Business People Fall 2018 - Page 12

NEW BUSINESS get it going to the next floor. Even when electricity came to Ottumwa, no one thought to electrify the man-sized dumb- waiter. "That's probably the original rope," guessed Olson. "You can see where it's been spliced together for repairs." He also knows when electric- ity first came to Ottumwa: The brothers arrived about 1903, and they loved state-of-the-art everything. When someone decided bicy- cles didn't need a huge front wheel to operate correctly, the brothers rushed out to buy themselves modern bicycles. One brother became well- known as a bicyclist, racing on a public track that drew spec- tators on the other side of Ottumwa. "There were bleachers," said Olson. "And there may have been more than one track." Soon, the brothers sold bicy- cles and tobacco, plus ice cream. Then, they went to the fair; a carnival was demonstrat- ing something even more mod- ern than a bike with tires of about the same size. "It was an electric light. Probably just an [arc] light with electricity, but they were hooked." The guys had to get them- selves one. After about a year — and an in-person journey to New Jersey — the Pallister Brothers brought home the first electric light in all of Ottumwa. It was operated by having a steady stream of water pour onto what was probably a tiny spinning paddle wheel. It's stories like that which make him remember the sad- ness he felt when historic but vacant buildings were being torn down in the 1970s. So much had happened within those now-vanished walls. Those stories just stopped. Maybe, since he'd practiced rebuilding a few dilapidated houses, he was ready for a small building. "I'm not an expert, but I can do some things," he said. He acquired the building and went to work. He cleaned for days, weeks even. He pulled up bland floor coverings to reveal a wooden warehouse floor. So many layers had been put over it, he needed a pair of pli- ers and the patience of an archeologist to pull one bent nail out of the floor at a time. He said if there weren't hun- dreds of nails, then it was a thousand. He didn't just want to fix the building and rent it out. He wanted to work it. When it met his standards, he turned the front into a taproom. In the back, he makes up to six batches of homemade beer. And he named his brewery for the inspirational entrepreneurs who owned the structure from 1903-25. "It's a brew pub, a taproom, that opened in April," he said. "It's the only one in Ottumwa. Six beers on tap. We're open four days a week. It's kind of a quiet, adult place; and we sup- port downtown Ottumwa." The seating varies inside the taproom. The decor runs toward historic. And the floor is, as far as the owner can tell, the original warehouse floor from when the structure was put up in the 1880s. It was under several layers of linoleum and other material. Ride with the #1 car insurer in Iowa. Jim Carnahan, Agent 522 Richmond Avenue Ottumwa, IA 52501 Bus: 641-682-3447 www.jcarnahaninsurance.com 1001142.1 With competitive rates and personal service, it’s no wonder more drivers trust State Farm . Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there. CALL FOR A QUOTE 24/7. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, State Farm Indemnity Company, Bloomington, IL ® ® 230 TURNER DRIVE 641-684-4606