For this week’s Urban Spelunking, OnMilwaukee’s Bobby Tanzilo and I are exploring one of Milwaukee’s oldest bars — Kneisler’s White House in Bay View.
Formerly a Schlitz tied house, the tavern has been continuously operating — basically unchanged — for 126 years. Situated on a prime location at the corner of Kinnickinnic Ave. and S. Ellen St., the bar functioned as a sort of town hall in its early day.
“It was a major stop on the stagecoach line, through the late 1800s, early 1900s,” said bar manager Matthew Langoehr. “One might come here for their mail or telegraph, to get a haircut or shave, eat, vote, get news.”
Walk inside and you’ll find original woodwork, including the bar-top and back bar, beautifully restored yet showing its age in the most charming way.
In addition to all the original architectural details, there are rumors of another holdover from the 19th century — ghosts. Many people have reported, and corroborated, these paranormal tales. But what do the owners say?
Click the player below to hear our conversation.