Monday, August 26, 2013

Winchester Ghost Sign

Last week, local historian Dan Radig added the picture below to the You know you're from Oshkosh when... Facebook page. It was taken in 1973 just north of Oshkosh in Winchester. As always, click the pictures to enlarge them.

Judging from the make-up of the sign and a few telling details, this was probably painted in the mid-1960s. It was during this time that David Uihlein, President of the Oshkosh Brewing Company, had reclaimed 1864 as the brewery's inception date. That date wasn’t correct, but it was the one used all through the 1960s by the brewery (if you’d like to dive into the tangle of when the Oshkosh Brewing Company actually began, you can do that HERE.)

This morning, I talked with John Allen who is now 89 and lived most of his life in that neck of the woods. Allen says the building was first used as a farm machinery dealership and only later became a restaurant. And the old Chief Oshkosh sign is still hanging in there. Here’s a picture I took of it on Friday.

If you’d like to run up to Winchester and check it out, take Hwy 45 north out of town. When you reach County Road II, exit to the east. Drive in about mile on II and you’ll see it. Or you could take the Wiouwash Trail out of Oshkosh and bike up there. The restaurant behind the sign is now Patty’s Place and I’ve been told they serve a good breakfast. Now if they only had some “Chief” on tap.


  1. I'll have to check that out. It's a shame you couldn't hook them up with your own version of Chief on tap. - jody

  2. I saw that least Friday when I was up that way for work. You were the first person that came to mind when I saw it! Great post.

  3. Thanks guys... I wonder how they'd feel about having some homebrewed Chief to serve with breakfast.

    1. It's no Al Jacobsen, but I'd love to see it.

    2. I live a mile from here, have my whole life. I am sad to report that the sign is no longer visible. The face of the building was refaced, and now this awesome piece of local history is hidden behind newly laid rock

  4. I work at Patty Place and were sad to see history gone too, it was the owner of the building who wanted it remodel. We don't own the building, we had no say in the remodeling, but yes, sad history is gone.