LTH Home

Eating History

Eating History
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
  • Eating History

    Post #1 - September 25th, 2019, 5:42 pm
    Post #1 - September 25th, 2019, 5:42 pm Post #1 - September 25th, 2019, 5:42 pm
    I'm working on a new book -- not food history, like the last two books -- but not excluding food history. This one is titled Visiting Midwestern History, and it will be showing folks all sorts of museums, reenactments, and living history venues where they can learn more about the Midwest.

    But then there is the chapter Eating and Sleeping History. This will be restaurants, inns, and purveyors of food that predate 1910, and preferably stretch back well into the 1800s.

    Historic restaurants are not that hard to find -- so far have Long Grove Tavern here in IL; Stagecoach Inn in Marshall, MI; for WI, there's Stage Stop in Wilmot and Union House in Green Bay; in Kansas, I picked Hays House, built by Daniel Boone's grandson and in continuous operation since 1857; Ohio treated me to The Golden Lamb, built in 1803; Indiana offered the Rathskeller (designed by Kurt Vonnegut's grandfather); Missouri had the J. Huston Tavern in Arrow Rock and Old Brick House in St. Genevieve; and Breitbach's for Iowa. So doing okay there -- though still open to suggestions. Ideally, oldest in state (and of the 12 states of the Greater Midwest) or with some interesting connection (such as the Vonnegut connection above).

    But where I most could use help is with producers/purveyors. The places must be places that can be visited -- not just an old place that sells to locals. I have Drier's in Michigan -- a place I discovered here on LTH and featured in my pig book. I've heard about (but haven't gotten to yet) the Chalet in WI -- 1885 and the only place in the U.S. making Limburger cheese. What else is really old, making something tasty, and has a place people can walk in and see oldness? (Doesn't have to offer tours or anything, but there should be some visible history.)

    Thanks for any help.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #2 - September 25th, 2019, 9:42 pm
    Post #2 - September 25th, 2019, 9:42 pm Post #2 - September 25th, 2019, 9:42 pm
    What about Usinger's Sausage Shop in Milwaukee? It is located where the original sausage processing factory once was located. According to their history, they are over 130 years old.

    I will think about more.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #3 - September 25th, 2019, 10:52 pm
    Post #3 - September 25th, 2019, 10:52 pm Post #3 - September 25th, 2019, 10:52 pm
    Having visited both recently, I favor the York Tavern (near the Graue Mill) in Oak Brook in both food and architectural preservation to The Village Tavern in Long Grove. I don't think anyone covers Midwestern living history better than Townsends - the viral cooking segments only scratch the surface (I think he shines visiting living history sites). It's all so delightfully Indiana.
  • Post #4 - September 26th, 2019, 7:39 am
    Post #4 - September 26th, 2019, 7:39 am Post #4 - September 26th, 2019, 7:39 am
    We were in Townsend's store a few years ago, when a character actor or dedicated re-enactor was there getting fitted. The face looked so familiar, yet nobody's name came to mind.

    It's an interesting store, which no longer has weekend hours.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #5 - September 26th, 2019, 8:46 am
    Post #5 - September 26th, 2019, 8:46 am Post #5 - September 26th, 2019, 8:46 am
    Cathy2 wrote:We were in Townsend's store a few years ago, when a character actor or dedicated re-enactor was there getting fitted. The face looked so familiar, yet nobody's name came to mind.


    I stopped by earlier this year. Jon wasn't there, but I'd been communicating with them, so they knew who I was and gave me a full tour. Lots of fun. I love the Townsends show and watch it all the time.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #6 - September 26th, 2019, 8:49 am
    Post #6 - September 26th, 2019, 8:49 am Post #6 - September 26th, 2019, 8:49 am
    Santander wrote:Having visited both recently, I favor the York Tavern (near the Graue Mill) in Oak Brook in both food and architectural preservation to The Village Tavern in Long Grove. I don't think anyone covers Midwestern living history better than Townsends - the viral cooking segments only scratch the surface (I think he shines visiting living history sites). It's all so delightfully Indiana.


    Thanks for the York Tavern. There are lists online of "oldest restaurants," but this has never come up for Illinois. So another nice dinner out.

    As for Townsends, I've been in touch. But he covers a lot more than the Midwest, with all but a few living history sites outside the Midwest. But definitely a fan.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #7 - September 26th, 2019, 8:51 am
    Post #7 - September 26th, 2019, 8:51 am Post #7 - September 26th, 2019, 8:51 am
    Cathy2 wrote:What about Usinger's Sausage Shop in Milwaukee? It is located where the original sausage processing factory once was located. According to their history, they are over 130 years old.

    I will think about more.


    I contacted them and they said I should come by to see if I think there is enough history visible to qualify it. Want to visit sometime?
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #8 - September 26th, 2019, 10:19 am
    Post #8 - September 26th, 2019, 10:19 am Post #8 - September 26th, 2019, 10:19 am
    Brookville Hotel in Abilene, KS. 1918 so not quite in your range, but interesting and good fried chicken.

    Wolf Hotel, Ellenwood, KS. 189? (I've seen both 1894 and 98) Food only on Sunday. Interesting underground bar.
  • Post #9 - September 26th, 2019, 12:13 pm
    Post #9 - September 26th, 2019, 12:13 pm Post #9 - September 26th, 2019, 12:13 pm
    Cynthia wrote:
    Santander wrote:Having visited both recently, I favor the York Tavern (near the Graue Mill) in Oak Brook in both food and architectural preservation to The Village Tavern in Long Grove. I don't think anyone covers Midwestern living history better than Townsends - the viral cooking segments only scratch the surface (I think he shines visiting living history sites). It's all so delightfully Indiana.


    Thanks for the York Tavern. There are lists online of "oldest restaurants," but this has never come up for Illinois. So another nice dinner out.

    As for Townsends, I've been in touch. But he covers a lot more than the Midwest, with all but a few living history sites outside the Midwest. But definitely a fan.


    I also recently visited the Fabyan Windmill in Geneva, a favorite picnic spot since I was a kid. It was originally sited in what is now Knoll Park in Lombard, which is 5 miles from the York Tavern / Graue Mill and part of the same westward route - it would have been seen by some of the same travelers and part of the same economy in some sense.

    Its architectural elegance and preservation can't be overstated. Verbij claimed it would be the most popular / archetypal windmill even if located in the Netherlands. I have worked with their colleagues at Royal Eijsbouts who maintain the carillon tower here at Rockefeller Chapel - similar mindset.
  • Post #10 - September 26th, 2019, 12:31 pm
    Post #10 - September 26th, 2019, 12:31 pm Post #10 - September 26th, 2019, 12:31 pm
    The Hubbell House (1856)
    https://www.hubbellhouserestaurant.com/history
    502 N Main St, Mantorville, MN 55955 built in 1856 (popular restaurant outside of Rochester)

    St. James Hotel (1875)
    https://st-james-hotel.com/
    406 Main Street, Red Wing, MN 55066

    Ramy Wild Rice Company (1932)
    I am not sure about a physical store, because I've purchased online, but worth a look.
    https://www.ramywildriceco.com/home
    (Just checked and Ramy's just has an office in Mankato, MN and product is coming from Nova Scotia...so this idea won't help)
  • Post #11 - September 28th, 2019, 4:25 am
    Post #11 - September 28th, 2019, 4:25 am Post #11 - September 28th, 2019, 4:25 am
    August Schell brewery ( https://www.schellsbrewery.com/ ) in New Ulm, Minnesota started brewing in 1860. They do tours. The last time I was there, a lot of history was on display.

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more