Merrill pub earns statewide recognition - WFXS, MyFoxWausau - News and Weather for Wausau, WI

Merrill pub earns statewide recognition

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MERRILL (WAOW) -

Beth Humphrey says there's always been something special about the building home to Humphrey's Pub, 500 W. Main Street, in Merrill.

"I've always loved this building" Humphrey said.

She says the pub has gone by different names since it opened 107 years ago, but one thing has never changed.   

"This bar has never not been a bar" Humphrey said.

And that's where history comes alive.  From the tile floors to the gold tin ceiling, stained glass windows to ornate woodwork, the finishings in this building are original to 1905. 

"We've been trying to maintain it as much as we can and then trying to keep the look of the original building as much as we can."

That has caught the attention of the Wisconsin Historical Society.  The group chose the pub as the sole representative from Lincoln County to earn a place in its book "Bottoms Up".  The writing chronicles pubs and taverns in the state that work to preserve history. 

"In the front of the bar there's a line, like a flaw in the floor.  When the bar was first built, there was a law passed that they had to put up a wall so that women and children couldn't see what was going on in the bar itself" Humphrey said. 

Though times have changed, Humphrey says the pub is still a place to enjoy.

"When you walk in everybody knows everybody.  It's that kind of place" Humphrey said.

And that camaraderie is keeping this pint sized piece of history alive.

The Wisconsin Historical Museum, 30 N. Carroll Street, Madison, has an exhibit that compliments its newly published book. 

The exhibit runs until March 23rd.

For more information follow this link: www.historicalmuseum.wisconsinhistory.org.

Copies of "Bottoms Up" are for sale at Humphrey's Pub in Merrill and at local bookstores.

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