Welcome to Couderay

Couderay was once a boom town, providing services to those who worked at the sawmill and in the woods. Later, small businesses popped up and supplied a living to many residents. This isn't an exhaustive list:

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Argetsinger's IGA

Longstanding business on the corner of Highway 27-70 and County CC, the store closed in the 1980s. The building is now the home of a new venture, Couderay Caskets.

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Badger Boats

Many people in northern Wisconsin still fish from the quality canoes produced by this Couderay business owned and operated by David Nordgren from 1963 to 1991.

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Cave's Tavern

All I know about Cave's Tavern was from my Dad's recollection. It apparently was a hotel as well, and appears in early photos of Couderay.

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Couderay State Bank

C.M. Olson mentions in his "A Few Facts About Couderay" pamphlet that a bank charter had been applied for and, while I have no photo of the bank, it appears that a number of shares in the bank were sold.

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Hitch 'n' Hoist/Charlie's Bar

Once owned and operated by Charlie Allison, the Hitch 'n' Hoist has been a semi-regular business in Couderay over the past 40 years.

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Keystone Bar/Silver Fox

The Keystone Bar was a central gathering place in Couderay for many years, and later became the Silver Fox, before burning down in the mid-1980s. Its facade of native stone still stands along 27-70 in Couderay, awaiting development.

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Maercklein's Drug Store

I don't have a photo of this early Couderay business, but this sign indicates that the town once had a very valuable asset. Does anyone remember it?

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The Pub 'n' Grub Tavern

This tavern, located right along Highway 27-70, has had a number of closings and reopenings over the years.

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The Pixie Club

The Pixie Club served as the site of many a social gathering in Couderay, including wedding receptions, dances and smaller events.

Nancy Breezee (formerly Johnson), originally of Couderay, remembers that Perry and Velma Apfel sold the Keystone Bar to John Bornheimer on April 28, 1945, then purchased the Casino Dance Hall, located near Stone Lake.

"Perry, my Dad (Clarence R. Johnson), and Charlie Allison from Charlie's Bar, along with his son-in-law, did the labor of transporting the building to Couderay." she recalls. "My Dad took his chainsaw and sawed the building into three sections. He started cutting the building at the ground, cutting up the wall, over the roof and down the other side, making smaller sections to move.

"The men then moved all three sections to the current location in Couderay from Stone Lake. Dad, Charlie and Perry assembled the dance hall. The story is that no one could ever tell where the building had been cut with the chainsaw and reassembled by Clarence Johnson.

"Dorthy Christenson, from Northwestern University art Department, drew the Pixie Girls in the Dance Hall.

"Perry and Velma held their Grand Opening on the Labor Day weekend of 1946, featuring Irv Williams & His Ten-Piece Ex-Navy Orchestra, with vocalist Judy Perkins."

2023 Jeff Scharlau.