Is there a rumor you've heard that you would like to track down? Is there something in the city — like playground equipment or a pothole — that needs to be fixed? Rick Romano answers some of the mysteries of life in Wauwatosa and helps solve everyday problems.

What's the story behind Yale Place?

Issue:A former Tosa resident asked that question, noting the narrow, alley-like street runs west from 68th Street and dead-ends just past 71st Street, between Milwaukee Avenue and Hillcrest Drive.

'Was it an afterthought after the streets were platted to keep houses from being landlocked or is there some other reason that it is not the normal width of a street right of way?'

Status: What is now Yale Place was a pathway in the late 1800s and early 1900s that drew growers of cucumbers from as far away as Mequon and Cedarburg to the Stickney Pickle factory located just north and east of what is now Milwaukee Avenue and 73rd Street. That narrow track was nicknamed Pickle Alley.

Records found at the Wauwatosa Historical Society include a map that shows the Stickney Pickle Co. complex included areas for growing cucumbers, onions and corn as well as an apple orchard.

By the 1930's, the pickle company was a memory. Several local historians have chronicled the rise and fall of Wauwatosa's pickle trade. Those accounts can be found at the Wauwatosa Historical Society. For anyone who wants to delve further into this part of the city's past, call the society at (414) 774-8672 and arrange an appointment to view the records.

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