Since 1880 – Happenings Around the World

First Photo of Orion Nebula

First Photo of Orion Nebula

Wolverine Chair and Furniture Company (left) where the first use of hydroelectric power in the United States

Wolverine Chair and Furniture Company (left) where the first use of hydroelectric power in the United States

The American’s Brewers Association has the Sebewaing Brewing Company with various names starting as early as 1875 under the name of Sophia Braendle.  Many labels of beer produced establish the start date of 1880.  The first label to print this is Old Style from 1934.  It appeared several more times on Stock Ale, Sport (brown label), Old Style (Lion Head), and all of the versions of the Sebewaing labels including bock.  Surprisingly, it did not appear on the other popular labels of Sport (yellow label), Golden Pheasant, Club, and Pride of Michigan.

For the printed established date of 1880, here are some famous events that occurred that same year.


Jan 1st – Building of Panama Canal, begins
Jan 27th – Thomas Edison patents electric incandescent lamp
Mar 23rd – Flour rolling mill patented (John Stevens of Wisc)
Mar 31st – 1st town completely illuminated by electric lighting (Wabash, IN)
May 18th – 6th Kentucky Derby: George Lewis aboard Fonso wins in 2:37.5
Jun 1st – 1st pay telephone installed
Jun 1st – US census at 50,155,783
Jun 16th – Salvation Army forms in London
Jul 16th – Dr. Emily Stowe becomes the first woman licenced to practice medicine in Canada.
Jul 21st – Compressed air accident kills 20 workers on Hudson River tunnel, NY
Jul 23rd – 1st commercial hydroelectric power planet begins, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Aug 2nd – British Parliament officially adopts Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
Sep 30th – Henry Draper takes that 1st photograph of Orion Nebula
Oct 4th – University of California founded in Los Angeles
Nov 2nd – James A Garfield (R) elected 20th US President
Dec 20th – NY’s Broadway lit by electricity, becomes known as “Great White Way”

1904 Platte Map Showing Brewery Building

The SebewainSebewaing Eastg Brewing Company went through several name changes.  In 1904, it was called Fredrick Kroll as can be seen in the American Breweries name table at this link.  The name of the brewery in 1904 is relative to a Platte map of the same year.  The brewery one year later would see a long standing name change to the Huron County Brewing Company that stayed with it until prohibition.

The 1904 Platte Map pictured to the right shows the location at the time.  A click on the map will allow a high resolution view of the eastern side of Sebewaing.  Look carefully for the brewery building circled in red.  The river may have changed directions over the years.  It looks like it winds north more than it runs today.

There was a drain from the brewery to the river.  In 1966, the remaining beer that could not be sold due to a State of Michigan order, was dumped into the drains over several nights.  The days following the drained beer resulted in foam on the surface of the river out to Saginaw Bay.

Michigan Breweries of 1917

Michigan Labor Report CoverBreweries were plentiful throughout Michigan in 1917.  The Michigan Department of Labor documented 87 breweries during this time.  Some were under the same name located in different geographical areas of Michigan and others under the same name split the work between brewing and bottling.  The size ranged from two employees to over three hundred.  From brewing in barns to multistory brick buildings, there was a demand in all parts of Michigan for beer.  Information about these breweries can be found in the report to the left and an extracted table at the bottom of this post.  This 1918 report documents businesses in Michigan and provides vast amounts of statistics for things like hotels, prisons, restaurants, and so on.  It also lists code violations and what action needs to be taken to correct.

The significance of this report and its relationship to breweries is that it was published one month before the start of prohibition in Michigan.  With legislation potentially impacting their livelihood, the conversations of owners and employees must have been emotional.  To have an inspection and census done in 1917 ordering code violation corrections to outlawing the end product less than one year later had to be gut wrenching.

In the report, and at the bottom of this post, inspection dates, number of male and female employees, children working under age 16, and the major commodities offered are listed.  For the breweries, our own Huron County Brewing Company of Sebewaing is on the list with six employees that are all male.  In total for the 87 breweries in Michigan, there were 2,447 employees.  2,377 were male, 67 female, and 3 under the age of sixteen.  What did these people do for work after prohibition?  Many of the breweries closed while some re-tooled and made other products.  The top three brewery employers at the time were Stroh’s (318 employees), Goebel (204 employees), and Detroit Brewing Company (161 employees).  Pfeiffer was close to the top with 157 employees.  Fascinating information so far and there is much more information to glean from this fantastic report!

The table below is a list of all of the breweries extracted from the report with the related data.

Name of EstablishmentDate of InspectionCityGoodsMale EmployeesFemale EmployeesTotal Employees< 16 years old
American Brewing Co.Monday, June 11, 1917DetroitBeer44246
Anheuser-Busch Brewing Assn.Monday, November 05, 1917Grand RapidsBeer516
Auto City Brewing Co.Tuesday, September 18, 1917HamtramckBeer3737
Banner Brewing Co.Wednesday, October 10, 1917SaginawBeer2323
Bay City Brewing Co.Thursday, May 10, 1917Bay CityBrewing2727
Beck Malting & Brewing Co., TheSaturday, October 27, 1917AlpenaBeer17118
Berghoff Brewing AssociationSunday, January 07, 1917DetroitBeer819
Biewer's BreweryTuesday, September 18, 1917Mt. ClemensBeer99
Blatz Brewing Co.Tuesday, January 16, 1917NorwayBeer44
Blatz, Val Brewing Co.Friday, October 26, 1917DetroitBeer55
Blatz, Val Brewing Co.Friday, September 14, 1917HancockBeer33
Blatz, Val Brewing Co.Tuesday, November 27, 1917IronwoodBeer55
Bosch Brewing Co.Saturday, September 15, 1917HancockBeer44
Bosch Brewing Co.Saturday, October 27, 1917LauriumBeer99
Calumet Brewing Co., TheFriday, October 12, 1917CalumetBeer2121
Columbia Brewing Co.Tuesday, August 07, 1917DetroitBeer17118
Daniels', Chas. H. BreweryFriday, February 16, 1917ManisteeBeer1616
Dehring, John & SonsSaturday, August 04, 1917AlpenaBeer314
Detroit Brewing Co.Tuesday, August 28, 1917DetroitBeer1601161
Duluth Brewing & Malting Co.Friday, September 14, 1917HancockBeer415
Eberle Brewing Co.Thursday, January 11, 1917JacksonBeer25328
Ekhardt & BeckerTuesday, August 28, 1917DetroitBeer53255
Escanaba Brewing Co.Wednesday, April 11, 1917EscanabaBeer1515
Fisch. Fred, BreweryMonday, August 20, 1917Rogers CityBeer44
Fitger Brewing Co.Tuesday, December 18, 1917WakefieldBeer44
Frankenmuth Brewing Co., TheThursday, December 13, 1917FrankenmuthBeer77
Furniture City Brewing Co.Friday, June 22, 1917Grand RapidsBeer3232
Fynda, John A Bros.Monday, September 17, 1917DetroitBeer2525
Geyer BrothersThursday, December 13, 1917FrankenmuthBeer55
Goebel Brewing Co., TheWednesday, June 06, 1917DetroitBeer17826204
Grand Rapids Brewing Co.Friday, May 25, 1917Grand RapidsBeer4646
Grand Rapids Brewing Co.Friday, May 25, 1917Grand RapidsBeer6060
Haas, AFriday, October 12, 1917CalumetBeer33
Haas, A. Brewing Co.Thursday, September 06, 1917HoughtonBeer2828
Haehnle Bottling Co.Friday, August 10, 1917JacksonBeer111122
Haehnle Brewing Co.Friday, August 10, 1917JacksonBeer18119
Henze-Tollen Brewing Co.Sunday, January 14, 1917Iron MountainBeer, etc.1111
Hoch Brewing Co.Tuesday, August 21, 1917YpsilantiBeer718
Hodde Bros.Thursday, November 01, 1917DetroitBeer88
Huron County Brewing Co.Thursday, November 22, 1917SebewaingBeer66
Independent Brewing Co., TheMonday, May 28, 1917DetroitBeer4040
Ironwood Brewing Co., TheWednesday, December 05, 1917IronwoodBeer66
Kern, C, Brewing Co.Tuesday, July 31, 1917Port HuronBeer3737
Kern, C. Brewing Co.Thursday, October 25, 1917DetroitBeer516
Kling, Ph. Brewing Co.Tuesday, April 17, 1917DetroitBeer1063109
Kolb Brewing Co.Monday, May 21, 1917Bay CityBrewing1919
Leisen & Henes Brewing Co.Thursday, June 21, 1917NegauneeBeer22
Leisen A Henes Brewing Co.Friday, January 19, 1917MenomineeBeer1919
Lemp, Wm. J. Brewing Co.Friday, November 02, 1917DetroitBeer33
Marine City Brewing Co.Tuesday, September 04, 1917Marine CityBeer55
Marx Brewing Co.Wednesday, October 03, 1917WyandotteBeer & Ice38139
Menominee River Brewing Co.Monday, June 18, 1917IshpemingBeer44
Menominee River Brewing Co.Monday, January 22, 1917MenomineeBeer2727
Michigan BreweryTuesday, May 15, 1917DetroitBeer21122
Michigan Union Brewing Co.Saturday, August 25, 1917Ann ArborBeer1414
Miller Brewing Co.Monday, June 18, 1917IshpemingBeer22
Minneapolis Brewing Co.Friday, January 19, 1917Sault Ste. MarieBeer213
Moloney, Joseph PMonday, November 12, 1917CheboyganBeer22
Mt. Clemens Brewing Co.Tuesday, September 18, 1917Mt. ClemensBeer1212
Muskegon Brewing Co.Monday, October 29, 1917MuskegonBeer2020
National Brewing Co.Thursday, October 11, 1917SaginawBeer2929
Pabst Brewing Co.Wednesday, October 24, 1917CalumetBeer55
Pabst Brewing Co.Friday, October 19, 1917DetroitBeer2323
Pabst Brewing Co.Wednesday, August 15, 1917NegauneeBeer77
Park Brewing Co.Wednesday, October 24, 1917CalumetBeer55
Park Brewing Co., TheFriday, September 14, 1917HancockBeer18119
Peterson Brewing Co.Wednesday, April 11, 1917Grand RapidsBeer1313
Peterson Brewing Co.Wednesday, April 11, 1917Grand RapidsBeer1111
Pfeiffer Brewing Co.Wednesday, August 15, 1917DetroitBeer1534157
Phoenix Brewing Co.Monday, May 21, 1917Bay CityBrewing2323
Port Huron Brewing Co.Saturday, July 21, 1917Port HuronBeer13114
Richter Brewing Co.Tuesday, April 17, 1917EscanabaBeer1717
Saginaw Brewing Co.Thursday, November 15, 1917SaginawBeer1111
Schemm, J. G. Co., TheSaturday, November 24, 1917SaginawBeer2525
Scheuermann BreweryFriday, October 12, 1917CalumetBeer55
Schindehette, MartinTuesday, June 19, 1917Bay CityBeer88
Schlits, Jos. Brewing Co.Friday, April 13, 1917Grand RapidsBeer44
Shillaire, A. M. & SonsMonday, May 14, 1917Bay CityBeer55
Soo Brewing Co.Tuesday, January 16, 1917Sault Ste. MarieBeer1616
Stroh Brewing Co., TheTuesday, August 21, 1917DetroitBeer3144318
Tivoli Brewing Co.Thursday, August 09, 1917DetroitBeer1143117
Traverse City, Brewing Co.Thursday, May 10, 1917Traverse CityBeer88
Union Brewing Co., TheMonday, October 01, 1917DetroitBeer2020
Upper Peninsula Brewing Co.Saturday, June 02, 1917MarquetteBeer202221
Voigt Brewing Co., TheThursday, October 25, 1917DetroitBeer4343
West Side Brewery Co., LtdThursday, October 18, 1917DetroitBeer1061107
Zoltowski, ThomasThursday, September 13, 1917DetroitBeer10111
87 Breweries

Different Perspective of Sebewaing Beer

university apartments

One of the University Village Apartment Buildings

This story appeared in the Lansing State Journal on May 10, 2006.  The article was titled “MSU’s University Village Reaches Final Days”.

Razing reflects changing times,4-bedroom units to replace former married housing by Matthew Miller.

Bay City Brewing Company Bottles Beer From Sebewaing in 1937

ad-bc-brewing-co-1898In 1937, the Sebewaing Brewing Company was increasing its volume of product output.  As an article in the Sebewaing Blade reported on January 29, 1937:

“New brew kettle and mash tub to be added by about March 1st in the Brew House.  Awhile ago, a new labeling machine and new filtering machine were purchased.  Also, new special floors to be installed for the Bottling House and Racking Room.  Wages paid out in 1936 to 33 employees was $36,400.”

Today, the minutes from a May 24, 1937 Liquor Control Commission meeting surfaced (click here) and documents the approval of the Bay City Brewing Company to bottle beer brewed in Sebewaing.  As another article in the Sebewaing Blade reported on April 30, 1937:

“New brew kettle and other equipment is in place.  Brewing to begin again on May 1st. To house the brew kettle and other equipment, it has been necessary to add an addition of 18′ x 30′ on the second floor.”

Perhaps with the construction and increased production, Sebewaing needed temporary help to keep up with demand?  Or maybe due to World War II, construction materials were not as readily available and it took longer than anticipated to complete the new construction?  Either way, the ingenuity of the brewery executives at the time were prominent and they found a way to get the job done.