Historic White House Tavern in Bay View celebrates 120th anniversary

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The Historic White House Tavern in Milwaukee is celebrating a huge milestone - its120th anniversary!

The bar is a Bay View neighborhood landmark, and is one of the oldest watering holes still in operation in Milwaukee.

Just walking through the building can be quite a history lesson!

Sean Raffaelli, the bar's owner, found the original mortgage papers for the tavern in the attic. It was sold for just $29!

The bar has many original features, including the original cooler from the bar, dating back to 1891, and original woodwork from when the building was first built. The year 1890 is even engraved into the woodwork.

Tavern Manager Matt Langoehr says back in the day, the place was likely much more than a tavern, serving as a kind of community center.

"Bars and taverns like this in the 1800s and early 1900s, this was your community center. This is where you met. It would stand to reason that this would be a focal point in people's lives.  They would come here when they first came to town, or first came off the boats on Lake Michigan to trade or just travel. This would be one of their stops, and that fascinates me," Langoehr said.

As part of the 120th anniversary, the bar is collecting non-perishable items for the Hunger Task Force, as a way to give back to the community that has supported it.