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Celebrating Our Past: May 11, 2022
Photo supplied by the Green County Historical Society.

This building at 612 17th Avenue was the site of the Brown Swiss Dairy owned by Ernest C. Waeffler, former Dean Products distributer.

The first old stone building first stood in a cornfield according to information from the late Willis Ludlow, and prior to a dairy, was used by the late EB Rosa to store and extract honey. Used for this dairy was the 24 ft square, two story stone building, purchased by N Schmid, Charley Derendinger and Emil Klingler. Schmid was a Brown Swiss cattle breeder, and farmer; Derendinger was a farmer and operator of the dairy plant. Klinger was helper and route man. In 1922, Waeffler became a route salesman and in 1925, purchased the dairy business from Klinger, who was at that time sole owner. A small pickup was first used for deliveries, then an old Watkins remedy wagon with platform and was horse-drawn. Prince, a Western grey gelding, was trained to follow the route and soon the horse so well memorized the route that no one could change the route without first explaining it to Prince. At the end of the day, the horse would go back to the farm all by himself, and wait for someone to come out and relieve him.

In 1927 this new block building was erected with living quarters above. With new refrigeration, butter making was discontinued and Bireley’s Orange drink, chocolate milk, cultured buttermilk and dry curd cottage cheese were added to the milk and cream deliveries.

The 1930s brought dissent to the dairy. Some prominent business and professional men drove to the country and brought back gallons of milk to serve to friends. The Department of Ag in Madison was called in and ordered a uniform price of 9 cents per quart overall, thus stopping the private ventures. During the WWII routes were put on every-other day delivery, because with no military deferment for route men, and since Brown Swiss Dairy did not produce their own milk, the lack of help, compelled the dairy to supply retail stores only; giving up the routes, was the main source of income. In 1946, State inspectors ordered equipment to be replaced at a cost of several thousand dollars, which Waeffler found impossible to carry out, and this is what brought about big dairy outlets. Waeffler sold his routes to Harold Ambler in January of 1951.

Green County Historical Society and Museum to host Heritage Fest

MONROE — The Green County Historical Society and Museum will be the hosting its first Heritage Fest from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 14. The event will feature demostrations of bygone era activities.

Featured demonstrations will include:

●  Terry Goetz will demonstrate a few simple ribbon flowers from her extensive collection. A few flowers will be available for purchase with proceeds going to the museum.

●  Henry Hecker and Peter Maas will discuss the Twin Grove Pottery Site Excavation. Their purpose was to gain information at the site of Joshua and Isaac Sanborn’s factory circa 1850-1880. They will bring samples that have been excavated there. This was an important historical find for Green County.

●  Gerald Lesch is a master woodcarver in the round having carved on all seven continents. He enjoys carving birds and miniature carvings. He belongs to several carving organizations and enters in conferences and workshops throughout Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin. He will have examples of his work and possibly demonstrate a simple carving.

●  Linda Schiesser will demonstrate heritage Swiss Folk Art called Scherenschnitte. She has enjoyed the paper scissor cutting for many years and has been to many events throughout this area. Her expertise is well known as she has had her art exhibited at the White House on the Christmas tree and at the Swiss National Museum, Zurich, Switzerland.

●  Nancy Signer will bring a hand loom to demonstrate her craft of rug weaving. She also enjoys sewing, including quilts and other pieced items.

●  Marilyn Kubly Schmid will be our resident schoolmarm for the day at the Bethel School House on the museum property. She attended Hardscrabble school and taught at various country schools from 1958-1968

●  And as an added attraction, Mark and Sharon Headley, will demonstrate how to make ice cream in an earlier time without a machine.

As a soft opening to the museum, a self-guided tour is available during the day of the newly organized lower level of the museum, including a Carl Marty Corner. Carl was instrumental in the organization of the Historical Society as well as an artist.

The Historical Museum 2022 season will open on Saturdays and Sundays beginning Saturday, June 4 until September 25. The museum will be open in the lower level for tours, as will the schoolhouse.

Hasse Brown Swiss Dairy

Also, GCHS is in possession of a small clear glass milk/cream bottle with raised letters “Hasse Brown Swiss Dairy, Monroe, Wisconsin”. If anyone has any information or recollection of this dairy, call Linda Lostetter 608-325-9730 or email or correspondence to PO 804 Monroe.