th and Congress St. through the 50's and 60's..... 
 I graduated from Custer High in 1962. Remember Boston Store at Capitol Court?  My mom worked in the carpet department.  They had a race track for go carts and trampolines you could rent by the hour.
We would bicycle to Silver Spring park for free swimming in the summer, and rent a row boat out on the lagoon.  We packed our own lunch and stayed there almost all day.  On Saturdays, we could walk (yes, WALK) to Sherman theater and for 50 cents see good movies, over and over again until it was time to go home.  If 50 cents was not available, we could hop a bus for 15 cents and ride all the way downtown.  There, we would spend all day at the museum and central library.  I could find my way in the dark at that museum, I spent so much time there!  The librarian never even so much as took a look at me when I checked out the novel "Dracula" at age 10.
So I went back the next week and checked out "Frankenstein".
You can't get frozen custard as good as anyplace in Milwaukee.
I remember Friday Fish Fry at St. Stephen's Catholic church just down the street from us.  Excellent food served table by table family style all-you-could-eat! 
We attended St. Peter's Lutheran Church on 39th and Capitol Drive.  Frequently after church we stopped at the deli on 41st St for baked Virginia ham, Kaiser rolls, German potato salad, and desert of shaum torte(fill it with frozen custard).
I miss candy raisins and creamed filberts, which looked like moth balls.  I do not miss the snow and blizzards and walking 1 mile in it to Custer High; (never was such a thing as a "snow" day off then)
I told my parents I was moving to California after Disneyland opened in 1955...and that is where I live today.
As a teenager dating in Milwaukee, I have to add "watching the submarine races" down by Lake Michigan.  You know you did it, too; don't lie!
I am still a Packer backer even though the 49ers won the title this year.  There is always next year!  Go Pack!

Born in 1956 at the old Lake View Hospital on the east side......
I grew up on 35th and College in Greenfield. Remember going shopping, with my grandma and mom, on Mitchell street, the smell of coffee at Goldman's and the heavenly aroma walking into Southside Sausage. The beaches at Grant Park on hot summer days. Being taught how to use my imagination on elephant hunts at Whitnal Park and rolling down the big hill by the rose arbor at the botanical gardens. Hot dogs and rootbeer at Henri's A&W drive in on 27th and Grange. Ice cream cones from Caravelle,s ? Driving out to an apple orchard and buying fresh apples in the fall and making caramel apples when we got home. Trick or treat at night, Christmas lights, Sledding at Whitnal Park. Going to McDonald's on 76th and Oklahoma as a treat because it was so far from our house. Working on my grandparents fishing tug in the early 70's and seeing the Hoan Bridge being built from a perspective that few people got to see. Thanks for letting me share a few of many good memories of Milwaukee.

It was neat to find your site - especially the piece on Southgate mall....
 I started my business in 1986 when I was 16 selling (consignment) the hand made guitar effects pedals I was making in my parents basement at a music store at Southgate mall called Brass Bell. Brass Bell at that time was down one of the "wings" across from what at time was their version of a waterfall (seemed every mall in the area it was mandatory in the early 80's to have a waterfall) but by then the water was replaced with blue paint. The doorway / elevator to the second floor offices was next to Brass Bell and as kids we used to open the elevator doors between floors to write our names on the walls next to the dozens that were already there. In the late 70's and 80's we would do all our shopping at Southgate as they had a great selection of store - a hobby shop called A-1 Hobbies, a JC Penneys (even had an auto repair department), a Woolworths (when young would awe at the LED hand held video games) and it had both a restaurant and an escalator!, there was also many, many music stores, a Dunham Sporting goods (which earlier was a grocery store), a Baskin Robbins and the "Moon Fun Shop" that sold pranks and a section "you had to be 18 to enter". Southgate at that time seemed to be the place to be. By the end of the 80's I realized it was dying and many did not know their real problem was bad plumbing with  pipes blowing regular and causing a lot of damage to stores there. One my friends there -  Brad Campbell who worked at Brass Bell told me about how he heard a loud noise and then water was rushing out of from a wall and then scrambling to catch the instruments floating into the hallway.  Soon Southgate stopped renewing leases (although some store workers said the business wanted to renew) so, one by one all the stores closed. I had my first bank account as a kid at Southgate mall at Badger Mutual bank and also when I started my business at 16 (back then it was called ACE Guitars), I had business shirts and hats made at Rick/s T-Shirt Plus.
 On the way to Southgate we used to cut through Point Loomis mall. They had a massive Radio Shack at one point and 7-mile fair was there every winter (operating in the closed down JC Pennys) that we shopped at years earlier. Point Loomis also used to have a Kohl's grocery store, the Mainstream Music Megastore (it was open 24 hours and we would drive our dad's old station wagon down there to see who's outside in line for the midnight record releases and concert ticket sales ). Mainstream Music actually mid 80's moved over to Southgate mall. I would have bet Point Loomis would have been gone way before Southgate but they remodeled and are hanging on. Radio Shack is still there but much smaller.
 I wish I had taken pictures back then of Southgate mall as the ones on your site are from decades before I hung out there and it looked way different from what I remembered. I'm still hand making my guitar effects pedals almost three decades later and right around the corner from my original shop in my parents basement in Greenfield, WI using the exact same technology to hand build them today as when I started, no plan n changing as it is what sets mine apart. However now the vast majority of my sales are online through my website which I am sure is why many of the malls are no longer around today. Perhaps it was that I was in my teens in the 80's but "back then" it appeared you could get all you wanted (or needed) in the mall, and today the malls just don't seem to have the selection anymore which may be why so many buy online. It was fun to head down to the mall to see if anything is selling where now I check emails for orders, I'm not complaining I always knew my business dream as a kid would come true.

 Neat site, brought back a lot of memories! Hope some day people post some 80's pictures of Southgate or Point-Loomis.
Alex Kemnitzer
My name is Chuck and I just read all 14 pages... 
of Milwaukee stories on the retro Milwaukee site.

What great stuff!!

Makes me feel right at home again.

I was born in 1956 and lived in Wauwatosa on Underwood
Ave. right near Hillcrest Ave.

Went to Lincoln school for grades 1-6, then Longfellow
for grades 7-9, then Tosa East high for grades 10-12.

My maternal grandfather ran Milwaukee streetcars in
West Allis.  My dad worked at Allis Chalmers.

I lived in Tosa and Milwaukee until 1986 when I
came to Florida to skydive, and I kind of never went
home after that.

Please let me know how to contribute my stories
to your website.  Good job on it!  Man, I could not stop
reading once I started!!

Even all these years later being gone for so long,
people everywhere still know I'm from there because of
my accent.  What's so bad about that, hey?  :)


I grew up in the best town in the world,....
and it seems that you all actually know that to be true.   It seems that Milwaukee is often viewed by the rest of the nation as a “hick town” but to me it was the best place to grow up anywhere in the world.   I was born in 1960 at Milwaukee General and was the last of 8 kids.   Most of my family grew up in smaller towns like Marinette, Janesville, and DePere, but myself and two sisters grew up pretty much exclusively on the Southside.   First on 5th Place just off of Lincoln and then shortly after I was born we moved to Rusk Avenue just off of KK.   We had the complete Mayberry experience.   Our neighbor Andy owned a hardware store on the corner, Mrs Klitzke next door taught piano lessons, and best of all Mr. Motor lived across the street and he was a lieutenant with the MPD in the 2nd district so we NEVER had any crime in our area.   I always thought I had the best of both worlds, because we had all the cool things of a big city nearby, but we lived in an atmosphere that was so much like  a small town, that it couldn’t have been better.
   Things I remember:

·         Going to the Avalon Theater, where I always felt I was entering dreamland with the stars on the ceiling

·         Going to Chet’s Variety store to buy magic tricks and comic books

·         The awesome Summer Festivals at Immaculate Conception Church

·         The South Shore Water Frolics Parade and Fireworks – Where I learned to believe in Magic

·         Suburpia Sub sandwiches

·         DiMarrinos Pizza

·         Visiting Old Smokey with my folks (my mom loved the old steam engines)

·         Going down to South Shore park with my mom and sisters in the summer and playing by the lake all day long

·         McDonald’s being built just off of KK and working there in Lime Green Polyester Shirts and pants – seriously we could not have looked STUPIDER

·         The old Llewellyn Library and the Billy Bookworm Club

·         The Castle on the Hill – Bay View HS – being there while the North extension was built (new music rooms, etc), then we became the first Arts Magnet school – largely because Ray Dietrich was such a great teacher of Music I think; and then having the first Afro-American Female Principal in town, Going to school during a big teacher’s strike, and feeling scared, but getting to do cool stuff like making jewelry (I made a turquoise ring for my mom)

·         Marc’s Big Boy Hamburgers
I could go on and on, but I am so glad that there is a site like yours that celebrates our town.   I will dig out some pictures that I have (My dad was a professional photographer, so he was always snapping photos) and send them your way.

 Keep up the good work!!!

 Rauel F. LaBreche

Billy the Bookworm 1960

Gcharlie on page 13 asks about the club on State St. with country  music...

Two come to mind.  Nicks Nicabob on the northeast corner of  26th and State
and Rickys on the southwest corner.  Sonny Williams, Stoney  Calhoun, and
Kidd Carson come to mind as band members at Nicks while Billy  Spaulding and
his sister June, headlined at Rickys.  Nicks Nicabob featured  big name
country stars frequently, usually backed by the house band.   The Clef Club on
55th & Center was another weekend hot spot.  Many will  remember Bobby Nelson,
Bob Steele, Billy Schmidt and Earl (can't remember his  last name) known as
the Bobby Nelson quartet.  Hope this info stirs some  old Milwaukee
BB,  Las Vegas

I was born in 1959 and lived on the south side of Milwaukee on 20th and Howard...
 Wilson park was down the block where I spent many a winter ice skating on the frozen
lagoon.  There was Hoopers grocery store at the end of one block and the beer depot
down the other direction.  I went to St. Mary Magdalen and St. Romans for elementary
school and Pulaski high school.  I remember the Fourth of July parade that would go
down 20th street right in front of my house every year and being able to see the
fireworks from Wilson park when I was sitting in my front yard.  I fondly remember
Dutchland dairy and Marks Big Boy, who could forget those shredded onion rings.  I
remember going to Sheridan park and walking down the curvy path to the water for
late night bonfires.  Gimbals baked Alaska and of course George Webbs 6 for dollar
hamburgers, of which I ate all of them and chicken noodle soup that was bright

 My father worked for Milwaukee Dressed Beef, at the time all I knew was
that he worked under the bridge, It was very mysterious.  I remember when Burger
Chef came to town and how exciting it was to take your hard earned dollar from
collecting newspapers to spend.  I remember when they built the interstate and the
huge very high bridge over the valley to get to downtown.  I remember my brother and
several other guys helping to rock the city bus out of the snow so he could ride it
to Tech high school downtown.

 The Mad Hatter bar downtown is where I spent many
weekend nights.  Quality candy and their marshmallow Easter eggs was the best thing
ever.  The orphanage behind St. Francis hospital where I always wanted to visit.  

 Of course the circus parade downtown, where you could buy a color changing chameleon.
Pepe's pizza and Dominic's pizza by Pulaski park.  Does anyone else remember when
you could go to Pulaski park and rent a board game for a week.  I thought that was
the greatest thing ever!  Forest home cemetery where some of the tomb stones date
back to the early 1800's.   Kinikinic parkway had some of the most beautiful scenery
in the spring as well as Whitnall park. 

I remember going to listen to music at the
Humbolt park band shelter. I lived in Milwaukee until I graduated from high school
in 1978 and then moved to Florida. I have so many fond memories of my childhood in
Milwaukee and feel blessed that I was able to experience such a wonderful city.  I
hope to return in my retirement years to make some new memories. 
Sue s. 

Like everyone else, I'm loving your site... 
 I was born in Milwaukee good old St Lukes
Hospital. Grew up in West Allis until we moved to Brookfield in the early 70's,
until we moved out of state my junior year of high school. 
 Many fond memories. 
Haven't read everyone's post yet but I will. I've been trying to find out
information about an event, an all day music fest that was held at county stadium in
June of 1969 (I believe).  I was hoping to find out what bands played there that day
and just stroll down memory lane.  I attended the concert but was just a kid only 12
yrs old at that time.
 Does anybody have any info on this? or can you direct me to
website about it. I've searched google, but have hit dead ends. 
Jill K. for responses please.

Late 1940s and early 1950s...
I remember going to Szerbat's Bros butcher shop
on the corner of Locust and Fratney, I believe, and the small "sweet shop"
directly across Fratney....  Anyone else remember?

Does anyone remember the Layton Show House.....
on 27th and Lincoln Ave. I do have a picture
of it. We lived about a half block away from
it and went there all the time. I cannot find out
anything about it. If anyone remembers it please
share your information  
Thank you !

What was the name of the downtown Milwaukee lunch cafe.....
 where Al McGuire ate lunch alot at?
 It was in a building on Wisconsin, I think like on the 5 th floor.
It has been closed for years.
Can you help me?


Does anyone remember the name of the pizza place on Wisconsin Ave.....
 about a block east of the Eagles Ballroom?
Lived in that area all my life but can't remember name of that place.


Thought your readers might enjoy this....
Probably from around 1963-4
We saw their live show at the Point Loomis theatre.
 Dean Milano
Author- Chicago Music Scene: 1960s & 1970s.
Available at my website: <>

I've lived in metro Milwaukee most of my 63 years......
 and thought I'd share a couple
memories / pictures. 

My grandmother, Dorothy Sevedge, started the Newcomer Hostess Service (and Newcomer
clubs) in the 1930s welcoming new Milwaukeeans with products from local merchants.
She operated the business for over 50 years. In 1948 her friends at the Ad Club
asked her if she would like to be in a Blatz beer print ad...check out the picture.

Coming home for lunch from school in the 1950s, I would catch Joe Shott and the Hot
Shots band on WTMJ tv. A local antique dealer was actually in the audience of the
show and got a handkerchief with the band's likenesses. I bought it from her and
have included a picture.
Brad Sevedge

I was born in 1947 in Milwaukee at the old St. Lukes Hospital.....
They tell me there was a major snow storm that year.

I grew up in West Allis on 57th & Burnham. John Young's Drug store was
on the corner of 57th & Burnham and they had a fine soda counter where I
spent a good deal of time.

I remember my first job, pedaling newspapers for the Milwaukee Journal.
I remember Bomberg's Bakery and hot ham and fresh from the oven butter
crest rolls on Sunday.

As a teenager I fondly remember CYO dances at St. Rita's and other
schools. There was youth center at Horace Mann on Friday nights too.

I went to high school at West Milwaukee High and remember our sad
football team and great pizza at several places around the neighborhood.
Giovanni's, Auggies and others.

There were good jobs in factories then too. Wisconsin Motor was just
down Burnham street. Rex Chain Belt was not too far over on Mitchell.

At Christmas there was the Mitchell street parade and Schusters had
their display windows all decked out with Christmas goodies and toys.
Billy the Brownie was on the radio and we all gathered around to hear

I used to take the bus to Mitchell Street by myself. Riding the bus was
safe in those days.

All the great breweries were going full steam back then too. I had two
uncles who worked for Schlitz. And there was the Brown Bottle at

Penny candy at the Dime store on Burnham...and yes, they had candy

The Milwaukee of my youth was a great place to grow up.

I remember the garage bands of the 60's. The Legends, Paul Stefan and
the Royal Lancers (Paul was a neighbor just three houses down) El Ray
and the Night Beats and many others. Beer bars like The Old House, and
Wylers. Trips to Madison and the Bunny Hop and driving home after. I'm
still amazed we didn't get killed!

The beautiful tree lined streets of West Allis and Milwaukee. Basketball
games at West Milwaukee and letter jackets and cheerleaders. I had a
crush on Mary Powers in my freshman year!

The Plankington Arcade and shopping at all the fine stores downtown. And
all the great old restaurants like Frenchy's, John Ernst, The Five
O'clock Club on State and there was one at Pabst Brewery in the basement
of the old church, the name escapes me.

And of course Kegal's Inn in West Allis had one of the best fish fry's
around and still do. Taverns had great fish fry's, like the 5th Wheel
Pub on 43rd & Burnham.

Growing up in Milwaukee of the 1950's and 60's was a magic time and I
wouldn't trade it for the world. I just wish we go back there now! Times
were better then.

Fred Kurtz

I was born on the Southside of Milw. in 1955....
 I heard no mention of National  T foodstore on 76 and Beloit which is now Rupenas.
 There was a Ben Franklin 5&10cent store
the cent was a 'C' with a line through it, not on my keyboard  must not use it
anymore.  Krambos food store on 76 and Oklahoma. Later  taken over by Kroger.
National  T food store  also on 60 and Oklahoma. Other various  locations
 throughout  the city. The store with the  squiggly  roof. That was Treasure Island.
 Movie ushers showing you to your seat with a flashlight,  we always had to sit in
the 6 row.
Buddy Squirrel  next to the Modjeska Theater and the Grand Theater  on
about 12 and Mitchell. Layton Theater on 27 and Lincoln. No one seems to remember
that one. Paul's hamburgers on 27th  Forest Home, great  burgers. Betty restaurant
 on 27th  and Lincoln, awful food but they never through us out.
 How about
McDonald's  selling 2 burgers order of fries and a soda and  change back from your
dollar.  41 Twin drive-in. Main Monkey Go Kart track next to the 41 Twin .
 Tuesday was
dime night at Muskego Beach later Dandelion  Park. I think my dad was disappointed
 when I started to go on the rides with my friends. He loved that place. 25 cent bus
rides and electric buses that occasionally  the bus driver had to get out and  put it
back on its track. Schneider  Coal Co. on about 33rd  and Forest Home across from
You didn't pay to go to the zoo or museum. James Bond films were considered
 too riskay. Going to the corner store with a list from your mom ,sometimes a pack
of cigarettes  on there and giving it to Mr. Brookman or Mr. Cornell, never
questioning you, everyone knew your parents. The Borden ice cream man on their
scooters. Grandpa Grafs soda, had a summer job there as a helper at lunchtime the
coke, pepsi, and the grafs guy would meet and exchange  sodas. Wish I had a camera
seeing the coke guy drinking a Pepsi and Pepsi guy drinking  a coke. Eating  at the
restaurant  inside Walgreens. Don't forget the Point Theater.  Wow what great
memories. Miss you dad.
Thanks for all the great memories. Great site!!



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