A Travellerspoint blog

1913

110 years later ...

sunny

What a great time we're having being back in Wisconsin.
The family-owned company which was started by my grandfather, Fred Schwerman, celebrated 110 years in business this year. In 1913, he built his first truck and since then the business has been operated by my father, my brother and now my nephew and niece (and perhaps in the distant future ... by the next generation of Schwermans).

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Following the company's anniversary celebration, we traveled to Door County for the festivitiies surrounding our Wyoming neighbor's daugher's marriage to a young man who grew up a stone's throw from where my family lived just prior to when I was heading off to college. We haven't been to Door county since we biked on Washington Island back in the 70's. So we took the ferry over to the island for the day. Below is a photo of the beautiful morning at the ferry dock where the clouds looked like mountain peaks in the distance. And what a great day we had!

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First, we joined the Bitter's Club at Nelson's Hall. So you ask ... what is the Bitter's club? Well, back in the days of prohibition there was a man with the surname Nelson who owned a tavern on the island. He wanted to continue to serve alcohol so he became a Pharmacist who could serve Bitters as a digestive aid. Bitters is 90 proof alcohol and does in fact taste somewhat to mostly "Bitter". To join the club you must drink a shot of Agostura bitters .. then dip you finger in the shot glass and add your print to your Bitter's Club membership card. As the story goes, a federal agent stopped by the Tavern during prohibition and found a tipsy crowd. He wanted to close down the tavern for violation of the Volstead Act. As a result the tavern owner went before the judge, with a shot glass of Bitters and asked him to consume it. The judge determined no one would willing buy or drink the product so he allowed Nelson's Hall to remain open. Therefore, it is the longest, consecutive running tavern in the United States. Well, we'll drink to that!!

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I think perhaps some patrons of Nelson's Hall built this first snowmobile back in 1930 after consuming their share of bitters....

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We also went to an old maritime museum while on Washington Island. Below is a photo of an old 4 (huge) cylinder engine from one of the ships as well as a rudder (massive) from the Carolina .. as ship that just happened to sink in Lake Michigan in the storm of October 1913! Lots happening that year .. Fortunately for our family it was the start of something not only big .. but endurring! So here's to 1913!!

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Posted by Where2FromHere 19:24 Archived in USA

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