Siwek’s collection moves to Little Log House Pioneer Village, open this weekend only!
Select pieces hand-picked by the Siwek family will be preserved in a new museum at the Little Log House Pioneer Village south of Hastings.
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In 1933, in the depths of the Great Depression, Joseph and Frances Siwek began what is now SIWEK LUMBER & MILLWORK, INC. The young family, newly married with a young baby, Joe Jr., struggled to make it. Unemployment peaked at nearly 25%, jobs were scarce, and Joe, Sr layed-off from his job at the railroad, began the unimaginable – a new business.
Given permission from his former employer, Joe, Sr began dismantling “retired” wooden boxcars, bundled the scraps and pedaled them as heating firewood. Loose coal along the rail lines also was packaged and re-sold to families desperate to heat their homes. Times were tough, but so were the Siwek’s. An important work ethic was born.