Monday, February 15, 2010

Historic Oshkosh Beer Home For Sale on Craigslist

“Whether you are a Chief Oshkosh beer collector or simply want a gorgeous water view from your master bedroom, this specialty home will deliver.”

That’s from the Craigslist ad. It also notes that the home was “built for the brewmaster of Chief Oshkosh Beer in 1879.”

I suppose that’s close enough for real estate. The actual story, though, is quite a bit more involved. In 1879 there was no such thing as the Oshkosh Brewing Company and the man for whom this house was built, was definitely not a brewmaster.

Here’s what happened: In 1879 the Horn and Schwalm Brewery, aka the Brooklyn Brewery, in the 1600 block of Doty Street burned to the ground. The wood-framed building wasn’t just a brewery. It was also home to brewery owners August Horn (seen below) and Lenhardt Schwalm, a brewmaster trained in Germany who handled brewing operations for the company. The brewery probably housed a few of their employees as well.

After the fire, Horn and Schwalm immediately rebuilt their brewery. This time they used Cream City brick. I’m guessing that Horn, who had been trained as a stone mason in Bavaria, was a fan of Cream City brick because he also used it to build his new home - the one being sold on Craigslist.

The Oshkosh Brewing Company was still about 15 years off at this time. It came together in 1894 when Horn and Schwalm merged their stock with that of two other breweries owned by John Glatz and Lorenz Kuenzl. This was the beginning of the Oshkosh Brewing Company.

Aside from all that, the house at 1662 Doty Street is beautiful. If you’ve any interest in the history of beer in Oshkosh you owe it to yourself to go take a look. And if you do, keep your eyes open because just up the street you’ll be able to see what’s left of the old Horn & Schwalm brewery. Imagine what this all must have been like in the late 1800s!

Here's a LINK to the Craigslist ad.

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