Like many, I’m guilty of neglecting the outer reaches of this fair city. Frankly, my daily existence operates within a two-mile radius of Reservoir Park. However, en route to a destination that I can no longer remember, I embarked along Fond du Lac Avenue to reach Milwaukee’s far northwest side. Traveling along the former plank road, I discovered a wealth of buildings that stood out amidst their neighbors; buildings that I had never seen and ultimately a narrative that I was unacquainted with, this major thoroughfare ripe with history that I had taken for granted.
There it stood, the inspiration for this post and what I hope will be many more, at the intersection of West Fond du Lac and Cypress: 2451 West Fond du Lac Avenue. Largely out of its original context, sitting somewhat forlorn and forgotten amidst boarded up homes and vacant lots, former A .F. Heuer & Sons grocery beckoned. Within these walls, at least seven members of the Heuer family resided above the grocery, over half of them worked there as well. The property was originally acquired by August Heuer in 1883 and for several years the Heuer family home was listed without address, but instead described as the north west corner of Fond du Lac Avenue and 25th Street. August worked as a general laborer, mason, and a driver for nine subsequent years while living adjacent to the site of his future store. In 1892, the family grocery was constructed, and by 1893, August and his family had moved into the apartments above. August F. Heuer operated the store and lived on premise with various members of his family for forty years until 1933 after which time his name disappears from City Directories along with the A. F. Heuer & Sons grocery. The building remained in the family ownership of William C. Heuer who remained on the premise several years after until 2451 was sold in the mid 1900s.