Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Cudahy - an unofficial museum of Wisconsin history

The corner of S. Lake Drive and E. Armour Avenue is a sight to behold. In addition to the partially buried 1955 Cadillac Fleetwood, the yard, at 4531 S. Lake Drive, features a 1946 Farmall McCormick tractor with a mannequin farmer driving it and waving an American flag.

Rick Serocki has turned his small yard into an unofficial Wisconsin museum with vintage call boxes, street pavers, telephone booths and other items salvaged from around the state. The addition of the Cadillac to the collection has prompted complaints.  

Over the years, Serocki added to his exhibit rapidly and randomly. He found old Milwaukee downtown street bricks and created a walkway. He spent hundreds of dollars buying lightning rods from Waukesha County barns, farm equipment from Racine County and even a large gazebo from a former West Allis bookstore.

The backyard is filled with more figures — plus Milwaukee Harp Street lights, an old City of Milwaukee emergency call box, a traffic signal, and a large, pointed pink gazebo from an establishment we do not remember.

The collection has attracted so much attention that Serocki has grown to look forward to Sunday afternoons chatting with strangers about their memories.

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