The Inspector

By NPI, Inc.



Haunted Places Series: The Brumder Mansion

 October 18, 2021 |  Holiday, Just for Fun |  entertaining, fall, Haunted Places Series

Location: Milwaukee, WI
Architectural Style: Victorian/Gothic/Arts and Crafts
Built: 1910

For our third stop on our haunted tour, we hop back stateside to “The Badger State” and the historic city of Milwaukee. Nearly 200 years old, Milwaukee is home to some of the most well-crafted buildings in the area. The influence of the city’s German immigrant population and their culture can still be seen today. And perhaps even some of this location’s old residents can be spotted walking around as well.

The Brumder Jewel
Nearly 8,000 square feet, the Brumder Mansion was completed in 1910. Its features include five guest rooms, a hand-carved oak staircase, spa tubs, and a large recreation center. The home was the brainchild of George Brumder Sr., who gained his wealth from publishing German literature. George Sr. intended the home to be a gift for his son and business partner George Jr., but the patriarch would die shortly before construction was completed. George Jr. lived in the mansion for 12 years with his wife, Thekla, and their three children, Edward, George, and Henriette. George’s mother and his sister would also come to live in the house a few years later. After the death of George’s mother, he decided to sell the ornate dwelling to some seemingly inconspicuous characters.

Mobsters and Milwaukee
Sam and Ed Pick purchased the property from the Brumders, and used it for several nefarious ventures. Being the early 20s, America’s culture boom was just beginning to roar. However, organized crime was also experiencing a boom. The Picks had ties to the infamous crime kingpin Al Capone, and used the house for several of their “investments.” They set up a speakeasy in the basement rec room and hosted many high-profile mobsters. Gambling and drinking took place around the clock, thanks to the Picks buying off the local law. Sam Pick soon began to shift attention to his new Club Madrid, leaving the underground speakeasy without managerial supervision. This led to the establishment growing out of control. Jaded gamblers would draw weapons on each other, and not everyone would make it out safely--or even alive.

The Mansion Post-Mob
As the craze of the Roaring 20s began to wind down, so too did Sam Pick’s business. Sam and his brother were eventually driven out of town by a rival gang and were forced to put the mansion up for sale. The new owners, an English couple, would use the home as a business, but this time it’d be legitimate. The Brumder Mansion would be turned into a boarding house that was also used by nearby Marquette University students. In 1948, Our Saviors Lutheran Church turned the home into a parsonage and meeting center. It then became a home for wayward youth in the 60s. After belonging to the Church for many years, they eventually parted ways with Brumder Mansion in the 90s, and the home was bought and transformed into a bed and breakfast.

Ghoulish Guests
With so much that’s gone on inside the Brumder Mansion, pieces of its history appear to linger today. Different local and national paranormal groups have captured evidence of inexplicable happenings, and there are multiple testimonies from patrons and workers. Along with strange voices and creepy noises, several spirits have been personally identified. Suzanne was the Brumder family’s housekeeper, and still cares for the estate. She’s been spotted (as a floating orb mostly) in the Gold Suite, working to keep the house in perfect order. Dogs and clumsy guests beware! 

  • Suzanne has a short temper with messy individuals and will likely yell at you to leave the house. Lorraine worked for the Pick brothers in their speakeasy where she’d kick out unruly drinkers and keep order with the patrons. Today she lingers around the Emma Room, and you might feel her sitting on your bed if you stay the night. 
  • Lorraine is also protective of the staff and even likes to help people find items they’ve misplaced. Evalyn is believed to have been the wife of Ed Pick. Like Lorraine, she’s a caring soul who enjoys helping the living. 
  • Evalyn had a daughter named Sarah, but she sadly passed away at a young age of a fever. 
  • Carolyn may have bought the mansion after the Picks, and she prefers the Gold and George Suites. If you’re not paying attention, she’ll surprise you by pulling a harmless prank. 
  • Elizabeth was Carolyn’s mother, and she is another calm spirit. Investigators have noted a warm presence when talking to her. 
  • Timmy is a childlike entity who can be felt throughout the home. He likes to keep an eye on everyone that comes and goes and might try to get you to play with him. 
  • “The Good Doctor” is an old, gray spirit that still likes to be the life of the party. He makes playful sounds and will even joke around with his fellow ghostly friends. 
  • Doug was the property’s handyman and caretaker. He moves items around and still checks that everything is running smoothly. 
  • Joe or “Big Louie” worked as an enforcer for the Picks. Sometimes the shadowy outline of a large man is spotted in the left corner of the theater, watching performances. 
  • Mike also worked security with Joe and carried an intimidating sidearm. He still guards the underground entrance to the speakeasy, and while he has a temper, he gets along with Timmy.

Bed, Breakfast, BOO!
While there is tons of activity at the Brumder Mansion, the majority is harmless, ghostly fun. Today, the Brumder still operates as a bed and breakfast and has various performances. If you’d like dinner and a show (and maybe even a good fright), book your stay at the Brumder Mansion today!

Don’t get spooked by your new home! Contact National Property Inspections and schedule an inspection today!

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