The Carriage Works Bldg
& Rock County Brewing Co.
Story by Teresa Nguyen
“Being downtown, we’re in the historic heart of Janesville. And I like to believe we help give people a greater sense of pride in this city.” ~ Andy Walker
The old Carriage Works Building and Rock County Brewing Company
The Early Years
During the late 1800’s, two competing companies, the Janesville Carriage Works and Wisconsin Carriage Company, dominated carriage and wagon manufacturing in Janesville. Our city was known as a center for the carriage and harness industry!
Janesville Carriage Works
By 1876, Hodge and Buchholz was the largest horse-drawn vehicle manufacturer in Janesville, employing between 15 and 20 workers. By 1886, after Hodge's death, Buchholz continued as president, constructing a larger, three-story, cream city brick factory building at 201-203 E. Milwaukee St.
The building was designed as an Italianate styled industrial building featuring a rectangular shaped plan configuration, a stone foundation, cream brick and cararra glassed exterior, wood and stone trim, and a ceramic tiled flat roof.
In 1893, the business became the Janesville Carriage Works, manufacturing carriages, omnibuses, wagonettes and even hearses!
Carriage Works Building logo on the north exterior of the building
They also built custom milk, bakery, and other specialty wagons that were sold throughout the United States and in Germany, Scotland and India!
1919, General Motors Corporation purchased Janesville Carriage Works, and for a time, Samson Tractor engineering occupied the factory building.