The photo above left is a view of the south side of Oak Street looking west (1904 or earlier), from half a block east of Wisconsin Avenue. The building with the arrow, on the southwest corner of Wisconsin Avenue and Oak Street, is where Bean’s is today. From left to right in this photo: Mullen building, the Frederic Star bldg., an empty lot, Howard and Elwell building (later it was the Wm. Martin Confectionary), the Marsden building, a gap for Wisconsin Avenue, the Gus Hedwell Store (with arrow added) and more unidentified buildings further west. There are no telephone poles, so it is certainly 1904 or earlier. The photo above right is from 1937, where Bean’s is today. So it can be said that the building that currently houses Bean’s dates to early 1903 or possibly 1902.
The two buildings to the west of Bean’s look similar to the ones currently in those locations, but there is evidence that both those buildings have changed very substantially over the years.
Several sources say that the first dedicated school building in Frederic, was erected in 1903. It was located in the second block south of Oak Street, between Linden and Maple Streets, on the east side of Wisconsin Avenue. Before the school building opened, classes were held in the second floor of the Hedwell building. Thus, the Hedwell Store building must have been available in 1903 and likely was there in 1902.
Bean’s Country Griddle:
“Frederic’s Second Oldest Commercial Building Still Standing”
Bean’s Country Griddle is the “Frederic’s Second Oldest Commercial Building Still Standing.” The Frederic Depot is clearly the oldest; it was erected in 1901 and was completed before the first sale of lots in Frederic on November 21, 1901, and it’s still standing. Houses are excluded from this “competition” because there are no records of when houses were built.
Three other commercial buildings, thought to be the second oldest, were the brick buildings erected by Simon Peter Simonsen: the Bank of Frederic (later Olsen and Sons Drugs), the Village Hall (later the Woolen Mill and Lakeside Apartments) and St. Dominic Catholic Church’s original building (but that structure was demolished in late 2016). There is evidence that all were built near 1904 or 1905.
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