All posts for the month June, 2015

Ok time for a short break from Lansing Illustrated 1889 series.

Brewery S Washington

An architectural rendering of the Capital Brewing Company

In 1907 a new brewery was planned for the city of Lansing. Many prominent men in Lansing were involved in the planning and finance of this new company and in less then 30 days the dream was gone and the business was never started.

On November 5 1907 the Lansing Journal announced that a new brewery would be formed in Lansing with a capitalization of $150,000 of which $75,000 was already collected. The officers of the company were President, John H. Algate, Vice President, G.H. Ziegler, Secretary, C.J. Prost and Treasurer, Henry Russell.[1] They assisted by Alexander A. Fordon of Detroit who was to be the manager of the new company.[2] The brewery was to have a capacity of between 25,000 and 30,000 barrels a year.[3]

Later in November the Lansing Journal announced that the brewery would be located on the southwest corner of Washington Avenue and South Street, and would have a frontage on Washington Avenue of 124 feet and 144 feet on South Street extending to the banks of the Grand River.[4] President Algate announced that an agreement had been reached with the property owner, Herbert E. Johnson. The Brewery was to be four stories with an artificial ice plant and cooperage; it was to be a miniature Anheuser Busch plant. Ground was to be broken in March 1908.

Later on December 19, 1907, new Board of Directors and new officers were elected for the Capital Brewing Company. The new Board consisted of, G.H. Ziegler, Herbert E. Johnson, C.J. Prost, H. Russell and A.A. Fordon. [5] The new officers were President, G.H. Ziegler, Vice President, Herbert E. Johnson, Secretary, C.J. Prost and Treasurer, Henry Russell. There is no indication why John H. Algate was removed from his position. The last mention we have of the brewery was in the State Republican 12/24/1908, which stated that another $15,000 in stock was subscribed, the greater part going to local persons.

Just why wasn’t the brewery built has eluded me. It may have been a result of the Panic of 1907, a severe monetary contraction, due to a run on the Knickerbocker Trust Company in October of 1907 which resulted in the failure of many state and local banking institutions.

© Lost Lansing 2015

Coming soon a History of Lansing early breweries.


[1] John H. Algate listed as a carpenter in the 1908 City Directory. Gottlieb H. Ziegler is listed in 1908 as being a dealer in hides and furs. In 1908 Charles J. Prost ran a sample room, a beer saloon. Henry Russell was running City Bottling works in 1908.

[2] Mr. Fordon is listed in the Detroit Blue book and seemed to have been an inventor.

[3] The State Republican 11/5/1907 confirms all of the above information.

[4] Block 194 lots 1-2. See LJ 11/18/1907.

[5] Herbert E. Johnson was a real estate agent.