Addison's Speakeasy on the Yellowstone Trail
In Wisconsin, United States
How Geocaching Works
Located at the historic Addison House Bed and Breakfast. This is a wonderful building, with beautiful grounds and a long and interesting history. Since this is private property, I will tell you right where the cache is so you do not need to search the gardens. But first, a little history of this great place on the Yellowstone Trail
This location has long been a crossroads of 2 old indian trails, the Decorah Trail that went east and west about where highway 33 is today (notice also Decorah Avenue on it's way thru West Bend), and the old Fond du Lac indian trail that went north and south, about where 175 is today. When the Yellowstone Trail went thru this area, it generally followed the already existing Fond du Lac Trail.
Before the Yellowstone Trail, Indian tribes would powwow at this location every summer. There was later a French trading post on the site of where the Addison House B&B is today. The house was originally owned by Solomon Juneau.
In the early 1860's Nick Nenno built the main room of today's Addison House. The building was used as a saloon, and by 1870, Nenno had a brewery on the site that produced Lager and Ale.
The Weber Brewing Company, aquired the building in the 1880's. The firm built caves for the summer storage of beer and added a duck pin bowling alley (now the dining room) to the building. The caves were built to cool and age beer. There are three sets of chambers, and each are approximately 15x20 feet. The three sets of vaulted chambers led into each other. "Presumably the first chamber led to the brewery." says current owner Suzanne Fish.
During prohibition, and the years that the Yellowstone Trail ran right in front of the building, this was a speakeasy. It gained further notoriety when it later became a brothel.
Newspaper articles about the tavern fade and local legend and rumors begin as the building goes through several changes, from a brewery to a tavern, bowling alley, residence, and brothel. During these times, and until 1951, the building was called the 'Wigwam'. Local stories have it that the Madame of the "house" had a bitter rivalry with a Milwaukee Madame. The fued escalated into a shooting, rumored to have left bullet holes in the siding of the building. Area residents have told current owner Suzanne Fish that a bird cage was hung on the porch as an all clear sign to patrons that let them know the local sheriff was not around.
For more information on the Addison House, please visit their web site, where much of the information above was found: (visit link)
To find the cache, look under the yellow upside down flower pot on the steps going into the Addison House, right by the Yellowstone Trail sign.
This is one of several caches I have placed along the route of the historic Yellowstone Trail. The trail is a historic motor route that went across Wisconsin from 1918 to 1930. The Wisconsin portion of the Yellowstone Trail is 406 miles long, starting at the state line south of Kenosha and going north, and then west to Hudson. The Wisconsin segment is just a part of one of America’s first transcontinental auto routes, a 3,754-mile long road that started in Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts and went to Puget Sound, Washington.
More information on the Yellowstone Trail, including maps can be found at (visit link)
October 22, 2006 update: Ecorangers are the volunteer trailmen for this cache.
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Last Updated: on 3/10/2013 7:23:48 PM Pacific Daylight Time (2:23 AM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum