East Side History Madison’s Blog

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

Archive for February, 2016

Images from “Hess’ Corners” Presentation, February 2016

Posted by eastsidehistorymadison on February 29, 2016

About 80 people turned out to hear Ann Waidelich describe the businesses along Atwood Ave. from Ohio Street to Fair Oaks Ave.

The intersection of Atwood and Fair Oaks was originally called Hess’ Corners for Louis Hess and his general store/ice cream parlor at 2901 Atwood,  but today we know it as the Birrenkott’s – Lowell School intersection.

Hess' Corners, circa 1945

Hess’ Corners, circa 1945

Some of the businesses that Ann talked about were:

next door brewing

2437-39 Atwood
Appliance Service Center/Next Door Brewing
Melvill (Bud) Johnston started in the small appliance repair business when he got out of the Army after World War II.  He was in business at this address from 1956 – 1980.  Then his longtime employee Dan Belanger took over. A 1974 Wisconsin State Journal article reported that he had 13 employees each specializing in a particular appliance and together they repaired between 50 and 75 appliances each day.  The appliance business was renamed ASC1, now specializing in commercial food service equipment repair, and has moved to Femrite Drive.  Next Door Brewing remodeled the building and opened in 2013.

Mel Grocery-Victory

2710 Atwood
Grocery Store / Victory Cafe
Built in 1911, this building has been a grocery store since at least 1923. First it was run by John Ludwig, then Art Elsby until he moved across the street, then Henry Struckmeyer, then Aline Kurth, then Ignatius Schey, then Bob Cunningham. Finally Mel Amborn bought out Bob Cunningham in 1963. Kids from St. Bernard’s school were frequent “shoppers”.  The grocery closed when Mel died in 1991.  In 2007 the storefront housed the St. John the Baptist Gallery & Bookstore and the painting studio of Drazen Dupor, who specialized in painting Byzantine religious icons.  Since 2010 it has been the Victory Café coffee Shop.

Cecile Burke, Cecil's Sandals

Cecile Burke, Cecil’s Sandals

2730 Atwood
Barber Shop / Cecil’s Sandals 
Opened as a barbershop in 1910 owned by Bernard Funsett for 50 years until 1960. Then the barbershop was owned by LeRoy Flansburgh until he moved to the Buckeye Barber Shop.  Cecil Burke started making sandals in Madison in 1952 at 536 University Ave.  The shop was thought to be the third oldest custom maker of sandals in the U.S. at the time. Cecil opened his repair-only shop on Atwood Ave. ca. 1969 and operated until 2000.  He worked there along with his mother, Isabelle, his sister Judy Pellett, and Vincent Castagna, who began repairing shoes in Italy in 1920. The repair business continued as Jim Maierhofer’s Atwood Shoe Repair from 2001-2004. Various businesses occupied the little shop until the building was torn down in about 2013.

Schroeder vet clinic

2733 Atwood

Indian Mound ? Service Station/Community Care Vet Clinic
Vincent Esser recalled that “the lot at the corner of Atwood and Miller Avenues was maybe five or six feet higher than the sidewalk and there were large trees.  As we went back and forth to Lowell school we would run up onto the top and along the length and then down at the other end.  There was a path on top made by all the footsteps going by.”  Was this a linear Indian Effigy Mound?

A Shell gas station was built on the location in 1949. From 1968 – 73 it was Tom Brinker’s Auto Upholstery ,which moved to E. Washington Ave. The Brownberry Oven Thrift Store operated here from 1976-1992, then a video repair service, followed by Bongo Video Rental, then Spiritual Vibes 2008-2010 .  (They now call themselves Cosmic Delights and are located at 2334 Atwood Ave.)  After a major remodeling the building reopened in February 2015 and is now Dr. Deb Schroeder’s Community Care Veterinary Clinic.

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