Archive for the ‘Beer Barons’ Category

A few posts ago , I gave you the Blatz family crypt, located in Milwaukee’s Forest Home Cemetery.  Forest Home is the final resting place for countless Wisconsin governors, politicians, historians, writers, entrepreneurs and just plain folks.  Now, in the interest of completeness, I have the monuments or markers for the other Beer Barons, most of whom are buried within sight of each other.

Okay…wait a minute. With all these governors and newspaper moguls and inventors lying about, I chose Beer Barons?

Discuss among yourselves.

Most of the rest of the gang can be found across the road from the Blatz crypt.  Adolph Krug  and  his nephew, August Uihlein, are buried  there. Krug founded what later became the Schlitz brewery; upon Joseph Schlitz’s death, Augustus Uihlein took over the business.

The Joseph Schlitz monument is grander than Krug’s or Uihlein’s.The ship at the base of the monument tells us that Schlitz was actually lost at sea in 1875, but the lack of an actual  body is a minor point.

Ahhhh….Captain Frederick Pabst, brewing magnate extrordinaire and the man who made it possible for me to say “PBR me, Bartender” for four sudsy undergraduate years:

The Pabst memorial seems to have fallen on hard times. The whole thing feels like a frat house the morning after a major kegger. ( A few marble empties to complete the scene…)

Finally, in a whole different part of the cemetery, the marker for the Jacob Best family. I found this one to be quite disappointing. Someone decided to do an upgrade and it just doesn’t work: way too slick and modern, though it is chock full o’ facts and does tie things back to the Pabst family.

And so, gentle reader, thus endeth our ramble.   No more history for a while–I promise.

 A couple of weeks ago, we visited the Forest Home Cemetery on Milwaukee’s south side. The cemetery is located in the neighborhood called “Lincoln Village” and is a magnificent oasis of quiet and dignity in the middle of a high-energy part of the city. Honestly:  even the squirrels on-site were moving with a certain gravitas.

Of course, that made the woman carrying a camera and trying to scale the sides of large grave-markers really stand out.

Awkward moment, when even the squirrels view you with small squirrelly sneers. 

Originally, I’d intended to do a piece on all the Beer Barons of Milwaukee who are buried at Forest Home, but the Blatz Family crypt is such an incredible structure that I felt it deserved its own chapter. I’ll get to the rest of the crowd–Pabst, Schlitz and Jacob Best– in another post.

I went to the cemetery as a photographer, not as an historian, so if you are anxious for floor plans or an accounting of all those who slumber within the Blatz crypt…can’t help you there.  I can tell you that this is the final resting place of one Valentin Blatz (1826-1894), Bavarian immigrant and founder of the Blatz Brewery. 

Blatz Family Crypt

Welcome to Heaven!

My friend, Anne, has a mom who is in her 80’s and a lifetime fan of Blatz beer.  Anne says that she’s pretty sure that her mom’s vision of the Gates of Heaven might look a lot like the shot above.

Detail: Blatz crypt arch

I’ll admit it: my English-major self did a few riffs on Shelley’s “Ozymandias.”

Details, rear of Blatz crypt

Did I mention the whole beautiful thing? Color, line, angles,  textures–as a photographer, it was difficult to move myself past this one monument.

One final detail:  the serious chain and lock securing the gate at the entrance to the crypt.

Detail: Blatz crypt entrance

 Still to come: Pabst, Schlitz, Jacob Best, Krug and Uhlhein and the rest of the Beer Barons.