Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wild and wooly 1940's Milwaukee- a tidbit

Ed Montgomery, MD, former Chief of Staff of Columbia St. Mary’s, grew up in the neighborhood near what was then called Columbia Hospital. Dr. Montgomery’s childhood home was moved to make way for the hospital’s expansion. In a recent issue of the CSM newsletter celebrating the 100-year anniversary of Columbia, Dr. Montgomery had this to say about the neighborhood in his childhood:
“In 1939, our prototypical Milwaukee frame duplex (at 3337 N. Frederick) was flanked by a similar home to the South, an empty lot to the North, and across the street our neighbor - a ewe.

"The ewe lived in a 10-foot square shed under an elm tree at the south end of a 240 sq. ft. corral. We kids used to feed her grass and clover through the fence, and occasionally were bold enough to climb into the pen to pet and chase her.” (Photo shows 1951 addition to the hospital)
The area around the hospital was a mix of homes and farmland. At the top left area, you can see that across Maryland Avenue from the hospital are not yet UWM's multi-story Sandburg Halls that sway in the wind today, but what appears to be a larger Downer Woods. This all was not such a long time ago, yet so much has changed since then.

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