In 1887 David Heiney traveled with his new wife Emma from Pennsylvania to visit David’s father in Mazomanie, WI, on his honeymoon. While in the area they saw p prospects of establishing their own business: a meat market. Heiney purchased the Piper property, made extensive improvements by adding another story to the residence and altering the existing structure to create the Heiney Meat Market, which opened in 1888.

The business prospered and the need for expansion became obvious. In 1911, Heiney son built the commercial addition to the north of the family home. Over the next 15 years, land around the home/business was purchased and in that time Heiney constructed various buildings, including an icehouse, chicken coops, a lard rendering operation, a smokehouse, and a horse barn. The latter two are the only out buildings which remain.

In 1919, the Heiney Meat Market figured into an important event in the state’s history. A “secret meeting” was held at the market to solicit assistance to the financially troubled Capital Times newspaper. Because of its “muckraking style,” the paper had lost a number of advertisers. The Black Earth gathering raised over $900 in stock pledges and was a crucial step in the newspaper’s financial turnaround.

When David’s son Ervin Heiney married Blanche Turk in 1922, a modern brick house was added to the property at the corner of Mills and P ark Street. When the elder Heiney died in 1926, Erv and his brother Wilford continued to run the Meat Market. The brothers used the same metwurst and bologna recipes that had been handed down in the Heiney family for generations. Upon Erv’s retirement in the 1960s at the age of 81, David W. Heiney’s Meat Market was the oldest family-owned business in Black Earth. Upon his death, the property was purchased by Herman Hoesly and Wendall Anderson and turned into a television repair shop.

In 1977, Carol Schuman and Donna Olbright bought the property and transformed it into the restaurant which exists today. On September 27, 1984, the Heiney’s Meat Market portion of the establishment was named to the National Register of Historic Places.

By Gene Conrad
Capital Times Correspondent

BLACK EARTH—It took two long years of research and struggling with federal red tape, but the popular Cardoon's Meat Market restaurant has finally been listed on the National Register of Historical Buildings

Owners Carol Moeller and Donna Obright recently received word from the State Historical Society of Wisconsin that the restaurant—formerly a meat market and adjacent house—are the first buildings in Black Earth to make the National Register.

“Both my partner and I feel that these buildings have a lot of historical significance and we are very happy that we have been able to retain it and have gotten recognition for that,” said Moeller. “It’s a big thing for the town.”

The buildings are listed by the National Park Service as Heiney’s Meat Market, for D.W. Heiney, who first set up a butcher shop in the basement of a two-story frame house he bought—built in 1860—in the down area on Mills Street. In 1911, he then attached a one-story building to his home for his expanding business.

The butcher shop remained open until the early ‘60s when D.W.’s son, Irv, retired and sold the property. The buildings remained vacant until 1977, when the present owners bought the 3,074 square foot property and set up an antique shop, with Moeller living upstairs in the house.

In 1979, Obright and Moeller decided to go into the restaurant business, “Who knows why!” admits Carol.

They drew up plans for the layout of the supper club to seat 100 people on three levels—the first floor and basement of the house, and the first floor of the meat market—yet maintain the original beauty of the two buildings.

Among the original finishings gently restored are polished oak woodwork, a sculptured tin ceiling and marble chip floor init he old butcher shop.

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David W. Heiney's Dining & Spirits      1221 Mills Street      Black Earth, WI 53515   •   608.767.2501   •   design by