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F. Knop Tavern: 1936

F. Knop Tavern: 1936

April 1936. "Housing conditions in crowded parts of Milwaukee. Housing under Wisconsin Avenue viaduct." Photo by Carl Mydans for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.

 

Piggsville

Local folks know this area as “Piggsville,” apparently a reference to a pig farm once gracing the landscape in the late 1800s. It is located on the west side of Milwaukee. Presently the community is about four blocks by six blocks, a bit smaller than it was before flood control measures necessitated tearing down a number of dwellings. One bar remains, a prosperous one at that, dating to about 1900. It apparently is not the one posted.

Who made the signs?

Am I wrong, or is the sign over the front of the house misspelled?
"TRAVERN?"

[You're reading it wrong. - Dave]

West Bend Insurance?

Can't see it too clearly but appears to be "West Bend".

[West Bend "Lithia" beer. - Dave]

I think this is 40th Street

... and much of the neighborhood is still there. Not this particular location though, probably demolished during the expansion of Blue Mound Road. Go under the bridge, and on the surface level, you'd be on the modern Miller Brewing Company, but I don't know if that was true in 1936. Growing up in an inner-ring Milwaukee suburb, many street corners had bars, or more realistically, three bars and a gas station. Many or those bars were houses converted into bars. Now, it's more common in the area to see bars that have been converted back to housing. But, the tradition of this kind of establishment is carried on in some places, most famously at Wolski's Tavern in Milwaukee. It's the feeling of drinking in your buddy's basement bar taken to the extreme.

Highly desirable business for sale

A lucky street number and an easy drop-in for customers on the bridge.

That easy?

If I just put up a sign, could I make my house a tavern, too?

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