Return of “The Mud”

Today is the one year anniversary of one of the “most read” posts we have published on this blog.  It was simply titled, The Mud.  It was an article that told the history of a local establishment which at the time of its writing was called the Mississippi Mud Saloon.


Over the years, this building has had several names and even a few different types of businesses occupying its walls.  As near as I can tell, it started as a hardware store.  It was once operated by a Weber family.  Here is a photo of what it once looked like as a hardware store.

Weber Hardware King

And here is a photo I took yesterday.


In the time between last year’s article and now, the Mississippi Mud Saloon closed its doors.  Many locals were disappointed in the fact that a local eatery was no longer available, especially since the Mud put out some pretty good food.  A certain clientele missed their weekly liver & onions specials.  And to add to that, Altenburg was in that regrettable position where it did not have a local establishment called a bar, saloon, tavern, etc.  The city of Altenburg has historically always had at least one of these establishments within its city limits.

One of the notable names for this building in year’s past was Johnny’s Place.  Here is a photo of the building during the era when Johnny Voepel ran the business.  Johnny is standing on the left.

Johnny's Place Ruehling

Then again, for a short time it was a variety store operated by Ottbert Theodore Dobrenz.  Here we see him standing inside his store, so we get an opportunity to see the interior of this building.

Ottbert Doberenz store
Ottbert Doberenz store

I like this old photo of a downtown Altenburg street scene.

Fritsche & Noennig store circa 1915

It shows the Fritsche Noennig Store in the foreground, and the Old Bank in the background.  The Old Bank was built in 1910, so we know this photo was taken sometime after that, but I suspect it wasn’t long after.  The building highlighted in today’s post can be seen in between the store and the bank.  So we know the building once housing The Mud is now well over 100 years old.  Here is a photo I took yesterday of this area of downtown Altenburg.


Now on to the reason why I am once again writing about The Mud today.  A lot of exciting projects are going on in and around Altenburg these days.  We are nearing the time when there will be a brewery operating in town.  We have a new car wash being constructed here.  And The Mud has new owners who are renovating this old building with the intentions of opening its doors to the public again in the near future.  The new owners are in the Grayson family from Wittenberg, and there are definite signs that progress is being made in getting this building ready for reopening.


I was able to get a few photos of the progress being made inside the building yesterday as well.


And another.


There is plenty of “talk” circulating around town about this new business coming to town.  There is speculation about what it will be called.  There is speculation about what kind of beer will be on tap.  There is speculation about the type and quality of the food they may have.

I know that I am happy that Altenburg does not appear to be becoming a ghost town.  I like it that many of our old buildings have already been restored to once again be the homes for businesses that are doing quite well.  I also know that all of this economic activity is good for our museum.

The East Perry Community Fair is just around the corner.  If you decide to join the many thousands of others who are planning to come into town for that event, check out some of the several new changes coming to this wonderful little town.  And, of course, stop by the museum while you’re here.


6 thoughts on “Return of “The Mud”

  1. The other man in the picture with Johnnie Voepel (he was always called Johnnie) was Mike Wille ftom Denver, Iowa. He and his wife were visiting my family. His wife, Cindy, and my mother were best friends growing up and remained so their entire life.


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