Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Looking Back

Here’s an incredible picture that Oshkosh historian and author Dan Radig has been kind enough to share with us.

This was the saloon of Adolph Baier located at the southwest corner of Ohio Street and 7th Ave. Baier was born in Austria and came to Oshkosh in the early 1880s. While also working as a wagonmaker for A. Streich & Bros., Baier ran this saloon out of his home at what would now be 601 W. 7th Ave from approximately 1892 to 1898.

The two corner signs on the building give us a clue to the date of the picture. The top sign is for the “Celebrated Lager Beer” of Lorenz Kuenzl’s Gambrinus Brewery. The lower sign is for Horn & Schwalm’s Stock Lager. After 1894 these two breweries would merge with The Union Brewery to form the Oshkosh Brewing Company, so in all likelihood, the image pre-dates 1894.

Gathered at the front of the saloon are, presumably, the Baiers. Adolph Baier and his wife Mary would eventually have nine children making this a somewhat early incarnation of the family. And look at all those beer barrels lined-up along the east wall of the home/saloon. Wouldn’t you love to know what the beer in those barrels tasted like?

Amazingly the Baier home is still standing and it’s in pretty good condition considering the years of use it has endured.
601 W. 7th Ave Today
If this is the sort of thing that fires your interest then you’ve got to check out Dan’s new book, Oshkosh Grocers of the South Side 1857-1978. It’s a jaw-dropping compendium of Oshkosh history that uses the hundreds of small grocers that once operated in Oshkosh as bellwethers for the change and development that has shaped our city. Dan says the book started as a “simple list of markets in town to use as a quick reference source and it spiraled out of control.” No kidding! At 668 pages this is the result of the best kind of obsession. It’s the sort of book you fall into and come up an hour later wondering where the time went.

Oshkosh Grocers of the South Side 1857-1978 is currently available in Oshkosh at Apple Blossom Books and will also soon be in stock at Sister's Restaurant.

1 comment:

  1. I wonder who lives in the home today and if they know the history?

    I'm contacting Apple Blossom Books today to order a copy of Oshkosh Grocers. I'll let them know I saw the book on your site.