East Side History Madison’s Blog

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

East Side business Capital Water Softener featured for longevity

Posted by eastsidehistorymadison on July 20, 2012

“Helena Street” brings to mind blocks of cozy, well-tended residences in the heart of Madison’s East Side. But bike, stroll or drive the stretch in the 2000 block and you’ll find yourself surrounded by East Side industry.

Capital Water Softener  and Schoep’s Ice Cream dominate the block in buildings dating to the 1930s. This mix of housing and workplaces still serves the vision of Madison’s early planners, who envisioned factories along the east rail corridor where “working men” could live close to newly-created jobs.

Today working men and women still live close to their jobs. One of these employers, Capital Water Softener, 2096 Helena Street, was recently featured in the Wisconsin State Journal for its longevity.

“Norman Pederson was a young man just out of high school when he started Capital Water Softener in 1936. Pederson’s family lived and worked on a dairy farm in the town of Burke. But farming wasn’t Norman’s idea of fun,” the article begins. Read more here.

The business, which now employs 11 people, is operated by the third generation of owners–Joel Wick, Pederson’s grandson. Congratulations to Capital Water Softener on your longevity, and recent positive press.


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