Ellison Bay’s first meat market was built in 1913 by Gilbert Wickman, only 21 years old at the time. Gilbert purchased a lot from Simon Evanson. Later, his brother-in-law Anton Anderson helped Gilbert build living quarters on the site, now 12030 Garrett Bay Road, north of Hwy 42. This historic building next to the iconic Klenke garage later housed Wills Clover Farm store, Berch Tree Home Furnishings, the Frykman Gallery, and Lynn’s Pottery.
Since 1898, a variety of businesses have used this building now 12020 Lakeview Road, Ellison Bay, including a meat market in 1931. Today, it is Gills Rock Pottery.
The meat market had a unique early history. The meat-cutter also had to be a cattle buyer and a butcher. Cattle and other animals were purchased from farmers throughout the Town of Liberty Grove, from south to north. Cattle, pigs, sheep, and chickens were all hauled by horse and wagon to the farm slaughterhouse. With the help of his father, Andrew Wickman (a Swedish emigrant who came to the U.S. in 1872 and built the home that now houses Ellison Bay’s Wickman House restaurant), Gilbert learned the meat-cutter trade. Meats from the slaughtered animals were refrigerated by ice in a home-built cooler. Gilbert’s meats were delivered by horse and buggy to his patrons in the Ellison Bay, Gills Rock, and Newport areas twice a week, year-round.
Sausages, pressed meat, head cheese, and other products were made in the shop, for sale over the counter and on the horse-and-buggy route. Choice sirloin steak was then 18¢ per lb., round steak was 16¢ per lb., homemade bologna was 15¢ per lb., and both liver and soup bones were 05¢ per lb. Calves were slaughtered and then shipped out of the area. Hides brought 12¢ to 17¢.
Gilbert Wickman operated the meat market until he sold it to Charles J. Anderson in 1920. Anderson added groceries and then later sold the business to Dick Will.
Gills Rock Pottery 2018 Dave Gilo
Around 1898 Lawrence E. “Ed” Evanson and his brothers set up a general store on the site of Louis Norman’s saloon and Gilbert Dickinson’s newer store, now 12020 Lakeview Road, south of Hwy 42, Ellison Bay. They handled everything from nails to threshing machines serving the entire Liberty Grove area. The partnership broke down about 1909 and then folded. In 1931, Reinhart Pfiel leased the store as a meat market and added electrical wiring. The original building and property have been used by a variety of businesses. Gills Rock Pottery, a fine art business owned and operated by Larry (Thor) & Judy Thoreson have resided here since 1989. (CLICK HERE: gillsrockpottery.com)
Credit to: University Wisconsin Milwaukee Libraries for Featured Image, collections.lib.uwm.edu. Centennial Historical Committee, “A Century in God’s Country, 1866-1966” (1966) p. 39-40.