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IBusiness Directory S-Z : Index: Taverns & Saloons

Lannon Springs Hotel aka Whiskey Corners aka Willow Springs Roadhouse

(See Abler's Whiskey Corners)


Lannon Springs Hotel - Built by Michael Keating in 1875, was originally constructed on the southeast corner of Town Line and Mill Roads. With the coming of the North Western Railway in the early 1900s, it was later moved to its present location at W220 N6410 [Whiskey Corners]. It is probably this hostelry and tavern which earned this settlement of Lannon Springs' location its 19th-century nickname of "Whiskey Corners".

source: Excerpts & Recommendations from Village of Menomonee Falls Architectural and Historical Intensive Survey Report, prepared by Architectural Researches, Inc., July 1986.


Michael Keating, former resident of Lisbon and postmaster at Lannon Springs in the seventies, died at his home In Milwaukee January 21. He is survived by two daughters, Misses Nellie and Mae C. Keating. Mr. Keating was born in Ireland in 1835 and came to Wisconsin in 1S43. For some years be bought barley from the farmers for the Pabst breweries.

source: Waukesha Daily Freeman January 28, 1924. page 406

"Henry Umhoefer took possession of McCarty Springs Tavern July 1. The change of location and the obliterating of the old site long known as 'Whiskey Corners' with the coming of the forty foot grade, and underway passageway has created a new name for the former hostelry." source: Waukesha Freeman July 14, 1910, page 3 of 8.

July 1911 - Andrew Weisner has rented the McCarty Tavern in Lannon (Whiskey Corners).

source: Pages from the Past July 20, 2011
100 years ago - 1911

For the first time in fifty-eight years "Whiskey Corners" is "dry". The proprietor. Peter Kiefer, says business does not warrant paying the $225 license fee required.

source: Waukesha Freeman July 17, 1913, page 5 of 10

"Whiskey Corners," near Templeton, so named because of the large quantities of liquor sold there in the early days, is dry. Peter Kiefer, proprietor of the only thirst parlor there, says business does not warrant the payment of the $225 license fee required.

source: Fond Du Lac Daily Commonwealth July 22, 1913, page 4 of 8


Menomonee Falls News: One of the old landmarks of Menomonee, known as "Whiskey Corners", where, for upwards of twenty years, the traveler could slake his thirst, went dry this year. The present lessee, Peter Kiefer, not making application for a license all during the summer months, tourists and others were accommodated with only the milder form of beverages, such as ginsing, pop, ginger ale. The property is a part of the Thomas McCarthy estate. It had to be sold and the sale took place last week, the purchaser being W. H. Muzzy of Lannon.

source: Waukesha Freeman November 6, 1913, page 3 of 8

Peter Kiefer may have leased/operated/managed it from Muzzy in 1918.

Federal Men Nab Liquor In Raid Here

Another warrant was also issued against Rudolph Kolata operating " Willow Springs" just outside of Lannon in the Town of Menomonee. Illicit liquor was found there by Officer Ahrensmeyer and H. C. Parkinson, deputy state prohibition head.

The Willows Springs Inn which was raided last night was one time a popular stopping off place for parties wishing to dance and drink what was termed good beer.

source: Waukesha Daily Freeman October 28, 1927, page 1 of 12

Menomonee Falls News: Nov. 9, 1928

The proprietor of what was then the Willow Springs Roadhouse at Whiskey Corners (Town Line and Mill roads), Edward Wildisch suffered wounds to his leg and chest. The chest wound was just above his heart, but the police report said a rib bone bent the knife blade upward, saving his life.

The assailant, railroad section hand Charles Tisch, went to the roadhouse Sunday evening and got into an argument with Wildisch, who ordered him to leave. Police took Tisch to the Waukesha County Jail, where he was charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm.

In 1932 Fred and Rose, nee Miller, Gissal rented Whiskey Corners tavern for $20 per month; two years later, 1934, they purchased, and renamed it Willow Springs Tavern, running it until 1944 when leased or sold to Charles Basche.

From Fred H. Keller's "Rose Miller Gissal built two businesses on her cooking", Retrospect, Sussex Sun, October, 17, 2007". - When Fred and Rose first committed to renting the tavern, they moved their family upstairs and spent the first six months remodeling and cleaning up before opening. After renting out the Willow Springs Tavern, they bought the larger Lake Five Tap. They sold their former business in 1946 to Charles Basche

Charles Basche Funeral is slated for Monday

Funeral services for Charles Basche, 69, Sussex Route 1, will be held Monday at 10 pm at St. James church in Lannon..

Basche was killed instantly when his car was struck by a spending Milwaukee Road streamliner at Duplainville.

Basche served as manager of the Bluemound country club. He operated the Willow Springs tavern near Lannon for the past fiver years. Buried St, James cemetery.

source: Waukesha Daily Freeman January 20, 1951, page 1 of 8.

Owned tavern from about 1946 to Jan 1951.


Michael Galles, Willow Spring Tavern, Menomonee Town, granted license for dance hall. December 1, 1953 to October 31, 1954

source: Waukesha Daily Freeman June 4, 1955, page 30 of 44.

Whiskey Corners, 100 years ago 1910

With the coming of the railroad, Main Street had to be bent south at the Frank Pfeil Farm (today Lied's Nursery) thus this became a major intersection. It claimed lives through the years because of the odd configuration and the tendency of some drivers trying to take the corners at too high a speed.

In the recent reconstruction of Highway 74, this intersection has received a major make over. It is now much wider and there is more signage including traffic lights. Meanwhile the railroad bridge has aged and the 100-year-old concrete is flaking here and there.

In 1962, with the opening of the nearby Sussex Hamilton High School, the bridge took on a new life as the billboard for graffiti. It is estimated that some stretches of this bridge abutment have nearly 50 layers of paint as each class tried to out-do the preceding class by adding initials, hearts, fighting challenges, etc. However, with a new police regime in Sussex, augmented by a similar group in the Town of Lisbon, plus a public push, graffiti has been painted over as fast as it occurs and possibly the continuance has been broken.

The big deal in 1910 was that a third railroad coming through Lisbon was in the works. The North Western Railroad took two years to complete in the adjacent towns of Menomonee and Lisbon.

As a reference, the Sussex Depot for the North Western Railroad was built in the fall of 1910. Today, this depot has been moved from its original site to downtown Sussex and is the home of the Sussex-Lisbon Area Historical Society.

The construction created a massive disturbance for Sussex, Lannon and Menomonee Falls because where Sussex-Templeton Main Street east crossed Town Line Road, forming a "four corners" was the Lannon Post Office, a store and tavern, but all in the Town of Menomonee.

The tavern back then was named after the creek that snaked south past St. James Catholic Church and Willow Springs School. The 1873 map lists the name of this tributary to the lower Fox River as Spring Creek and the nearby school acquired the name, Willow Springs School. According to old maps it seems this Springs Tavern was on the south side of Mill Road. However, when the North Western Railroad right-of-way was laid out, the tavern had to go.

This leads to a July 8, 1910 bit of information in the Menomonee Falls News:

"Henry Umhoefer took possession of McCarty Springs Tavern July 1. The change of location and the obliterating of the old site long known as 'Whiskey Corners' with the coming of the forty foot grade, and underway passageway has created a new name for the former hostelry." source: Waukesha Freeman July 14, 1910, page 3 of 8.

[Editor Note - From "RR construction remembered" by Fred H. Keller, April 25, 1995, Sussex Sun, he notes that in 1995 it was called "Lunowa's Whiskey Corners".

So the current Alber's Whisky Corners was a rebuild job in 1910.

The success of Whiskey Corners just east of Town Line Road was helped by the recalcitrant policies of the Town of Lisbon which did not seem to allow taverns other than in Sussex-Templeton up until 1970 when Joe Marcheses broke the log jam for a Lisbon tavern license.

In time, the Lannon Springs Post Office left the area of Town Line Road and Mill Road in 1873. Mail was sent to Duplainville or Sussex and later to Templeton. But in 1890, a "Lannon" was in full flower at the intersections of modern Good Hope, Lannon Road and Main Street. Besides getting the post office, Lannon got the tavern business between Sussex and Menomonee Falls, other than the era when the Gissal family had the Whiskey Corners ownership in the 1930s and '40s.

Now Whiskey Corners - which seems to more than hold its own - has a cross street competition in the old Ed McLaughlin barn, Shooters Pub.

I hear the hope of the community is that the graffiti war is a thing of the past. Time will tell, but with determination and perseverance, it can be truly a thing of the past, RIP 1962-2008.

Della A. Galles - of Waukesha

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) - Tuesday, June 6, 2000
Services are Wednesday night for Della A. Galles, 91, of Waukesha and formerly of Lannon, Sussex and Hartford, who died Sunday at Waukesha Memorial Hospital.

She was employed in the laundry department at Waukesha Memorial Hospital for many years.

She and her late husband, Michael, ran Whiskey Corners Tavern in Lannon and owned the Club Mi-Del {Editor Note: the former mammoth Springs Hotel] in Sussex from 1951 to '61.

They moved to Hartford in 1961 and returned to Waukesha in 1964.

Survivors include a son, Michael (Donna) of the Town of Genesee; a daughter, Betty (Leland) Rice of Waukesha; nine grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.

Visitation is Wednesday from 4 p.m. until the services at 7 at the Cesarz, Charapata & Zinnecker Funeral Home-West, 237 N. Moreland Blvd., Waukesha. Burial is at 11 a.m. Thursday at Prairie Home Cemetery, 605 S. Prairie Ave., Waukesha.

Memorials to the Leukemia Society of America Inc. or the American Heart Association of Wisconsin were suggested.

May 1980  - Jim McLaughlin buys Whiskey Corners. Reopens July 2, restores name to Willow Springs Tavern. An uncle had owned it in 1910.


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