John Manke is an active former Bay View resident who is involved in numerous neighborhood organizations, including the Bay View Historical Society, the Humboldt Park Fourth of July Association and the Shore Shore Farmers Market. He believes Bay View has a fine tradition in its past that we do not want to lose in the future.
The Bay View Historical Society will dedicate Groppi's Food Market, 1441 E. Russell Avenue, as a historical landmark on Saturday, June 21, 2008, at 2:00 PM. The brief dedication ceremony, which is free and open to the public, will take place at the store. The program includes the presentation of a plaque to John and Anne Nehring, the present owners, and a brief history of the landmark. A reception with light refreshments will follow the ceremony on the patio behind the store..
Groppi's Food Market is located on the southwest corner of Russell and Wentworth Avenues. Giocando and Georgina Groppi founded Groppi's Food Market in 1913 in an area of Bay View known as "Little Italy". Originally from Tuscany, Italy, they started their business by selling fruit and vegetables out of their home. They had twelve children, with two dying at a young age. When Giocando and Georgina Retired, four of their sons took over the store. John, Louis, Mario and Tom ran the store, which featured homemade sausages and Italian specialties. Their eleventh son, James, became a priest who became a famous cilil rights activist in the 1960's. During the 1960's and 1970's, many neighborhood markets became victims of grocery chains, but the store survived and was a gathering place for exchanging news , gossip and politics. Tom, the last surviving brother closed the store in February, 2003. John and Anne Nehring, who also own Sendik's at 4027 N. Oakland Avenue in Shorewod, and V. Richards Market at 17165 W. Blue Mound Road in Brookfield, then purchased the store and reopened it in November of 2003. They kept the family sausage recipes and retained its family atmosphere. Groppi's Food Market is the only Italian grocery store on Milwaukee' South Side, and is the National Register of Historic Places.
Every Wednesday in June, at 7:00 PM, we have a meeting of the Humboldt Park 4th of July Association in the park pavilion. All interested people are invited to join us in the planning of the day's events on Independence Day. We have doing this every year since 1910. We plan for a full day of activities for the entire family to enjoy. Your help and input is very much needed. Please come and join us. Without many volunteers and sponsors, this celebration will become a thing of the past. Do your part, and become a member. Everybody is important to us. The door is always open at the meetings, so just walk inside and join us. This event is planned so that we no longer have people losing their eyesight, fingers or limbs playing with fireworks. This is the safe way to enjoy the holiday. If you set off fireworks yourself at the parks or at your homes, you could pay a fine up to $1,000.00 for placing yourself and others in harm's way.
It won't be long until school finishes for the year. There will be many children running about the neighborhood. Many of them do not look out for moving cars. You will have to take your time driving when children are in the area. When we were kids, we used to play ball on our dead end street where there was little traffic. Other times we went to a playground and played ball. One time when I was playing at IC playground I almost put the softball on the roof of the school on a long hit. The janitor told me that I could not play ball there anymore because I could hit it so well. He was asked by me if I could bat lefthanded and still play there. He said yes. The first pitch that came to me I hit over the fence, over E. Russell Ave. and missed a plate glass window by inches. He did not know that I was a switch hitter. That was the last time that I was able to play ball there. Your children can have a lot of fun playing together as a group. It could be tennis, volleyball, softball, baseball, basketball, track, hurdles, chess and many other games. It is good to learn to play together. This relationship to others may continue for a lifetime. Your memories will always be there. You may win and you may lose, but if you have fun doing it, it will be worth it. Parents, take the time to join your children in some outdoor activities. You will all enjoy doing it. This will bring you closer together with your children. On rainy days take them to the museum, library or take them to a movie. Enjoy all of the time that you can with your children and they will never forget it. Please drive carefully and save some lives, including your own and your children's lives. Enjoy the summer. Support the Bay View community.
On Saturday, June 21, 2008, we will begin our South Shore Farmers Market for the tenth year. On this day we will have door prizes. The award winning Fritsche Middle School Drum Line will perform for us. His Honor, Mayor Tom Barrett with honor us with his presence at the market. The Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra will perform during the market. The market opens at 8 AM and runs until 12 Noon. Our main sponsors are Alverno College, Sheridan's & Sheridan House and Tenuta's Italian Restaurant. Also sponsoring us are Nancy Counter, of First Weber Real Estate and Apple A Day Massage. This market is coordinated by the Milwaukee County Parks and the South Shore Farmers Market Committee. There will be over 40 vendors on site. There also will be a few park benches available to sit on. To listen to the music presentation, please bring your own chairs to sit on. This market is meant for all people to have the chance to enjoy. South Shore Park is dog friendly, but keep them on a leash, and clean up after them. This year is special because we are celebrating ten years of this farmers market. Y'all come and enjoy yourself.
Did you know that we had a town named Skunk Grove in Wisconsin? It was founded by Jacques Vieau, the brother in law of Solomon Juneau. It had a hotel and resting place for travelers on their way to Milwaukee. This town is mentioned in several pioneer stories of Milwaukee. It was slow traveling to Milwaukee due to lack of proper roads. Way stations and hotels were needed for the travelers. This town had lots of good farm land. In modern times, they changed the name of the town from Skunk Grove to Franksville, Wisconsin. Lots of cabbage was grown here to make sauer *** and other goods. The Frank's Company was very big in the town's history. They had a Sauer *** Festival many times in modern times. Next time you travel through Franksville, think of its original name of Skunk Grove. The story of this town is available at your local library.
This summer there will ne a lot of activities going on. On July 4th, we will celebrate Independence Day at Humboldt Park with a full day of activities, including a 100 unit morning parade at 9:00 AM, "Randa the Clown" at 10:30 AM, the children's games at 11:00 AM, a old time baseball team will have a game playing 1860's style of baseball at the ballfield near 11 AM, "For Pet's Sake" dog show at 12:45 PM, the doll buggy, coaster, bikes and trikes contest and afternoon parade at 1:30 PM, a dance contest for children and adults at 2:00 PM and the Talent Show at 2:30 PM. The evening program with a great Elvis impersonater at 7:00 PM will be followed by a fireworks display at 9:15 PM. There also will be music played at our reviewing stand from 12 Noon to 7:00 PM. A warning to all would be violaters, there will be a very expensive fine for people shooting off their own fireworks.
A few days later, we will have the South Shore Frolics at South Shore Park. There will be three days of interesting activities for all ages to enjoy. On Friday, there will be a movie for the children and adults to watch. On Saturday, there will be a large parade from S. KK Ave. and E. Lincoln Ave., down S. KK Ave. to South Shore Park. There will be an arts and crafts show on Sunday. There will be food and drinks that can be purchased on the grounds. A good time can be had by all at this time. This event runs from 7/11/08 to 7/13/08.
On Thursday, June 5, 2008, the Bay View High School Class of 2008 had their Honors Program. Mr. Donnie Galloway, the Business Education teacher was the Master of Ceremonies. After the students marched in procession in their caps and gowns, they played the National Anthem. Ms. Goss, the Principal, gave the opening remarks.
This is your last chance to volunteer to help us celebrate Independence Day in a full day of activities. We started in 1910, to set up a full day of activities for the entire family to enjoy. Over time, many of our volunteers have gotten older. We need some new volunteers to assist us in keeping this tradition alive and active into the future. We are doing this to prevent injuries caused by fireworks in the past that maimed and crippled people for life. In the past many people became blind or lost fingers or hands handling dangerous fireworks. The gunpowder used in fireworks is the same as is used in dynamite. If the gunpowder gets old, it can turn into nitroglycerin and become unstable. Save your own life and the life of others by enjoying the July 4th activities at our park. It is better to be safe and happy rather than sad and injured. The input of newer members is both needed and wanted. Help other families have a safe and sane holiday. Please ask to join us in our volunteer duties at Humboldt Park. We meet every Wednesday in June in the park pavilion at 7 PM. Everybody is welcome to attend our meetings. The more volunteers, the less work for all of us to do. Ninety-eight years of the Humboldt Park 4th of July Association have been celebrated. Let us have many more years to celebrate, while we still have a park to enjoy. If you have any questions on this, please call 414-304-5039 and we will try to help you.
The contact person for the Bay View Lions Club, the sponsor of the Water Frolics is Marlene Stevens, 414-769-0855. The tentative schedule for the South Shore Frolics is the weekend of July 11 through July 13. The South Shore Frolics are held at South Shore Park located at 2900 S. Shore Drive and cover most of the park.
On Friday, July 11, 2008, there will be a fish fry, music on stage, a movie for the entire family, and a fireworks display. There will be food, soda and beer on the park grounds. No beer is allowed to be brought into the park unless it is purchased at the beer tent.
Every spring I used to watch for the maybelles (lily of the valley) and lilac bush bloom in rich beautiful blossoms. It always reminded me of the day my wife and I got married. After the wedding ceremony, we went to Grant Park and had pictures taken by the lilac bushes which were in full bloom at the time. This is a very sweet memory for me. When we drove by our old house, we discovered that the maybelles and lilac bush were removed from the land. Also the rasberry bushes were taken down. In June and July, I was able to pick rasberries and give them to my wife. I used to water the bushes to get better berries. For one whole month, we had homegrown rasberries to enjoy. I guess that time just moves on, and what was once there, is now a thing of the past. Only memories remain of their sweetness and joy to grow. My dad taught me how to transplant bushes when I was younger. The lilac bush came from the north side of Milwaukee. The maybelles came from a house that we used to rent many years ago. The rasberry bushes were given to us by a friend and then grew like weeds. The rasberries were out of this world in flavor. The two trees in the backyard came from out in the country and were given to me by a friend from his land up north. We had a lot of shade from those two trees. At least they are still at the old house. Enjoy what you have, while you can, because in time they will all disappear from sight. This is also the time when the grass grows to a beautiful green color. Take your family as a group and visit some of our county parks, before they disappear into condos and commerical areas. Because of the Milwaukee County Pension Scandal, these parks may disappear due to lack of funds to maintain them. If only the ones who caused the pension scandal were forced to maintain the parks with their ill-gained funds. Please support the Bay View community.
At the June meeting of the Bay View Historical Society, we had "Show and Tell". Members brought in things from the past for other people to view. John Ebersol brought in a photograph taken by the late John Steiner, who had been our archive director. It was a picture of a sign from inside of the Bay View Rolling Mill before the building was razed. The sign was in several languages, warning workers to beware of the overhead crane. The first language was English. The second language was Czech. The third language was Hungarian. The fourth language was Serbian. The fifth language was Polish. The last language was German. I had never known that this many languages were used at the rolling mill. The Germans lived mostly in the western portion of Bay View. My great grandfather, Fred Schumacher worked in the blast furnace. The 1880 U.S. Census of Bay View showed that he only spoke in German. The Polish workers came from the area of St. Stanislaus Roman Catholic Church, which was built by the Kashubes, and on Jones Island. When the strikers went to the rolling mill in 1886 and were fired upon by the Wisconsin State Militia, they started from St. Stanislaus Church, where many of them were members. It seems that many people came to Bay View to work the Bessemer Steel process at the rolling mill.
Many years ago, when my wife and I were inside of the old Protestant Cemetery located on E. Norwich Avenue and S. Barland Avenue, we found graves of many of the Bay View pioneers. Elijah Estes family, the Packard family, the Wentworth family and many others. There were several grave stones written in German. There were three grave stones that were written in a eastern European languuage. Now because of that photograph, I know that one gravestone was Czech and the other two were Hungarian. It is amazing what you can still learn about old information.
As of June 21, 2008, we are beginning our tenth year of operation. All people are welcome to attend our outstanding farmers market. We have over forty vendors waiting to serve you. We have an education program followed by a musical program which is free for all people to attend. On June 28, 2008 we will "Learn About Your Schools" at 9: 15 AM with many of our local schools in attendance in the park. Kurt von Eckroth, zitherist, will play German and Viennese favorite music. On July 5th, we will have "Cooking with Chef David Swanson" followed by Lekspel, a Scandinadian Folk Group. On July 12th, There will be NO farmers market due to the South Shore Frolics and parade. On July 19th, we will have "Cooking with Groppi's Food Market" followed by the Sweezettes, accordian fun. On July 26th, we will have " Trillium Tribal Belly Dancing" followed by the Desert Sound Ensemble, Mid-eastern, Mid-western Melodies. There are a few picnic tables in the park to sit on, but if you need to sit down, please bring your own chairs. Her is an old fashioned way of enjoying yourself at no cost to you. The vendor's prices are very reasonable and the quality is great. Relax and come to South Shore Park between 8 AM and 12 Noon. We are located in the diagonal parking lot near the park pavilion. Come and enjoy a very relaxing atmosphere near Lake Michigan. Everyone is welcome to come. South Shore Park is "Dog Friendly", but you must have your dog on a leash and clean up after it. Y'all come.
In the morning we had the opening of the South Shore Farmers Market at South Shore Park, located at 2900 S. Shore Drive, in Milwaukee, Wi. 53207. Mayor Tom Barrett was there with many local politicians and presented proclamations honoring the tenth year of the farmers market. We had mandolin players providing us with music. There was a large cake made by Dolly Merten, owner of Wild Flower Bakeries. After the proclamations were handed out, everybody was invited to get a piece of wonderful freshly baked cake. While the mandolins played on, many people sat down and listened to this wonderful music. There was a large crowd as usual, but everything was calm as always. The over 40 vendors, minus many farmers who had crop damage due to our great floods the other day, were there to greet us. There were 3 bakeries open for business there. Many plants and flowers were available to customers. There were 2 coffee vendors. Several vendors had fresh food and drinks (not alcoholic ones) to offer. Homemade brats and egg sandwiches on the grill were available. St. Ann's Intergenerational Center had homemade pies and jellies to offer. With no rain in sight, it was a wonderful day at the farmers market. Every Saturday from 8 AM to 12 Noon except for when the South Shore Frolics are there from July 11 - 13, the farmers market is open to the public.
At Groppi's Food Market, 1441 E. Russell Ave., we had a landmark ceremony from the Bay View Historical Society to honor both the Groppi Family and the Nehring Family. Many politicians were there to give their proclamations to the Nehrings and the Groppis to honor them for their fine tradition of homelike service to the public since 1913, when Giocondo and Georgina Groppi opened their food market. The Groppi's had 12 children, 2 of whom died as small children. One family member became famous as a civil rights leader in the 1960's and 1970's. This was Father Jim Groppi. All of the children worked in the store at one time or another. When Mario Groppi passed away, the work of keeping the food market open became too much for Tom and Louis Groppi. They closed for a short time and sold it to John and Anne Nehring, who also own one Sendick's Store and V. Richards Store. They agreed to keep the Groppi tradition of a homelike atmosphere alive and active and purchased the recipes for the fine Italian Sausages that the Groppi Family made throughout the years since 1913. The store was old fashioned, but you always felt like you were at home when the clerks spoke to you. Candy by the scoop and rabbit food was available at one time. Louis used to work with pigeons during World War II with the U.S. Army and continued to keep them above the store until after they sold to the Nehring Family. When you came into the store, you were frequently greeted by your first name if they knew it. It was always a pleasure to shop at Groppi's Food Market. It now is still a pleasure to shop there since many of the old traditions are still seen there. I wish that I could honor Tom and Louis Groppi and their families for all of the hard work that they did over the years without complaint. I also wish to honor the Nehring family for keeping a good Bay View tradition alive and active into the future.
When the Village of Bay View was incorporated, land was donated by the Bay View Rolling Mill for churches to build on. On the east side of the corner, Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary Roman Catholic Church was built. Directly across the street on what is now 2701 S. KK Ave, the first St. Lucas Evangelical Lutheran Church was built. A few years later, this building was moved to 2605 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. On the site of this church, after it was moved, the Village Hall of Bay View was moved here from the triangle next to Bay View United Methodist Church at S. Clement Ave., E. Pryor Ave and S. KK Ave. After this building was razed, a new A & P Grocery chain store was built. In later years after the A & P store closed, the building was modifed to become the Bay View State Bank; which is now called M & I Bank of Bay View. On the third corner on E. Russell Ave. and S. Logan Ave., Bay View Baptist Church was built. When the congregation built a new church at 3800 S. Howell Ave., the old building was razed and an apartment building was constructed. At what is now 2699 S. KK Ave., Francis "Smitty" Smith had a Standard Oil Service Station next door to Paul Gruneau Plumbing. This service station was there until Smitty retired. The building then became a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel sub-station for newspaper carriers. The next use of this building was as a restaurant called "Sven's". This is the current use of that building. In the triangle near all of these buildings is the Bay View Monument honoring the men who died in World War II in the service of their country. One block away is the old Llewellyn Library (now used by Bay View High School and Bay View High School itself. For a small corner, there sure was a lot of history involved the land. Please support the Bay View Community.
See picture at:http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/whi/fullimmage.asp?id=47553
Did you know that once you are caught in the act of making graffiti on any building, then you will have constant reminders from the Milwaukee Police Department when any other graffiti is found anyplace. You may be at home with all of your family and the Police will come to your house in front of all of your relatives and friends and ask where you were during certain times of the day. When you are with your friends, you may have a visit from the Police asking where you were all day because graffiti was found somewhere nearby. You may be inside of your classroom at school and receive a visit from the Police asking if you were in a certain area because of some graffiti found between your house and your school. Won't it be fun to have everybody know that you have created graffiti in the area and can't be trusted anymore. If you want this to happen, then continue to do your graffiti work, and you will be rewarded with prison time, fines, unusual punishment, and the knowledge that you will never be forgotten by the Police Department. How many colleges and places of employment will want to have a person known for making illegal graffiti in public. Think about your future when you plan to do such things. What will your future hold being an ex-convict? What kind of life can you expect if you get constant visits from the Police asking what you have been doing with your life? Would all of your friends stay with you under these circumstances? Next time you do graffiti, think of the damage you are doing to the building and to your future. A life like that in the movie "Animal Farm" or "1984" could become your personal future. Just think of these things when you do your graffiti next time. Your life is what you make of it. Don't ruin it by becoming a simple idiot. Use your common sense and protect your future.