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.
On Saturday, August 3rd, 2013, we will have National Day Out at the South Shore Farmers Market. We will invite the various non-profit groups in the Bay View area to set up at the farmers market. For the musical entertainment, "Frogwater" will present Eclectric-Acoustic World Music at the market. Cherries and apricots are available at the Door County booth at the market. fresh corn is available at at least two vendors. Pickles and cucumbers, some squashes, kohl-rabi, purple carrots, fresh peas and beans, lettuce, various spices needed for cooking, fresh mushrooms, eggs and meat on the grill, kettle corn, onions, jams and jellies, fresh bakery, specialty coffee, crepes, fresh flowers and plants, homemade candy, honey products, maple syrup, frozen soup and other products are available from over 40 vendors at the South Shore Farmers Market, located at 2900 S. Shore Drive in Bay View. Y'all come and join us there.
When we were young, my dad had us pulling the weeds in our garden. He would plant several types of vegetables. We grew peas, beans, kohl-rabi, lettuce, both red and yellow tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, rubarb, cabbage and some other plants. Early in summer, we would pick the peas and beans. The lettuce grew so that we could pick a little at a time. Radishes came out early; the white ones were very sharp and the red ones not as sharp. The melons and cucumbers took a while to grow. The tomatoes, if we got them before the local fauna got to them, were very tastey. We had cherry tomatoes and regular tomatoes in both the yellow and red varieties. When the kohl-rabi was ready, we as kids loved to eat them like candy. as the various vegetables were ready to pick, my dad would purchase some beef bones and make some beef vegetable soup for us to eat. When we picked the rubarb, we would have rubarb pies, cakes and some special desserts with it. The rubarb was best when eaten near the root, and the part near the leaf could give you the runs. The leaf was poisonous to eat. Rubarb grew almost all spring and summer. In summer, we picked rasberries from our back yard. You learned how to be tolerent of bees and wasps this way.
My dad taught us not to grow Kentucky Blue-grass on our lawn. This was one of the favorite foods of rabbits. They could destroy your lawn in just one major feeding. They loved other crops, but for some strange reason. they just loved Kentucky Blue-Grass. We had six children in our family, so my dad needed a large backyard garden to grow enough food for us. He would go out to North Milwaukee, in the Town of Granville, and grow some extra crops on his parents land, the old Manke Greenhouse site. He would take pigeon manure from the attic of the garage at his family's house for fertilizer. He brought some of this fertilizer for our own garden. We always had a lot of vegetables to eat at home.
Theobald Otjen and his brother Christian Otjen were born to German parents in Detroit, Michigan. He happened to live very close to Eber Brock Ward in Detroit. When Theo's parents passed away, he and his brother, Christian, became wards of the Eber Brock Ward family.
Eber Brock Ward owned an iron mine and a shipping company on the Great Lakes. He built a Bessmer Steel producing plant at the Bay View Rolling Mills and produced the first steel rails in 1868. He purchased a large section of land in the Town of Lake, both for his rolling mill and for housing for his mill workers. All mill workers were allowed to live in his land in the Bay View area, providing that they had no alcoholic beverages on the premises. He was one of the founders of Bay View Methodist Church and his religion did not allow for drinking of alcoholic beverages. The church services began in the office of the mill superintendent of the Bay View Rolling Mill. The land owned by Eber Brock Ward was named "Bay View" by one of its residents. (One candidate was the wife of Elijah Estes, who had walked 1,000 miles from North Carolina, met Zebadiah Wentworth his future wife and daughter of the Mayor of Chicago, Illinois. Zebadiah is one of the women professing to have named the area Bay View.)
Many questions have come up concerning Bay View history. There is data inside of the Milwaukee Public Library System and inside of their local history sections. The Bay View Historical Society, 2590 S. Superior Street, has an open house during the third Saturday of every month, unless changed by special circumstances and listed on the web site of the www. bayviewhistoricalsociety.org. We can answer many questions on local history, but many people would like to see this history with their own eyes. On the second floor of the Main Library in Milwaukee, you can find old fire insurance maps, old city directories, unpublished documents or master documents. You have to ask to view these old documents. They may never be taken out of the library.
The Milwaukee County Historical Society has many documents and books about old Milwaukee history. Again, you may not take this material out of the building. Golda Meier Library, at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee also has a lot of Milwaukee history inside.
The exhibition season of the National Football League is upon us again. If Warner Cable and WTMJ-tv can resolve their differences, we will be able to watch some of these football games again. Let us hope that the Green Bay Packers football team can again produce a quality team on the field. Football games are very entertaining. Now we know that Fall is just around the corner. Have fun watching the football games, but also prepare your children for returning to school in Fall. This is the last chance for a warm vacation before school starts again.
Please support the Bay View community.
On Tuesday, August 13, at the "Chill on the Hill" Irish Night, we will have the annual Humboldt Park Watch Corn Roast. Thank you to Patty Pritchard Thompson for inviting us here. There will be corn- on- the -cob and butter served beginning at 6 pm. You are invited to help us raise some money for our programs that we do during the year for the community. We have the Easter Egg Hunt, Tree Day, Park Clean-ups and other programs at the park. The Irish music will be a rehearsal for the upcoming Irish Fest at Meirer Park on the Summerfest Grounds. Come down and enjoy some wonderful music and relax for a while.
This summer has been the coolest summer that I can remember. Most summers are hot and humid and you require air conditioning to survive. It almost seems that we are having an early fall. The temperature has been perfect for doing things. You can work in your garden, play golf, play softball, play basketball all without sweating too much. It has been almost perfect at the South Shore Farmers Market. The first three Saturdays, we had rain. Since then we have had wonderful weather. People come out with their dogs and shop at the market. They can take thier time as it is not too hot to shop. The music has been great. The food has been outstanding. Some vendors are selling out early due to brisk sales. The atmosphere is that of relaxation. You can view Lake Michigan while you shop and then listen to the music being played. Y'all come and join us at the South Shore Farmers Market, located at 2900 S. Shore Drive in Bay View.
On Saturday, from 8 am to 12 noon, we will have our South Shore Farmers Market located at South Shore park, 2900 S. Shore Drive. We have over 40 vendors to serve you. Kettle corn is very inviting to enjoy. Fresh meat on the grill with eggs and bacon is very good to eat. Fresh melons, tomatoes, peppers, squash, potatoes, cucumbers, carrots (& purple carrots), peas, beans, mushrooms, onions, spices, crepes, eggs, plants and flowers, egg rolls and specialty teas, fresh coffee, three bakeries, homemade candy, jams and jellies, and other good things are available at the various vendors. Come early and get the best of the lot. Buy bakery and coffee and enjoy our music while sitting at a picnic table, if available when you come. All dogs must be on a leash and you are responsible for any cleanup needed. We have the best farmers market in Milwaukee. Come down and see why.
In the summer of 1953, we had a major wind storm that pulled trees out of the ground and took down many power lines. I was lucky to have slept through this storm. Early in the day, my father and some of us kids went to fallen down trees and used a two man saw to cut through the trunk of the trees. We had an old coal furnace and could use the wood for fuel. We would haul some of this wood home on a coaster wagon. The two man saw was hard to use, but very effective. Here was a free supply of wood for our winter. On smaller pieces of the tree, we used regular hand saws. I still have two of these hand saws with me at home. I also have an ax that my dad used on some of the wood of the tree. Imagine a tree being pulled up by its roots by the street curb. Some of these trees had thick trunks. This wind storm hit all of the south east areas of Milwaukee County. It was said to be a reverse cyclone, whatever that means. My mother took a tour of the damaged areas so she could be aware of the extent of the property damage for her insurance agency work. One man on E. Pryor Avenue, very close to Lewis Field, got out of his new car and in a few seconds saw a tree fall on top of his car. We saw where tree tops smashed into the roofs of houses. Many roads were blocked for a few days afterward until a proper clean-up could be done. You would have had to be there to see the amount of damage from that storm of 1953.
We used to go the YWCA, located at 610 N. Jackson Street, to go to dance classes and to go bowling. We belonged to the YWCA Terpsichorean Club, founded by Henry W. Altstadt, our dance instructor. His wife was on the Board at the YWCA. Henry was an old master sergeant in the military. He lost part of one foot in combat. He is still alive today. Our active period in the club and YWCA was in the 1950's and 1960's. We would have Thursday Night dances, club activities going to various places and parks. We played coed softball games at Wilson Park on Sunday mornings. We used to go down to Grant Park at night for midnight swims after dance classes. We would frequently go to Al's Custard Stand on E. Layton Ave. One of the rules of the club was no abusive behavior or words. No alcohol was allowed at events. Everyone seemed to have a wonderful time at these events. People had to take turns chairing an event. Everyone was given a chance to be a leader. When a stranger was there at an event, we would take that person and put them into the kitchen or other active area to work, and when he or she was relaxed enough, they were put into the main activities. This was a group where everyone was made to feel that he was an active part of the club. During the 1960's, the Terpsichorean Club seemed to fade from history. Some of the club members have passed away, while others have moved on with their lives. Some of this group still meet and have fun together. I believe that Henry Altstadt is now in a nursing home. The old YWCA building has been razed and replaced. Al's Custard Stand is for all purposes gone. A shell of its former building is still there, but no longer a custard stand. We had own own "Happy Days" in Milwaukee. Hats off to all former members of the YWCA Terpsichoresn Club and its founder. We had a great time back then, but time has taken its toll on all things.
I wish to thank everyone who participated in the Tuesday Night "Chill on the Hill" Irish Night and supported the Humboldt Park Watch Corn Roast. Thanks to Patty Pritchard Thompson from The Bay View Neighborhood Association and "Chill on the Hill", we were invited to hold our annual fundraiser Corn Roast at Humboldt Park. We had several dedicated volunteers who all helped in setting up and selling the corn-on-the-cob. A special thanks to Cliff Hale for his work in preparing our work site. We all worked together to have a successful night of selling corn. Thank you to all of the volunteers who participated in this fundraiser. We hope to see you again next year.
I wonder how long that WTMJ-TV is going to be off of Warner Cable Company. It seems a shame that the two companies can't come to any agreement on their problem. By Labor Day, it won't matter much if WTMJ-TV is off. Most of their programs I do not care for. They have a great news system. When we have a major storm, this is the channel that we most likely turn to for information. Let us hope that their problems can be corrected soon.
While I was delivering mail in August of 1886, we got hit by huge thunderstorm. The streets in Milwaukee were like rivers. My wife and my kids were at State Fair that day. After work, I barely made it home from the Bay View Postal Station due to deep water in all of the underpasses on the way home. I had to take a round about way home to avoid one of the deepest underpass on S. Kinnickinnic Ave. near Outpost and Sijan Field. In my basement, I found almost an inch of water from the storm. My wife and children made it home safe from State Fair Park. One of my fellow letter carriers, could not make it back to our postal station in his work vehicle. He had too many deep underpasses in his route back. He went To Layton Park Postal Station to turn in his postal keys and accountables. The boss at that station did not believe him about him being unable to return to his own station, and returned with him back to his route. After a short while, this boss agreed with him that it was impossible to get to Bay View Station from his route. His route was west of the Freeway near S. 3rd, 4th, 5th Pl and 5th St. His own home was west of his route, but he was responsible for his keys, mail, vehicle and accountable mail. By l;aw, he had to turn them in to the nearest Postal Station, which he did do. I would say that that day in August, we had one of the largest amount of rainfall that I can ever remember. My mail uniform was soaking wet and I had to change into dry clothes when I got home. This is the only time that I can ever remember a letter carrier being unable to return to his own Postal Station during any rain storm.
We welcome the Harley riders to Milwaukee. This is a great time due to many motorcycles are returning to the place where they were built. It is a great honor to see so many riders in town. Enjoy your stay here and have some fun. Milwaukee is the home of Harley-Davidson Motorcycles. It is interesting to see all of the different styles of these bikes. Motorcycles from all over the country and of all years and models are here to visit. Wecome them to Milwaukee and make them feel at home while they are here.
We wish to thank all of our unions that have stood by us over the years. Without their actions,. would we have workmen's compensation, unemployment compensation, sick day pay, vacation time, 8-hour day or overtime pay. Without our unions, like it was in the 1880's, a boss could fire a man for simply being too sick to work. If the boss did not like you, you would be replaced at any time that he wanted to do this. It seems that Scott Walker is turning back the clock and reducing women's rights and the right to organize as a union. They seem to like returning to how things were like in 1886, when women had no right to vote, and management could do as he wanted concerning workmen's rights and compensation. In 1886, men went on strike to try to obtain an 8-hour workday. They also needed compensation laws to protect them from greedy bosses and their armed enforcers. If this is what you want, then support the political party in office now. If you would like to see unions and workers rights and compensation, then support the other political party. Remember, Scott Walker has been known to give get-out-of-jail-free passes to his supporters and workers. ( Just like the old bosses in 1886 did to their enforcers. ) When the next elections come, you will know who you want to vote for. You are not a puppet on a string, use the power of your vote to choose the person who you want to be elected to any political office. You have a choice in this matter. Use it wisely.
Take some time to thank our unions for everything that they have done for us. Relax and enjoy yourseves. This is a holiday for the workers. This is a time to rest your weary bodies. Enjoy the last holiday before school begins in earnest again. It will still be warm enough to relax outdoors with your family. This is also the time to close out your cottage for the season again. Maybe you can get in some swimming or fishing. This is your time to relax with your family and prepare for school and fall. Enjoy your Labor Day holiday.
Please support the Bay View community.