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REAL ESTATE | Remember when | Hidden treasures fell from the rafters at the West Bend Train Depot

West Bend, WI – Contractors rehabbing the old train depot along the Eisenbahn Trail in West Bend, WI, in October 2009 found a couple treasures buried in the walls of the building.

Construction manager Rocky Thomson with American Design & Build Inc. found a one-quart bottle of Taylor & Williams Yellowstone rye whiskey in the rafters of the building. The bottle, dated 1911, features a well-preserved paper label and raised glass writing.


“I ripped a board down out of the rafters and the bottle fell and hit the hardwood floor,” said Thomson. The heavy, clear-glass bottle bounced off the floor and remained intact.


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An interesting note, that same bottle balanced atop a beam and held its place during the entire move of the depot including when the building was lifted off its original foundation, moved back about 50 feet and then moved again and returned to a new foundation.

The other treasure, aside from some Lithia beer bottles, were a couple Milwaukee Sentinel newspapers from 1913 found between the walls of the building.


The two-cent paper was yellowed and crisp and included stories like the U.S. developing war plants and a delayed vote in Madison on a welfare bill.

Comics featured Flooey and Axel, sports had Milwaukee vs. Columbus at 8th and Chambers and there was a large ad with White Sox baseball star Eddie Collins endorsing Coca Cola.

Click HERE to see an image of the ad

Reconstruction of the old depot is nearly finished.

The inside is completely dry walled all the way up to the 12-foot ceilings. Original bead board lines a south wall, five-panel hardwood doors have been refurbished along with layered trim-work around the doors and windows.

The maple hardwood floors have to be buffed out and the Douglas fir siding will be painted, as the exterior of the depot returns to its original red.

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