Ozaukee Press Bicentennial CollectionOzaukee Press December 23, 1976
Trapped Trio (above): Trapped by the ice in the Port Washington harbor, the Smith Bros., Ewig and H. Van Ells fishing tugs sent smoke skyward about 1910. Photo courtesy of Dan Smith.
Chub Fishing Heyday (above): There was a time when box upon box of chubs were unloaded each day from Smith Bros. tugs. Handling a day's catch are, from left, Dick Mulligan and the late Captain Richard (Nigger) Nagrocki and Albert (Butch) Witte. The chubs were taken from the dock to the smoke house across the west slip where they were processed for distribution throughout the midwest. When this photograph was taken in the late 1960's chub fishing was in its last days of glory. Like Nagrocki and Witte, chub fishing is dead. Photo courtesy of Smith Bros.
When Disaster Struck. Flood! The Creek Became a Raging River (above): Torrential rains caused extensive flooding of Sauk Creek in August, 1924. Along the west basin of Port Washington's harbor, many buildings were destroyed, including two Ewig's fishhouses, a Smith Bros. building, and the Leopold Eidenberfer home. In addition, the Wisconsin St. Bridge was almost completely demolished, and hundreds of dollars of fisherman's equipment was swept into the lake and could not be recovered. This view, looking east, shows the demolished wall on the north side of the creek and the lighthouse near the center of the picture. Photo courtesy of Mrs. William Skruby.
When Disaster Struck. Flood! Peninsula in Ruin (above): The flood left the peninsula along the west slip in ruin, though the big shanty at the right, which stands today, survived. This picture offers an interesting view of Grand Ave. and some houses that have since been razed. Photo courtesy of Smith Bros.
When Disaster Struck. Fire! The Way It Was (above): Until the fire of 1953 Smith Bros. Fish Shanty restaurant occupied this landmark building at the corner of Grand Ave. and Franklin St. Inside, hard wood floors, dark wood walls and a plethora of authentic fishing artifaces fave the place an atmosphere evocative of the fishing life. When it burned down, the present restaurant was built on the same site. Photo courtesy of Smith Bros.
When Disaster Struck. Fire! Total Loss (above): The fire started between 1 and 2 a.m. Nov. 17, 1953 and quickly spread through the five dining rooms, kitchen, bar, and market of the Smith Bros. complex. though Port firemen pumped an estimated one million gallons of water from the harbor, the blaze was uncontrollable and the building was judge a complete loss. Three firemen, Bob Stone, Art Mueller and Beany Ryer, were hurt fighting the fire. Photo courtesy of Smith Bros.
The Harbor, 30 Years Ago (above): Just after World War II the west slip of the Port Washington harbor had a quant look, enhanced by a large number of fishing boats and shanties, weathered and learning, that seemed to exude character. Photo courtesy of Smith Bros.
Iced In (above): The Port Washington harbor doesn't freeze over but prolonged easterly winds can accomplish the same thing by choking it with slush ice. In this photograph, tugs were held firm at their moorings by the ice glut, but one, in the background, attempted to maneuver around the slip.
The Lakeís Bounty (above); Thousands of pounds of succulent lake trout were removed daily from pound nets set by the Port Washington fishing fleet. Today net fishing for lake trout is illegal. Photo courtesy of Smith Bros.
Gutting the Catch (above); Fish were dressed shortly after they were scooped from the pound nets. Photo courtesy of Smith Bros.
Shore Work (above); Much of the work of fishing was done on shore. Smith Bros. shore men reeled nets at the tip of the peninsula at the west slip. Photo courtesy of Smith Bros.
Killer Eel (above); A slimy, evil looking and evil acting eel migrated into the Great Lakes through the Welland Canal. The lamprey eel attacks all fish, including chubs such as in this picture, but lake trout were its prime target. The declining Lake Michigan fishery was dealt a death blow in the 1950ís. Commercial fishing on the lake has never recovered, although sports fishing is slowly regaining ground because of the expenditure of millions of dollars to kill off the lamprey and stock the lake with imported fish stock.