Eagle Brewery

June 11, 2019

The Eagle Brewery was probably Jacksonville’s first brewery, in operation no later than 1856 on the block between Main and California streets that now houses the Orth Building. By 1859 the Brewery was in existence at its current location, 355 S. Oregon Street, and under the ownership of German-born Joseph Wetterer. Two years later Wetterer “commenced the building of a large beer saloon in front of his brewery.” For the next 18 years, Wetterer and his wife Fredericka (show here) ran the saloon, advertising “the best lager beer in Southern Oregon.” Little is known of Wetterer; he seems to have been uninvolved in the town’s social, political or fraternal activities, and does not even appear to have owned a liquor license. Fredericka continued operating the brewery for a period after Wetterer’s death in 1879, but by 1892 the Eagle Brewery and its complex of buildings containing the “malt kiln,” “mash tub,” “cooler,” “furnace heat,” and “beer kettle” were no longer in operation, the saloon stood vacant, and the property was labeled “dilapidated” on local maps. In the 1960s, the complex became the studio and residence of nationally known artist Eugene Bennett, a far cry from its more raucous years as one of Jacksonville’s earliest saloons. It now serves as a private residence.

Eagle Brewery