Hynite was originally a manufacturer of “100 proof sour mash whiskey, bonded whiskey, bourbon whiskey, and gin” called Lakeside Distillery built in 1892 by P.R. and John Francis Carroll- hence why the surrounding “company town” was named Carrollville. The workers were said to have been given a “quart of whiskey per day” as a “token of management’s regard for workers’ welfare”. In 1919, Lakeside Distillery shuttered because of Prohibition and was bought by the Milwaukee tanning industry as a partnership to process animal “tankage” and scrap leather into high nitrogenous fertilizer, hence the patented name “Hynite”. Tankage is the blood, bones and other animal by-products left over from the tanning process which was moved by rail called ‘gut cars’ from Milwaukee. Note that US Glue Company was built in 1899 by the investments of “17 prominent tanning industries from Wisconsin, Michigan and Illinois” and was bought by Peter Cooper Glue during the Great Depression in 1933. Peter Cooper was the brilliant mind behind America’s first steam locomotive he built by hand called the “Tom Thumb”, the first to turn anthracite coal into iron and invented gelatin (what we know today as ‘Jell-o’). Peter Cooper Glue Co. worked with Hynite to create different types of glues and gelatin.
Residents at the time of full operation, spoke of the entire site as a place of unbearable stench which turned the air “pink” and clothes a “distinct rust color”. Hynite opened in 1919 and shuttered around 2002 because the “cost for shipping the feed and fertilizer became more expensive than what the product was worth”. The once convenient shore line location would eventually be this company’s demise.
The story of this industrial site and how it is directly responsible for the creation of South Milwaukee is incredible. It was the oldest building and last of its kind on this stretch of lakeside land- the very first industry in this area. Lots of strange and beautiful Cream City brick and architecture is now lost forever after demolition took place, but thankfully burned into my memory. #abandonedplaces #bpa_urbex #abandon_af #abandoned_excellence #cityexplore #decay_nation #forein #teddsterpinx