1848 to World War I German/Central European immigration brings sauerkraut to the U.S. Many immigrants choose familiarly-agrarian Waldo, Knox and Lincoln counties to make their new homes.
1910 Virgil Morse delivers a barrel of pickled cabbage to John Gay's store in Waldoboro.
1913 Virgil switches from hand-cutting the cabbage to power. Cabbage slicing is now the only process not horse, human, or fermenting-bacteria powered.
1947 Virgil Jr. purchases Morse's first tractor. Virgil Sr., however, would have nothing to do with the contraption. He preferred to till the 15 acres by horse and plow.
1953 Morse's moves into the current “Kraut Haus” on route 220 which, true to his Yankee form, Virgil Jr. built himself, right down to casting the concrete blocks. The business is mainly wholesale.
1963 Virgil Sr. passes business on to Virgil Jr.
1967 Virgil Jr. is taken ill. His wife, Ethelyn, steps in to help out.
1969 Virgil Jr. dies: Ethelyn leaves her position of Chief Nurse at Damariscotta Hospital to run the business with a staff of 3 employees. Retail and mail order are added.
1976 Production of 60 tons of sauerkraut from a harvest of 200 tons of cabbage is reported by Ethelyn. Each head of Eastern Baldhead, Penn State or Daminsh Baldhead cabbage weighs in at 15-25 pounds.
1977 Morse's 'Kraut sells for 40 cents/pound.
1983 A bumper crop of beets prompts Ethelyn to make her first batch of beet relish named for her mother-in-law's recipe.
1984 2500 jars of Aunt Lydia's now famous beet relish is produced and sold.
1986 'Kraut sells for $1/pound.
1988 Morse's is sold to Commander Cockroft who can't seem to produce a good barrel of kraut or a profit. Ethelyn resumes ownership and operation with her son Dale's help.
1991-1994 Leon Payne, a local businessman and Morse's Sauerkraut fan buys 45 acres of agricultural land with an additional offer to buy the business if it becomes available. Payne closes the sale on Ethelyn's 80th birthday.
1995-1998 Payne adds jams, jellies, honey and a new product, Black Dog Salsa. 'Kraut is $2.15/pound.
September 25, 2000 Jacquelyn Sawyer and David Swetnam buy Morse's Sauerkraut. They begin making their first batch of 'kraut the very next day using the same secret Morse's family recipe David remembered from his childhood visits to the Kraut Haus with his Grandfather, Harold Drewett owner of Rambler Garage in Warren. Garlic sour and sour mustard pickles are soon added.
2002 Kraut House Restaurant opens. Classic European fare can now be had just 7 miles from the fabled Moody's Diner.
2003 Bavarian Pantry opens adding specialty foods to the offerings of 'kraut and pickles.
January, 2015 James Gammon & Cody LaMontagne buy Morse`s Sauerkraut and move into the old Morse farm. With big plans for the future they are excited to continue the tradition of crafting truly artisan sauerkraut, fabulous pickles and a growing selection of specialty grocery.
February, 2015 Dave and Jacquelyn pack up the puppies and head for the west coast, retiring to a life of leisure and many games of fetch.
3856 Washington Road