Holstein's Garage 1906
signed by Ronald "Corky" Holstein in '99
The Holstein brothers came to Wheaton from a Bloomingdale Township farm home in 1892. At the time, the business built and repaired wagons, buggies, stage coaches and steam engines.
In 1912, Holsteins built a new garage and machine shop on Railroad Avenue (Front Street) west of Wheaton Avenue. They built a storage garage adjacent to the original building in the early 1920s. They sold Cadillac, Nash and DeSoto automobiles and Dodge International Trucks.
Since most Wheaton homes did not have garages in the 1920s, automobile owners stored their vehicles at Holstein's Garage which was manned 24 hours a day. Red Grange stored his car there. Emil Holstein taught some residents how to drive including members of the Chicago Golf Club.
The machine shop at Holstein's
The Holsteins were also inventors. Frank, Sr. invented a wash machine for the garage. His son, Frank, Jr. built a firetruck for the fire department. The metal frame of the dish for Grote Reber's radio telescope were cut and drilled in Holstein's machine shop. Frank Jr. built the turntable for the dish, using a truck's universal joint as one of its parts. He also helped with the ring gear for the Hubble telescope. He also helped developed a stone and salt grinding tip for Mark Morton of Morton Salt Company.
The Holsteins have been active members of the Wheaton Fire Department since their arrival in town. In 1972 Mark Sr. became the fourth generation to serve with the department and has since retired in 2003.
Mark Jr. has been an active memeber of the Winfield Fire Department for over 15 years.
Holstein's Garage is one of the oldest family owned businesses in the city. It is the oldest repair shop in Wheaton.