Third Saturday to feature sausage making


THE SHEBOYGAN COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM will hold a Third Saturday program titled, “Sausage Making in Sheboygan County” Saturday, May 21. Pictured is a scene from Brat Days in 1962. - Sheboygan County Historical Museum photo THE SHEBOYGAN COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM will hold a Third Saturday program titled, “Sausage Making in Sheboygan County” Saturday, May 21. Pictured is a scene from Brat Days in 1962. - Sheboygan County Historical Museum photo The next Third Saturday program at the Sheboygan County Historical Museum, titled “Sausage Making in Sheboygan County” will take place Saturday, May 21, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m

German immigrants settled the Sheboygan area in the 1830s and 1840s, bringing with them a love of the sausage.

It is theorized that the bratwurst we know today is based on the weisswurst of Germany. Weisswurst is a white sausage made primarily of veal. Because Sheboygan County was initially a wheatgrowing area and not dairy land, veal was not readily available to the new settlers of Sheboygan County. They turned to the more common pork for their sausage and the Sheboygan style bratwurst was born.

A brief review of city and county directories between 1868 and 1980 by researcher Mary Meyer found well over 160 butcher shops and meat markets. Many shops produced their own sausages, developing and using their own special blend of meats and spices.

Every community in the coun ty had a butcher shop and sausage company. The building on the north corner of Broadway St. and Pine St. in Sheboygan Falls was built as a butcher shop in the 1880s. It remained a butcher shop until 1908.

Plymouth had three shops in 1895 - Haase’s, Ackerman Brothers and Knauer’s.

Sheboygan had several throughout the years. Brothers Max and Herman Luedke opened their shop on North 15th St. in 1915.

Theilmann’s Sausage Co. started in the late 1940s becoming Old Wisconsin Sausage Co. after Bill Stolzmann became sole proprietor.

The Sheboygan Sausage Co. organized in 1933, reporting production of 60,000 pounds of sausage weekly in 1953.

That same year, Rammer & Sons Meat Market opened on South 15th Street and Indiana Avenue with a stock of 5,000 to 10,000 pounds of hard summer sausage.

Poth’s Meat in 1988 reportedly was producing three tons of bratwurst each week during the summer and a half ton each week dur- ing the winter holidays. Currently, Johnsonville Sausage is the largest producer the county.

The bratwurst has been celebrated since 1953 during the annual Bratwurst Days festival held at Kiwanis Park in Sheboygan, as well as every summer weekend in the backyards of homes across Sheboygan County.

Presenters at the event will include: Shane Bennin, assistant plant coordinator at Johnsonville Sausage.

Nick Bender will be in attendance representing Old Wisconsin Sausage Co. Lee Brockman will talk about his family’s meat market.

Richard Stoelb will be sharing his knowledge of the Howard Grove Meat Market and its long history.

Scott Poth will discuss his family’s long-running meat market in Sheboygan. Poth Brats can still be purchased at Mentink’s Piggly Wiggly in Oostburg.

A bratwurst-only brat fry will also be held during the program.

The Sheboygan County Historical Museum is located at 3110 Erie Ave. in Sheboygan.


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