Manitowoc County, Wisconsin
Fischerville is a small community located west of the Village of Mishicot and south east of Larrabee. It straddles the township lines of Kossuth and Gibson, right near where Mishicot adjoins the two townships.
Lucy COLE, the daughter of Alice (nee FISCHER) GAUTHIER helped supply some of the information provided in this document. The following includes excerpts from what was dictated to Lucy by Alice FISCHER GAUTHIER. Alice is the daughter of John Rudolph FISCHER and Anna Mary KUNZ, the founders of Fisherville.
In the late 1890’s, Fischerville was a little village consisting of a blacksmith shop and a cheese factory. Fischerville was not given the name Fischerville until some years later. Because of the proximity to the farm, the Jindra’s may have frequented the establishments in Fischerville on their travels to Larrabee.
Alice’s father, John FISCHER, grew up on the Fischer farm a short distance from the cheese factory. Things raised on the small Fischer farm were oats and alfalfa. They also had cows that they milked by hand. The old FISCHER farmhouse originally was an old log cabin. Later siding was put on and it looked pretty nice. Alice thinks it may have been burned or torn down and a new house built there. Alice loved to go to the old farm as it was “home” to her. She said her Uncle Jim Fischer lived there after her grandparents left. Her Aunt Lilly was like a sister to her.
By the early 1900’s, knowing he did not want to be a farmer, John FISCHER went to Madison to a training school where he learned to be a cheese maker. He began his career making cheese at the cheese factory that had already been there. In 1916 the cheese factory was owned by Joseph Yana. Through the early 1920s it was known as the Fischerville Coop. Cheese Company. In 1926 it is shown as being owned by William J. Frank.
John Fisher didn’t like cheese making so built the “saloon/store” across the street from the cheese factory. He named it Fischer’s Saloon.
Alice remembers they had a big dance hall upstairs. She was about 5-years old(1916) when they moved to Manitowoc. John FISCHER sold the saloon to Henry HAGENOW, who ran it for a number of years before a fire destroyed it on October 26, 1923(see article on Fischerville Fire below)
According to Elaine:
“After the fire, a smaller building was built on the property and used only as a house by Henry Hagenow. Then Henry sold the house to the Clayton brothers and they remodeled it back into a tavern. Then it was sold to a man named Waginer who remodeled the bar into the present size it is now. He made it out of shipping crates. Then it was sold to George and Bessie Komoroski. They ran it for a few years and sold it to Joe and Helen Vullings. They ran it for 10 to 15 years and sold it to us (Ellen-s parents) in 1964.”
The tavern is still in existance today. There is a small living quarters upstairs, and a small tavern establishment and kitchen downstairs. The cheese factory was later converted into a two family residence owned by the Zeman family. I remember Mrs. Mary Zeman had a large garden and we would see her in her garden all the time pulling weeds and harvesting the crops she grew. The blacksmith shop was torn down and a new residence was built in its location.
Fischerville Road (the road that runs in front of the tavern) is the longest, straightest road in Manitowoc County. It runs from the Town of Mishicot west to the county line. In later years, when Highway Signs were constructed Fischerville Road was shortened to Fisherville (the letter c removed) because the length of Fischerville with the C would not fit on the Road signs.
FISCHERVILLE WIPED OUT BY FIRE
Mystery as to origin of a $5,000 Blaze
Dance Hall, Saloon, and Home Burned This Morning
The Manitowoc Herald News, Thursday, October 26, 1923
Incendiary is suspected in connection with a fire which early today wiped out Fischerville, the saloon, dance hall, store and residence of Henry Hagenow being completely destroyed. Volunteer fire fighters, summoned by telephone over the Mishicot line were unable to save anything from the flames but succeeded in protecting the residence and blacksmith shop of Joseph Doubeck, across the street from the Hagenow place when the fire threatened to spread to these buildings.
Loss Placed at $5,000
Loss from the fire which occurred at 3:30 this morning is estimated to be from $4000 to $5,000, with but a small amount of insurance carried by Mr. Hagenow. the buildings and furnishings were completely destroyed, only two chairs being saved from the Hagenow home. Neighbors who attempted to save the piano were driven from the building by flames and smoke after getting the instrument to the door and had to abandon it there.
All of the furnishings of the Doubeck home across the street were carried from the building to a place of safety but the house was saved, although damaged by smoke and the heat.
Starts Under Building
The fire at the Hagenow premises started under the floor of the building which is raised off the ground by piling support. The family was awakened by the smoke which filled the rooms and the terrific heat as the fire swept through the floor of the store near the sleeping rooms. By the time investigation was started the family was forced to flee from the burning structure to escape death and was able to save nothing but the clothing worn.
According to reports the family was awaken shortly after 2 o’clock this morning by a rap on the door and a request for admission to the saloon but the visitor was told that the family had retired and advised to leave, and apparently the advice was taken. The identity of the man who sought admission was not known but the circumstances surrounding the fire have given rise to a suspicion that he may know something of the manner in which the blaze started as it is peculiar that the fire should have originated under the building as seems the case.
Was Old Landmark
The building was an old landmark, although part of the structure was comparatively new, additions having been erected in recent years. Mr. Hagenow did not carry a large stock of goods in the store but the dance hall and saloon were in use with the living quarters.
Seventy farmers from the neighboring country side responded to the alarm which was given by Mishicot phone line and worked for several hours in an effort to check the fire but it was unavailing.