Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Vintage from a Fish Market?

 Here's an OLD Butcher's iron store sign from the 1880's, which adorned our front deck.


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So how did I come by this sign? Well, I inheirited it. This was found in the basement of our family's fishmarket.

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Back in the day when the street where the store was first built in the 1880's, no less than a dozen nationalities inhabited the area, all 'fresh off the boat' from Europe. It was not uncommon to have visual signage, instead of printed signage because of so many languages in use. Pretty much, why and where Barber Poles came in to use.

I am descended from an OLD line of fishermen and women. My family was in fishing for at least seven generations on the west coast of Denmark and here in the US.

My great-grandfather brought his entire family over in the early 1900's. Here is one of the last family photos taken before they left the Denmark. My grandfather George appears to be a very tall ten or twelve years old. My great-aunt Agnes was few years older on the left. My great-grandmother was Anne Marie and Great-grandpa was Niels. My little grand-aunt is Gudren.

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They had a comfortable existence in Denmark, a tidy little tiled-roof home, probably a few hundred years old. Those are sand dunes in the background on the left, they lived so close to the ocean. When their village was by-passed by the railroad, what was once a successful fishing hub could no longer thrive since they would be competing with fresher fish in the larger cities.

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The Sweet comfortable family home on a street named after my family.

The family chose to settle in Wisconsin on the shores of Lake Michigan and again fish with my Great-Aunt Agne's husband Peder. This worked for a few years, but in 1922, my great-grandfather (right) and grandfather opened a fish market. Here is their opening photograph. They specialized in smoke fish, the smoker was right behind the store. Though the store has changed hands several times since my dad retired, the company still provides fish and smokefish in Wisconsin and Illinois. Over half of my family moved to the United States.

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On the right table you can see trays of smoked chubs and whitefish from Lake Michigan. My Uncle Peder, continued to fish for quite a few years providing the shop with fresh fish. The small display cabinet to the left was filled with ice and fresh fish. There was no mechanical refrigeration at that time. Ice was delivered regularly and the store had it's own icehouse.

The address is 1028 above the door, the year is 1922. So where does the Butcher shop come in?

Well, my family owned the entire building on the corner, which was actually three shops, and was built in the late 1870's. The second store to the right is 1026, which is shown here in 1946 as a Barber Shop.

Early in the 1950's the Fish Store moved to 1026. My dad worked for my Grandpa starting about then, and later he became manager when my Grandpa passed. 


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During the 1970's the OLD store had a booming businesss and a NEW remodel was in order as the building was almost 100 years old. This is (think GREEN) back when you didn't tear everything down every 30 years, mind you.  My dad tried to clean up around in the basement, which was really gross. (I remember) and filled with a hundred years of odds and ends. Back in the corner he found these two items, the sign now on top of our deck and this long butcher's rack.

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The old butcher's rack, originally hung on the wall with various large meats displayed. This piece mounted on the wall. It actually had a mechanism to make it wider or shorter. The rack had been in that basement since before the 1930's.


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 You can see the original silver paint on the blades of the cleaver, knife and saw.


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 I love the curlicues and the stars along with the spread eagle at the top. The bolts and washers tightened and loosened to make the rack longer or shorter. It measures over six foot in its rusted state.

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  Antique (circa 1889), Bernard Gloekler Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa, meat rack with an intricate bolted construction of wrought and cast iron.
Marked Pat.Pending May 1889

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It was American made by an immigrant for immigrants. I love the eagle. I wonder how it looked in 1889?

Gloekler's made all sorts of ironwork for the food industries all the way up until the 1970's.
Today it is in far from desirable condition, or it would be worth a pretty penny.

While in the basement by himself, my dad fell into an old well in the floor, luckily he pulled himself out...by standing on this last item that was down the well.


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It was the well's pump, here it is complete in all its rusted glory summer of last year. We assume it was the original pump for that store.

We have it working with an electric pump from the pond during the summer. The birds line up to take a bath under the water stream.

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You can see the three dark birds waiting for their turn. Now what could be more OLD, or a REDO.

I'm glad my dad caught a foothold on this pump, and had the strength to pull it out of the OLD well. The date on the pump is unreadable as the rust is pretty deep. I have given up trying to keep it painted white, like my mom did. I REDO by giving it a super spray of sealer every year to hold the rust at bay.

I have had no luck in finding out the name of the Butcher. Such are the tales from a fishmonger's great-grandaughter. Hope you enjoyed the peek into where I get some of my goodies, lol, sometime's by chance and inheiritance.

All the opinions and photographs in this blog are my own or I am in possesion of the originals, 
I have not been paid or reimbursed in anyway for my opinions, posts or products used. 
Please do not use my photos without linking back to this blog without my permission. 
Thank you for your cooperation, Sandi Magle

Thanks for stopping by, and I will be sharing at these fine parties:

Sandi

 




26 comments:

  1. What an interesting piece and story! Those pictures are priceless....Christine

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by. One of the reasons I have an Etsy shop and a blog, is to share--somehow the connections between things-and family. I have so much I have to share and find homes for. But, it is the stories that are priceless. Thanks again,Sandi

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  2. This was so interesting Sandi, and I related to quite a bit of it. (I too live in a lake community, btw.)

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I assume you found me from What's It Wednesdays...

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    1. Yes, I did fing you on Ivy and Elephants...which is always so very interesting. They love to weave family and things together too. Nice to meet you, Sandi

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  3. Love it! What great history and (photography) you have of your family. And I love that you have the antique sign. THanks so much for stopping by for "Let's Talk Vintage!

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  4. It's wonderful that you've got the stories to go with the photos. Both sets of my grandparents came from Europe and I never heard much about their lives before coming to America. I loved reading this, Sandi.

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    1. We are fortunate there are family members interested in geneology on both sides of the Atlantic. Also fortunate that my grandfather's Parish (1061) has complete records and Denmark has had a Census back to the 1400's in some places.

      My husband's family is from the Prague area in Czechloslovakia, and it grinds to a halt, because of the Wars and Soviet occupation. We have had zero luck getting info from there, pre-1850.

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  5. That is a really great story. My grandfather was a butcher who had his own shop.

    Libraries used to have old cross reference phone books where you could look things up by address, not by name and that way you could find out who or what business was at a particular address. Have you checked with the library in that area?

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  6. Hi Kim, I haven't had any luck online, and I need to go out of state now to find out. Next time I'm there, I will try the library. I did find an old photo of the street, up a few blocks from the late 1880's but signage was not clear... on that building. I'm sure if I check tax rolls there, I may get lucky on at least who owned the building. I've been gone from my home town since 1968...and now both my parent's have passed, but it is all fascinating.

    Many of my items I have inherited have stories connected with them...and I have boxes of photos. I'm going to start posting those here and there as a part of the blog. Thanks for your interest and comment...I will follow through. Sandi

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    1. I hope you find something out. Old newspapers from that time may have ad's for the Butcher shop also.

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  7. Hi Sandi, I love your posts filled with history and such interesting information. This one is incredible too. The photos are a treasure but knowing the stories too is such a bonus.
    I had a cousin that was a butcher years ago. I love the red tiled roof cottage.Thanks for sharing this with us. Have a great weekend. Blessings xo

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    1. Thanks CM...I'm glad you found it interesting. I have many stories to go with all the many items...some really funny!. Have a great weekend too, CM, Sandi

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  8. Sandi,
    Thanks so much for stopping by!! I really enjoyed reading this interesting post and I love that you know and have evidence of the history of your family to be passed onto future generations!! You are so lucky!!
    I am your newest follower!!

    Hugs,
    Deb

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    1. thanks so much Deb....I have been having fun in your Halloween posts...thanks for stopping by and becoming a follower. My followers don't register, so I have no idea unless someone says something!..Grins, Sandi--oh and Happy Halloween.

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  9. Hi Sandi - I loved loved LOVED your post. Such great history and special collectibles. I just love stuff like that. I also was intrigued with the Wisconsin connection, as we have always lived just south of the Milwaukee area and Lake Michigan is a near by treasure. Thanks for sharing. Jane

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    1. Hmmmm, perhaps we were neighbors...lol. The store was on State Street if that helps, and Lake Michigan is for sure a treasure, thanks for stopping by, Sandi

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  10. What a great story about the history of your family. You're so blessed to have all these old treasures and all the photos too. Thanks so much for sharing at Vintage Inspiration Party.

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  11. What a wonderful family history and interesting relic of days gone by. Thanks so much for sharing it with us all :) And thanks also for linking up with Vintage Charm!

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  12. Sandi, I love the vintage piece and what a wonderful family history! Scary about your dad falling! Glad he was able to stand on the pump. My mom's family once owned a Millinery, a hotel, and general store. Wish I had a piece from one of those. My dad's family immigrated from Czechoslovakia and settled in Ohio. Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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  13. Beautiful piece, and an even better backstory! Loved your post, and so lucky to have inherited such a great heirloom piece!

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  14. Thanks Betsy, Diana, Jann and Brenda. Appreciate all your comments, sometimes you wonder if anyone would be interested in your old junk...lol. Sandi

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  15. Wonderful sign with a great story. Thanks for sharing.

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  16. So much history worth recording and writing about ! Very interesting.

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  17. Hi Sandi,
    You have a wealth of family history and photos of days gone by. These are priceless. So glad your father pulled himself out of that old well! My, the stories you have to pass on to future generations. So glad you shared with us and have a wonderful first week of November.

    Autumn blessings,
    Sandi

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    1. Sandi, great of you to stop by, I will share more since people seem interested. Helps to be old too, with a good memory! Sandi

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Thank you for any and all comments. I will reply to any questions!
And great to meet you, Sandi