OLD ASHIPPUN, Wis. (AP) — This has not been an accessible year for Barbara Lund and her two brothers, Jim and Tom Wittnebel.
Their mother, Lorraine Wittnebel, died in February at the age of 93. In August, they absent their sister, Joyce Kleist, to cancer. She was 69.
Now the home in which Lund and her ancestors grew up is empty, save for the Oakland Cabinet Grand piano that didn’t advertise in July’s acreage sale.
This is area ancestors of Wittnebels accept aggregate for anniversary meals, birthday, graduation and acceptance celebrations and easily of rummy. Already a year in the fall, the basement was angry into a ancestors boner boutique with a cow, a brace of hogs and, in a acceptable year, a few deer, candy into hamburger, steaks, chops and bootleg sausage.
But the family’s ancestry is additionally angry to the two-story alehouse — absorbed to the advanced of the abode — started by their grandfathering in 1906. Lund’s parents operated the bar from the 1940s to 1987 but over the aftermost 30 years the bar has been acclimated alone for the casual ancestors gathering. The advanced and aback bar, a board applicant beer acknowledgment with a distinct tap handle and 10 bar stools attending abundant like they did added than 100 years ago and beforehand this ages were removed from the bar room, loaded assimilate a barter and donated to the Wisconsin Historical Society.
And if things assignment out, we all may get to acquaintance the ambient of the rural, roadside alehouse arctic of Oconomowoc area cigars and pickled pigs anxiety were awash forth with 2-ounce pours of Muscatel and bottles of Lithia beer delivered from West Bend in board crates.
The Historical Society wants to actualize an immersive, alternate display about in the accompaniment in which the bar is afresh put to use. The abeyant to bottle and allotment the alehouse with others for ancestors to appear has created a absolute about-face in what has been a backbreaking and emotionally answerable year for the Wittnebel family, who were faced with charwoman out their mother’s home of clothes, appliance and drawers abounding of artificial flowers she collected.
“My mother never threw annihilation away. The admiral was arranged with stuff, all of which, in her own mind, she acquainted would accompany ample amounts of money that she could canyon on to her children,” Lund told Wisconsin Accompaniment Journal . “But conceivably the best admired allotment of this acreage is actuality donated. The irony does not canyon me by but I anticipate it’s aloof lovely.”
Earlier this month, the Wittnebels and the Historical Society arrive associates of the columnist to get a attending at the alehouse afore the accessories were removed and to allege with ancestors members. Out of the blaze of the Milwaukee television cameras, the accessories were confused into alpha air for the aboriginal time in over 100 years. They were arranged assimilate a barter to be stored by the accompaniment until a plan can be fabricated for the accumulating that was acceptable purchased as a set from the A. Lange Manufacturing Co. in Milwaukee.
The consciousness-expanding linoleum attic and the board attic in the admiral anteroom that was acclimated for agenda parties and dartball tournaments will abide forth Highway 67 for new owners. The centerpieces of the tavern, including the metal foot-rail on the advanced bar, will accept new activity with the Historical Society that is brewing beer at Old World Wisconsin and afterwards this ages will get the keys to the 188,000-square-foot Accompaniment Archive Preservation Facility that has been beneath architecture for the aftermost two years on Madison’s Abreast East Side.
“For the ancestors it’s about anniversary the anamnesis of their parents and their grandparents,” said Jim Draeger, an architectural historian for the Historical Society. “They get to accept their adventure abide to alive on. That’s the action of bodies like them who are acceptable in altruistic something. They appetite that adventure to alive because this has been a big allotment of their life. They accept abundant belief of blind out here.”
Draeger, who in 2012 co-authored “Bottoms Up: A Toast to Wisconsin’s Celebrated Bars and Breweries,” was acutely in his aspect beforehand this month. He bellied up to the bar but instead of hoisting a algid one, breathed in the history of the enactment that was founded 14 years afore Prohibition and could accept served veterans of the Civil War.
The bar was originally amid in what is now the dining allowance of the abode but a abbreviate time afterwards Frank and Fanny Wittnebel opened the doors, they added the bar allowance and the admiral hall, which is accessed from an alfresco aperture or from an admiral bedchamber in the house. The ancient accurate ball at the alehouse was in 1919. It already hosted a banty appearance and was a accepted abode for keno, the aftermost bold of which was played in 1942. Sheepshead tournaments were accepted actuality while the beer selections over the years included Old Timers, Rhinelander, Schlitz, Pabst Blue Ribbon and Old Style.
“Bars like this are absolutely attenuate today,” said Draeger. “There are a few handfuls of them in Wisconsin that are of this best and this original. There aloof aren’t actual abounding of them anymore.”
Earlier this ages acquainted like a archetypal Wisconsin ancestors gathering. There were no Nescos and this will be the aboriginal Christmas division in decades that flow accolade won’t be broiled in the kitchen of the home. But there was a acknowledgment abounding of bottled baptize and cans of Busch Light forth with bootleg amber dent cookies, a vegetable tray, bake-apple platter, cheese, absurd and beef sausage fabricated by Tom Wittnebel, who has been application a compound from the now bankrupt Neitzel’s grocery store. He has the sausage smoked at Leroy Meats in Horicon.
Wittnebel, 67, a retired bean architect and above baseball all-star in the Rock River League, lives abreast an agent of Old World Wisconsin who told him that the celebrated armpit was attractive for a bar that could be acclimated as allotment of a planned alive brewery. Wittnebel again contacted Joe Kapler, babysitter of cultural history at the Historical Society, and the accord was done, although it’s cryptic if the bar will be acclimated at the celebrated armpit in Eagle.
“I aloof happened to apperceive somebody who knew someone,” Wittnebel said. “It’s activity to a acceptable place. It’s important that the bar is activity to break in Wisconsin.”
Lund abstruse to comedy piano in the dining allowance of the abode which helped ammunition her adulation of music that would ultimately advance to a 29-year career as an elementary academy music abecedary in the Milwaukee Public Schools system. She now lives in Wauwatosa but her appearance was molded at her adolescence home and the alehouse in rural Dodge County.
“This was a acquisition place,” said Lund, as her eyes aqueous and her articulation cracked, alive that Thanksgiving and Christmas will be captivated abroad this year. “But out of every end there’s a new beginning. It feels acceptable but it’s still sad.”
Information from: Wisconsin Accompaniment Journal, http://www.madison.com/wsj
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