Seven miles north of Green Bay in the town of Suamico, lies a complex of exciting shops. Vickery Village was founded in 1972 when Pat Henry and her husband, Jerry, purchased the Weed Mill Lumber Inn and saved it from demolition. The Henrys moved it to its current site and restored it to the present condition. Gradually the village grew with each addition and renovation.
The site of Vickery Village is in what was a portion of early Suamico’s business district. Prior to the advent of the railroad the area business supplied the mills, farmers, fishermen and families. In the 1870’s the railroad brought a new dimension which allowed Suamico business to expand their markets. The village now sits on this once busy railroad yard.
The cornerstone of Vickery Village is the General Store, now home to Chives Restaurant. The building, which is on the original site, has been in the Vickery family since 1905. The motto of Jim Vickery best illustrates the role of the general store in the community. “We sincerely try to be of service to you by buying what you sell and selling what you buy.”
The Weed Mill Inn (now home to the Village Mane Salon) was built by the Weed Brothers in 1862 to serve the needs of the mill. The structure style and the fact that it is one of the very few buildings tied into the lumber mill. The structure style and the fact that it is one of the very few buildings tied into the lumber mill to have survived the Suamico fire (an off shoot of the Peshtigo Fire) in 1871 and has led to its being placed on the National Registry of Historic Places.
This pre turn of the century house was build by the railroad as a home for the station master. It was essential he be available at all hours to serve the needs of the 20 plus trains passing through the Suamico depot. The former occupants would be pleased to see that the integrity of the interiors have been maintained and is still near the old depot location.
The old Suamico Town Hall, circa 1885, is the setting of many debates, decisions and of the seat of town government for over 85 years. The building was purchased in 1978 and moved about ¾ of a mile to the present site.
The platform used for voting and by town officials remains in the building. Every effort was made to maintain the integrity of this seat of town government.
The Wine Pine School, originally located five miles southwest of Vickery Village, was built in 1878, at a cost of $500. In the minutes of the school board dated 1877 it was decided to call it Davidson School, (Davidson being a lumberman who provided much of the pine). The name was later changed to White Pine in honor of the great Suamico ‘pinery’. The school was purchased by the Henrys in the bicentennial year, 1976.
It’s opening in 1979 brought many anecdotes from former students, the most common which was about the two front doors – one for boys and one for girls.
The Henrys acquired this wood caboose in 1982 and had it moved to its current setting. This 1896 caboose was noted in a back issue of the Soo Line Historical Society as one of several built in Cincinnati, Ohio. The bunks, ice box, table and stove no longer exist. However, as one sits in the cupola and watches a train roll past, you get a real feel for railroading.
The Depot building that sits next to the Soo Line Caboose is now home to KLEM Photography.