by Diana David
The Bay View Historical Society will dedicate Delaware House, 2499 S. Delaware Ave., as a historical landmark on Saturday, June 27th, at 2:00 p.m. The brief dedication ceremony, which is free and open to the public, will take place at the Delaware House during an Open House that day from 1:00-4:00 p.m. The program includes presentation of a plaque to the current owners, Kevin and Kathy Howell, and a brief history of the landmark.
Delaware House is located on the northwest corner of Russell and Delaware Avenues. The Milwaukee Iron Company originally built this structure in 1870 to manufacture miner’s helmets for the steel mill workers. Not long afterwards, it became Lenck’s Hardware Store and was operated by Henry and Charles Lenck for more than 65 years. The Lencks made equipment for the Bay View Rolling Mills and Bucyrus Erie Manufacturing Company. Their building was once the Republican Party’s headquarters where the Civil War draft was handled for the Town of Lake. It was also home to Company C of the Bay View Light Artillery under the leadership of Captain Theobald Otjen, Captain William Donahue and First Lieutenant Henry Lenck. Henry Lenck and Theobald Otjen were both early aldermen from Bay View, and the store was a popular gathering place for local people to discuss politics. Henry Lenck’s son, Fred Lenck, who was the last store proprietor, ran the business for more than 35 years. The building remained in the Lenck family until 1941, when it became Bay View Sheet Metal and House of Heat. In recent years, it was purchased and remodeled by the Glaspey family, who ran a fabric store named The Cutting Table. The current owners did further remodeling and now operate the location as a community of independent businesses offering dance, yoga, physical therapy, acupuncture, massage, skincare and personal training.
“This property has served Bay View continuously in many capacities for almost 140 years,” says Kathy Mulvey, President of the Bay View Historical Society. “There is a lot of local history tied to this location and the Society wants to make sure that it receives appropriate recognition for its ongoing role in the Bay View community.”
The Bay View Historical Society, established in 1979, is dedicated to maintaining the Bay View community through conserving, celebrating and sharing Bay View’s rich heritage. With more than 500 members, it is one of the largest local historical societies in the area. The Society maintains headquarters at one of the most prominent historical sites in Bay View, the Beulah Brinton House. Built in 1872, it is considered to be among the best remaining Gothic Revival residences in the city and was formerly home to Beulah Brinton, a community leader who turned her house into an informal social center and Bay View’s first library. The Society also designates landmarks throughout Bay View and publishes a newsletter, The Historian, which contains articles of local historical interest. During the year, the Society conducts general membership meetings, historic walks and other social events. Membership in the Society is open to anyone interested in supporting the Society’s programs.
Bay View Historical Society
2590 S. Superior Street
Bay View, WI 53207
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- Holly and Joey Baird of the Wisconsin Vegetable Gardener at the Cudahy Family Library in June