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Lewis F. Meyers and J.G. Haigis Meat wagon, Buckland, Mass., circa 1910
TitleLewis F. Meyers and J.G. Haigis Meat wagon, Buckland, Mass., circa 1910
Full Size Image
SubjectMeyers, Lewis or Louis F., 1889-1981; Haigis, J. G.; Horse-drawn vehicles; Butchers--United States; Meat industry and trade--Massachusetts.; Delivery of goods; Buckland (Mass.); Shelburne Falls (Mass.)
DescriptionMan donned in white apron standing next to the horse-drawn delivery wagon with J.G. Haigis Meat sign is identified as Lewis Meyers. (Most historical records show spelling as Louis Meyers.) J. G. Haigis operated a butcher shop on Bridge Street in Shelburne Falls from about 1900 to 1915. The photo probably dates to about 1910 when horses were still a regular mode of transportation in the area. According to the U.S. Federal Census, Louis Meyers, a resident of Buckland, Mass., was a 20 year old clerk in a meat market at that time. Meyers was born 26 March 1889 in Shelburne Falls, Mass. to parents who emigrated from Germany. Records indicate that Meyers married shortly after the 1910 census. In 1917 he was living in Jaffrey, N.H. as a self employed merchant. He lived in California as well, but returned to the Buckland/Shelburne Falls area in 1967. He and his wife Helen never had children. Meyers died in Buckland, Mass. on 11 July 1981. Haigis brand meats were well known and in demand long after this photo was taken. Haigis Bologna, made from an old secret recipe originating in Germany, was especially sought after. According to The History of Buckland Volume II by Beulah Cross, it was shipped across the USA as well as to destinations as far away as Ethiopia. The last merchant to sell Haigis Bologna was Halberg's Market located on State Street in Buckland from about 1937 until they closed their doors on 1 January 1977. Walter Halberg bought the store from Sumner and Temple after working there for seven years. According to family tradition, at that time the recipe for Haigis Bologna was in the possession of another Sumner and Temple employee, John Strohecker who in the early 1930's, had purchased the formula and brought it from Germany. It's also possible that Mr. Strohecker obtained the Haigis Bologna formula from J. G. Haigis when he bought the Haigis meat market in 1915, or Stohecker could have gained access to the recipe sometime after he joined the Haigis family, as he had married Emma Haigis on 17 January 1900. In any case, the recipe came to be in the possession of Mr. Stohecker and ultimately with the Halberg's. To this day it has never been duplicated -it remains a tightly kept secret. The ingredients that comprised this meat were scraps of high quality beef, salt, water, and spices. The beef was ground through a 3-foot long cylinder about five or six inches in diameter, and came out of a one inch tube as a soft mixture. The salt, water, and spices were mixed together with the beef mixture and boiled for several hours. The bologna was then put into cases made from the lining of cow's throat, which came from Swift Company in Greenfield, Mass. Lastly, these tubes of bologna were smoked for many hours in a small smoke house in back of the market. The mixture was made in large amounts--from 75 to 100 pounds at a time. The whole process took over 12 hours from start to finish. The bologna stuffer, which can be seen in the Buckland Historical Society's collections, is made of tin and rests on a wooden base. This bologna was in great demand, and people traveled miles to get the product. It is fondly remembered and it has often been said that it was the quality of the meat and some very special spices that made Haigis Bologna so spectacular in taste.
RelationFrom the collections of the Buckland Historical Society, Inc., P.O. Box 88, Buckland, MA, 01338,
Coverage42.60 N, 72.77 W
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