Sprau’s Ice Cream and Bottling Works was located at the northwest corner of Hill and Ferry Streets and opened in 1914. It was also the office for Monroe Transfer and Fuel Co. The now-remodeled building, which turns 100 years old this year, is the home of Monroe Auto Body.
Regarding the photo of the outside of the building, Dave Sprau wrote: It’s the Sprau Ice Cream and Bottling Company alright, but the reason for the transfer and fuel sign being visible on top is, in early twenties AB Sprau bought Monroe Transfer and Fuel whose coal and wood lot was next to the RR tracks west of the Lewis Street crossing, from Fenno K Swan. The Ice cream/bottling factory was already well known and had gold leaf lettering on the windows identifying itself, and to show that although the coal and wood lot location remained unchanged (forever), this was now the new HQ and office for Monroe Tfr. and Fuel, they simply mounted that sign over the front entrance. The two businesses were always operated as separate entities for tax purposes but were one and the same otherwise. The glass brick work you see at the building to this day was done during a 1944 remodel. The NE corner of the bldg. also had public cold storage lockers installed about that same time. From left to right (Unidentified), Maybe Arthur Broughton, then Art Ren, Ernie Hewitt (Leonard Hewitt and I are in agreement that those two might be backwards, we just can’t tell for sure), Merle Sprau, Levina Sprau, tentatively Maxine Hewitt (Ernie’s daughter & Levina’s niece), and AB Sprau.
Photo 1421 (outside view) was taken in approximately 1916. Photo 1437 (inside) was taken in the early 1920s.
Monroe Historical Society Photos 1421 (outside) and 1437 (inside). If you know more about this picture, please contact the Monroe Historical Society at (360) 217-7223.