"Ghost" communities featured
The McHenry County Joint Council of Historic Groups was able arrange a special tour.
The 1888 summer home of Chicago beer magnate Conrad Seipp is a Queen Anne masterpiece. Seipp emigrated from Langen, Germany, and built one of the largest breweries in America - producing more than 100,000 barrels a year. Grain and coal shortages during World War I stifled Seipp's production before the enactment of Prohibition in 1919 dealt a devastating blow to the beer industry as a whole. The company limped along through the Prohibition years by producing low-alcohol “near bear” and distributing soda pop. Ironically, Seipp operations ceased in 1933, just before Prohibition was lifted. The brewery was destroyed that year to make room for a new hospital. In 2005, Seipp's great-grandson donated the property to the state of Wisconsin. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.
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