East Side History Madison’s Blog

By and for the East Side History Club, a project of the Goodman Community Center

Archive for February, 2009

Wish we had a website like Friends of Historic Third Lake Ridge

Posted by eastsidehistorymadison on February 28, 2009

I have really enjoyed using the website of the Friends of Historic Third Lake Ridge over the years. Gary Tipler and his neighbors do a great job collecting and disseminating local history.  Gary tells me Nick Schroeder is the one to thank for finding and loading most of this information. Gary’s helped in finding collections, writing and editing.

I’ve long been jealous of their neighborhood map. You can click on any block for information: photographs, articles, oral history interviews–anything they’ve been able to collect related to a particular address. Check it out here:




I hope the East Side History Club can attract a volunteer with web programming skills to help us develop a similar search tool for our neighborhood. We’ve got lots of history collected already–wouldn’t it be great to present it in map form like the FOHTLR have done? 

-Sarah White

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“Greenbush Connections” meeting 2/21/09 a success

Posted by eastsidehistorymadison on February 23, 2009

Despite 5″ of new-fallen snow, over 25 East Side history enthusiasts turned out to hear Catherine Tripalin Murray and share reminiscences about connections between Madison’s first suburb–the Schenks-Atwood area–and Madison’s first ethnic enclave, the old Greenbush neighborhood.

Catherine’s presentation gave us a good sense of how those connections first evolved. While the Greenbush area provided the housing and social life the early Italian immigrants needed, the jobs they needed were developing in the factory district on Madison’s East Side.  According to Catherine, Italian laborers built the Ghisholt factory building in 1910, and it was one of the first factories willing to employ Italians. Others were the French Battery Company and later, Oscar Mayer. 

It’s easy to picture those early immigrant Madisonians boarding trolleys on Regent Street for the ride to the East Side, or walking if the nickel fare were too much for the budget. 

It’s also easy to picture the next wave of connection–the restaurants and bars that Italians opened on the East Side to serve the workers who came for the factory jobs. Meanwhile, soldiers stationed at Truax made forays to the Greenbush to dine at popular “Spaghetti Corners” restaurants like the original Bunky’s and Josie’s. And so the connections flowed both ways. 

The Italians formed clubs to keep their culture and traditions alive, including the Italian Workingmans’ Club and its Women’s Auxiliary. These clubs are one of the reasons the Greenbush community still thrives, in spite of losing its geographic center when the Triangle Redevelopment Project took place in the 1960s. 

Following Catherine’s talk, attendees shared memories of their own.


Photos: Vito “Bunky” and Ninfa Capadona, founders of Bunky’s at “Spaghetti Corners”;

Photos: Vito “Bunky” and Ninfa Capadona, founders of Bunky’s at “Spaghetti Corners”; Atwood Avenue’s current home of Bunky’s Cafe, operated by Vito and Ninfa’s great grandaughter Teresa Pullara and her husband, Rachid Ouabel; Catherine Tripalin Murray, chronicler of the Greenbush.

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Contest victories for 3 generations of Amoth family

Posted by eastsidehistorymadison on February 20, 2009

Recently Gloria Blindheim Graham began corresponding about her family history with Ann Waidelich. Gloria’s mother was Dorothy Amoth, daughter of Theodore and Rose Amoth. Amoth Court was named for members of the Amoth family who had a blacksmith shop at the corner.

Gloria found newspaper clippings in family scrapbooks about her grandmother and her uncle winning wartime slogan contests. First Gloria’s grandmother Rose Amoth won a 10-piece glassbake set for her response to a letter contest in the Wisconsin State Journal, asking for letters answering the question: Why is the Fats and Grease Salvage Program Falling Short?

The East Side News published three winners’ letters on 2-18-43. 

Rose’s winning entry: 

“The fats and grease program is falling short just because we women forget to save it. We can improve it by placing a neat attractive card over our stoves with wording something like this:

 “I promise to save my fat and grease
For I know it’s true
That the fat and grease I save
Will get a Jap or two.”

Just a month later, Gloria’s uncle Ted Amoth won a contest by the East Side News asking for a new slogan for the Red Cross Drive. 


East Side News clipping March 11, 1943

East Side News clipping March 11, 1943

When Gloria found the articles she was inspired to write the following essay:

The two articles on the WWII Slogan contest were news to me. The Amoth family did well and I think I might have a few of their genes as seven years after grandma Rose and Uncle Ted’s victories, I was runner-up in a letter writing contest on “Why I want a dog.”

My prize, a cocker spaniel dog, Midge, was a much loved family pet and perfect companion during our years on Clemons Avenue. Her health failed while I was attending the University and my parents had to put her to sleep. I later told friends that you know it is time to leave home when your parents kill your dog and sell the car you have been using.

Gloria’s father was Erik Blindheim. The family lived at 525 Clemons Ave.


Wisc. State Journal, July 3, 1950 "With Smiles,New Owners Greet Puppies"

Wisc. State Journal, July 3, 1950 "With Smiles,New Owners Greet Puppies"




Gloria and the puppy Midge, undated photo  ca. 1950

Gloria and the puppy Midge, undated photo ca. 1950

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See history in Penny Postcards online!

Posted by eastsidehistorymadison on February 15, 2009

A friend sends me this link, saying “I thought it might be of interest to you to look at old postcards of Madison and surroundings.”  “Penny Postcards” presents a lot more than just Madison postcards! You can clieck on any state and then a county, to see old penny postcards like the one I’ve posted here.

Check it out!  -Sarah White



Arial view of Madison

Arial view of Madison

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Know anyone who celebrated the day Prohibition ended?

Posted by eastsidehistorymadison on February 10, 2009


In his column today (2/10/09) Doug Moe asks: Do you recognize anyone in this photo?
Neil Fauerbach is looking for some help.  

Fauerbach, who with his brother, David Fauerbach, and their cousin, Peter Fauerbach, four years ago resurrected the fine Madison beer that bears their name, wants to try to identify as many people as he can in the photo accompanying today’s column.

[Read the rest of the article here…]
Here’s the photo in question. Do you know anyone pictured here? (April 7, 1933, at Madison’s Fauerbach Brewery.)
Photo courtesy of Wisconsin Historical Society. Image #3493

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East Side scrapbooks reveal glimpses of the past

Posted by eastsidehistorymadison on February 8, 2009

In the summer of 2008 Alice Dillman loaned her childhood scrapbooks to the East Side History Club–and they provided some of our favorite images of the East Side through a child’s eyes. Her scrapbooks covered school and sports activities, including her correspondence with journalists over misreporting of girls’ sports in the local paper. You go, girl!


Marlene Hilelstad, East Junior High 1948-49, photo by Alice Dillman

Marlene Hilelstad, East Junior High 1948-49, photo by Alice Dillman



At our January meeting Jane Curtis gave the East Side History Club a “mystery” scrapbook found in the closet of her home on Dixon Street. Its pages reveal its creator was most likely Frank Houser, an engineer with the PSC who had a passion for photography. The scrapbook combines cartoons lampooning amateur photographers with clippings of Houser’s published photos and other mementos. The scrapbook chronicles the rise of photography as a popular hobby through its unique combination of published cartoons and personal mementos.



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Sid Boyum: What a Character

Posted by eastsidehistorymadison on February 8, 2009

In January 2009 East Side history enthusiasts enjoyed a screening of Gretta Wing Miller’s documentary “The Sid’s Boyum Sculpture Project” followed by discussion and previously unseen film excerpts from Gretta’s interviews with a few of Sid’s friends. Some attendees brought photos, paintings and other “Sid Memorabilia.” Cary Karabis brought a photo of Sid with the bottoms of his shoes missing, which appeared on a homemade greeting card with the slogan, “I’d walk anywhere anytime to wish anybody anything.” The undated photo was taken in the Karabis bar (now the Harmony Bar). Another photo undated brought by Cary Karabis shows Sid and laid out on the bar, with bartender George (or is this brother James?) Karabis taking the “dead” man’s pulse. Who can identify the 2 fellows at the bar?

A "dead" Sid Boyum laid out on Karabis' bar

A “dead” Sid Boyum laid out on Karabis’ bar. In the back ground: John Armstrong and Ron Brown.

"I'd walk anywhere anytime to wish anybody anything"

“I’d walk anywhere anytime to wish anybody anything”

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Johnny Bossart and bowling in Madison

Posted by eastsidehistorymadison on February 6, 2009

Jane Kessenich (contributer to An East Side Album) and Clayton Bossart began corresponding, resulting in news about Clayton’s father Johnny, considered the “Father of Bowling in Madison.” Clayton wrote Jane, who forwarded to Sarah, the following message:

“I remember setting pins at some of the State Tournaments he organized. I think he belonged to just about all of them and thus “inherited” the job of “running the show” many times. Later on he gave me a break, or so I thought, by asking me to be an official scorekeeper. What he didn’t tell me was that many of the participants were more interested in the social drinking aspect than the bowling competition. Of course, when they bowled out of turn and their score was thus incorrectly logged in to somebody else, it was the scorekeepers fault even though he had never seen most of these men before.”


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Hello world!

Posted by eastsidehistorymadison on February 6, 2009

Welcome to the blog of the East Side History Club. This is where we discuss the information we’re discovering about the history of our neighborhood, and plan the events, programs, and projects of our club.

A Community Remembers

An East Side Album: A Community Remembers

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