Information on:

Marthas Midway Tavern

810 West 4th Street
574-255-3575

MARTHA (photos-top left) came to Indiana from Koewacht, Holland in 1920 with her mother, her father - a shoemaker - and five siblings, and married Cyriel Antheunis from Belgium in 1922. He worked at the BALL BAND plant in Mishawaka and Martha worked at WILSON shirt factory until they purchased the MIDWAY in 1924.

Cyriel was a good customer of the MIDWAY, and one day he came in and the owner was mad, claiming he wanted to sell it. Cyriel said he would be interested, but that he had to talk to Martha, who said, "if he wanted to give it a go, they could do it!" For $8,000, at 7% interest, they gave it a go. At the time the MIDWAY had dirt floors and a pot-bellied stove.

Because prohibition was in effect the bar was being run under the name "MIDWAY LUNCH"! They served chicken for 25-cents and near-beer went for a nickel. They also sold bootleg hooch, some Martha made herself and some made on one of the nearby farms. All the moonshine was kept in a garage out back. "She'd would place a glass in her apron," Albertina says is how he mother served illegal alcohol during prohibition. "She'd walk back to the garage, fill it up and bring it back into the bar. She'd have to check to make sure no strangers (or police) had come in before she would serve what had been ordered."


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