For many years, Baldwin was known for its creamery and especially its butter. Stores carried butter packaged as “Baldwin Butter.” Some readers may remember or be related to the butter makers and other creamery employees. There were other businesses in Baldwin in its early days that may not be remembered or known. Some of these wee a brewery, a cigar factory and a brick manufacturer. Bowling was also popular in the early days.
A brewery was located east of town. (Burleigh – “Pioneers Peak out from the Past”) In 1873 “. . . at Baldwin they are building a brewery and circulating a petition for a good Templar Lodge.” (manifold.uwrf.ed) From 1874 – 1875 the John P. Mueller Brewery was the only brewery in Baldwin, (oldbreweries.com) The brewery was unable to supply demand and in September 1874 added to the brewery. There had been 957 barrels of beer produced in 1874. Local hops may have been used into the 1930s as hops were still growing around the Hopyard school. (manifold.umn.ed) The Sandborne Fire Insurance Map shows a beer depot in 1902 at the end of 8th Avenue just south of the railroad tracks.
The March 3, 1905, “Baldwin Bulletin” mentions a cigar factory located in the Bulletin building. Gunder Hansen and W.R. Passche are listed as owners. The U.S. Census for 1905 lists Gunder Hansen as a cigar maker. In 1907 a tobacco warehouse was located in Baldwin. The tobacco raised near town was said to be of good quality (1907 Public Documents of the State of Wisconsin, Vol. 4)
Edward N. Davis owned the Baldwin Brick Factory in the early 1870s. He sold brick and lime. The brick business was located on the south side of the railroad racks between todays 11th and 12th Avenues. (Burleigh book and 1901 “Baldwin Illustrated”) By 1880 C.L. (Clayton) French is listed as a brickmaker in the census. The brick works is listed in the 1907 the Public Documents of the State of Wisconsin vol. 4. The 1912 Sandborn Fire Insurance Map for Baldwin shows the property as still owned by Mr. French. Many of the older homes in Baldwin may have basements/foundations which are made from brick made in Baldwin. Some of the older homes have a cement block foundation which was made to look like stone. These bricks may or may not have been made in Baldwin.
Bowling was popular in Baldwin for many years in the early 1900s. The 1902 Sandborn Fire Insurance Map for Baldwin locates a bowling alley at the southeast corner of today’s Main Street and 7th Avenue. The Oct. 17, 1912 “Baldwin Bulletin” mentions that Wm. Donkersgoed had a bowling alley in his implement building. (Location unknown but possibly at the corner of Main St. and 7th Avenue as the Fire Insurance Map for 1912 shows an implement business at that location.)
The June 12, 1913, “Baldwin Bulletin” stated that Dell Allen had a bowling alley in a tent between his lunch counter and the saloon owned by James T. Cartoney. (Location unknown.) The Nov. 6 1914 “Baldwin Bulletin” list Neice Rottier as conducting a bowling alley and lunchroom. The Nov. 17, 1914 paper list Louis Wiggen J. as having bowled a perfect score of 300 at Rottier’s Bowling Alley. By February 1915 Neice Rottier had purchased the Hammond bowling alley for upstairs over his restaurant. (Baldwin Bulletin) The restaurant was located in the two-story building were the former Bark’s Bakery was located on Main Street and known as the Yellowstone Café. From 1920 to 1926 Tousley owned and operated the café at this location with the bowling alley upstairs.