Hillsboro's Old Buildings Demolished
Hillsboro's Old Buildings Demolished

Hillsboro’s Old Buildings Demolished

On June 2, the brick building at 128 South Main Street was demolished. As workers demolished the building, a startled raccoon sprang out of a nearby window and ran away, amusing the onlookers. What will be done with the area is still up in the air. Hillsboro City Administrator Matt Stiles said, β€œI have been in communication with an interested company that has shown interest in creating a small business in that place. Because of its size and location, putting the property to productive use could be a good alternative for economic development.

On Wednesday, a historic structure at the intersection of Main and A in the parking lot of the Ford dealership was demolished. Spectators crowded around taking film and pictures as city workmen dismantled the long-standing building.

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Family Bar Building Demolished

Although the building has been demolished, the memories it held linger. Bygland Dirt Contracting of Albion tore down Schmid’s Bakery, Avenue Bar, and Sharon’s Antiques, and more last week. Nearby Third Street was jam-packed with onlookers who had assembled to witness the nearby buildings fall into a mass of mud and dust. Michelle Wemhoff, who grew up in the pub that was also her home, wiped away a few tears between snapping photographs and videos. Her parents, Larry and Norma Gilmore were the proprietors of the Avenue Bar, a popular hangout for locals and tourists alike.

β€œIt was definitely bittersweet,” Wemhoff remarked as she watched the building come down. Son Eric, who was in the pub observing the card players, and daughter Jenaya were also present, both of whom were filming and taking pictures of the event for the family’s recollections. Before the Gilmores managed the bar, Ernie Schmid had a bakery, cafe, and bar on the same site. His daughter, Stella (Rasmussen) Landauer of Albion, said she was the youngest in her family when her father was in business, owning Schmid’s Bakery.

She recalls why he felt the need to include a bar and cafe in his plans. His business was taken over by a nearby liquor store when the bread trucks began showing up in town, and he continued to sell liquor by the drink until his retirement. Inside he has a restaurant and a cafe,” she claimed. There was a green entrance on the right side of the building, which led into the booze store, and the restaurant/cafe was on the left. Landauer said there also was a bus stop in front of the building where people could hop on the bus for a journey.

Until the Gilmores bought it in 1968 and ran it until May 26, 2006, after Schmid retired, the tavern was owned by three different people. In between, it became one of β€œthe” places to be in Humphrey. Wemhoff described it as a spot where families hung out. There were other families at the bar, she explained. Every time I went there, the bar was full of kids. My kids grew up there, my mum babysat my kids and my kids never saw a babysitter.

β€œMy kid, Eric, became a social person because of the bar. In reality, the card players loved Eric, and he loved the ace of spades. The reason he would walk around and say things like “You got the Ace of Spades” is still a mystery to me, but eventually my mother informed him he couldn’t say things like that. In that case, he’d discover it, and then go stand by whoever held it without saying anything,” Wemhoff explained.

Card players flocked to the tavern, making it their home until it closed. As a result, we were the go-to spot for card games. Mom provided keys to the older males because she said, β€˜I’m not getting up that damned early,’ or if they’d leave on vacation, she’d give the key to someone, tell them to lock up after you’re done, put some coffee in a Thermos. She’d have a tiny cup and tell them to put their money in it (to pay for the coffee),” Wemhoff added.

Old Buildings Demolished
Old Buildings Demolished

β€œIt was just a real family bar, in fact, Phyllis Heinen came right from the hospital to the bar because she had to present Tori to grandma Norma, and it was like that with many young families. You can count on them to drop by if one of those things happened in the future. One of the reasons she was referred to as Mom was because of this.

For the most part, they were known as “Dad” and “Mom” by everyone who knew them. It was a tradition for the kids to stop in after games for a free drink and discuss the action. The Avenue Bar has a regular stream of clients. Wemhoff said there was a group that came in the morning to play cards, an older group that came in around 3 in the afternoon while their sons were on the farms, an evening crowd, and Sunday after-church people coming to the Avenue.

β€œSunday, after church, the younger adults would come in, and they’d call it Benediction, and Benediction started the time Father said amen, and they came straight down to the bar, and it went till evening,” Wemhoff said.

She stated the idea to acquire the bar was her dad’s, but her mother spent most of the time in it. The tavern doubled as the family’s primary residence. They created a home upstairs and at the back of the pub. β€œMom said if I’m going to run a bar, it’s going to be a house because I’m not going to try and maintain both and have someone else raise their child,” Wemhoff said.

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Even though her parents were still working on purchasing the pub when she was born, Wemhoff said her first stop after being released from the Omaha hospital was the bar. β€œI’ve had folks tell me they remember my mom walking in with the bassinet,” she said. They took me there when I was just a few days old,” she explains. β€œThe bedrooms were upstairs, there were two bedrooms and a bathroom β€” at first β€” we rebuilt the sun porch to a third bedroom, and that became my bedroom. The kitchen and living area were immediately behind the bar.”

Norma set up a toy box near the men’s bathroom after her daughter moved out so that the kids could play while their parents went out for the evening. Norma worked hard to create a welcoming atmosphere in the pub.

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About Neon Martin 390 Articles
Hey everyone, This Is Yor's Favourite Neon Martin the author of Focushillsboro. Well my interest in Digital Marketing brought me here and I choose Content writing as a career option, So here I am. I post articles related to Entertainment, Celebrity, News, Technology, and More. Through my articles, I want to convey my best to my readers. So keep in touch for more interesting articles.

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