Archive for the ‘Ghost Sightings’ Category

Hausmann’s Capital Brewery

Sunday, August 1st, 2010
Hausmann Brewery Trademark

Hausmann Brewery Trademark

In the early days of Madison, Hausmann’s Capital Brewery served beer and free lunch at the site of their brewery on the corner of State and Gorham streets.  Their operation was quite successful. By the 1880s, the brewery was producing 8,000 barrels of beer per year, and just prior to Prohibition, this reached an astonishing 35,000 barrels per year — that’s about 1 million gallons!

In 1907, local temperance laws were enacted in Madison to protect the public, and more precisely, the University of Wisconsin students, from the evil effects of alcohol. A dry zone of a half-mile was created around the UW campus, but luckily the zone fell just short of the Hausmann’s brewery. Even in the depths of winter, the students ventured out of the dry zone to enjoy five cent beers and free sandwiches at Hausmann’s.

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Old American House Haunted by Two Lovers

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010
The American House, circa 1838

The American House, circa 1838

The American House was a popular Madison hotel and boarding house located on the corner of Pinckney and E. Washington (at the site of the current American Exchange Bank building, 1 N. Pinckney St.).

The American was originally built in 1838 and was operated by James Morrison and A.A. Bird. It became fiercely popular with the early territorial settlers. In fact, in May of 1839, the first election of the Dane County board of commissioners was held here, which at that time was the only voting place in the county.

The American was later purchased by J. W. Jefferson, who expanded it to triple its original size in 1858. During these years, it remained a favored establishment of state senators and representatives, but it was often maligned for its somewhat lower-class amenities and home-style food. In fact, it was said that those venturing to eat a meal at the American required “sharp teeth and strong knives.”

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Goodbye to Old Wisconsin Memorial Hospital?

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Update: According to the WSJ, the state has canceled the contract to demolish the Wisconsin Memorial Hospital and is reconsidering plans to rehabilitate it.

April 17, 2009
The state is considering demolishing the historic Wisconsin Memorial Hospital, which was built in 1922 and functioned as a mental hospital for many years, mainly serving Wisconsin veterans who fought in World War I. The hospital has been empty for 15 years, and locals know it as one of the scariest haunts in the area. It is built on land right next to Native American burial mounds and the old asylum building, which is now the Mendota Mental Health Institute.