Just on the east side of Fort Calhoun is Fort Atkinson State Historical Park. Fort Atkinson has the distinction of being the first United States Army post established west of the Missouri river. The fort was established in 1819, then later abandoned in 1827. Up to 1200 U.S. Army soldiers were garrisoned at Fort Atkinson. The fort also served as a trading post, which also hosted traders, trappers, and other frontier people. Many famous western explorers passed through Fort Atkinson. Fort Atkinson has also been credited by the Nebraska State Legislature as the first town in the state, founded almost thirty years prior to the creation of the Nebraska Territory.
The 1904 brick building that is now Too Far North was once a saloon built by the Metz Brewing Company of Omaha. You can still see the faded paint advertising Metz Beer on the south side of the building.
The Metz Brothers Brewing Company was among the first brewers in the U.S. state of Nebraska, having been established in the city of Omaha in 1859. It was among the earliest manufacturers in the city. After originally opening as the McCumbe Brewery, the facility was sold several times until brothers Frederick and Philip Metz purchased it in 1861. Metz was one of the “Big 4″ brewers located in Omaha, which also included the Krug, Willow Springs and Storz breweries.
In 1880 the Metz Brewery was located at 1717 South 3rd Street in Omaha, and was producing 12,400 barrels per year. Later the facility moved to 209 Hickory Street into the former Willow Springs Distilling Company facility. Considered to be modern for the time, the facilities sat on an entire city block. Early brewing equipment included three cooling vaults, two of which were twenty feet wide by seventy-five feet long, and one smaller, being twenty feet wide by thirty in length. The ice rooms immediately above were of the same dimensions. The mash tub and brewing kettle each had a capacity for holding one hundred barrels. Barns for the delivery horses were also located on site. The brewery was said to have “no equal in the country.” The Metz brothers also ran the Metz Brothers Beer Hall, located on 510 South Tenth Street, where beer was supplied in barrels by horse-drawn cart from the main brewery.
The Metz Brewery closed because of the Prohibition. The facility was sold to an agriculture company in 1920. The label was brewed until 1961 by the Walter Brewing Company of Pueblo, Colorado.