Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

100,000 Parts Store Closed, Auction Underway

Owner Dan Wiken passed away in 2021 at the age of 92.

By - May 19th, 2022 02:53 pm
Power Equipment Co. (100,000 Parts) at 2371-2379 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Power Equipment Co. (100,000 Parts) at 2371-2379 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

A Milwaukee institution is no more.

Power Equipment Co., better known as “the 100,000 parts store,” is closed and its remaining inventory is being auctioned off. Owner Dan Wiken, who worked daily in the Bay View appliance store, passed away in May 2021 at the age of 92.

The store, 2373 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., began as Morella Appliance and was renamed in the 1950s after at least a decade in business. Wiken, a Korean War veteran, eventually purchased the business from Frank Morella after marrying his daughter June Wiken. Like Morella before him, Wiken was a stalwart member of multiple area organizations, including the Bay View Business Association.

In between providing advice on what washing machine belt or dishwasher fuse to buy, Wiken raised five children with June, becoming grandparents and ultimately great grandparents, while also serving in the Army Reserves and finding time to fish and sail. It wasn’t unusual to see a closed sign that said “walleyes are bitin’ on Lake Winnebago” in recent years.

Now the store is being emptied out.

“This is a HUGE parts auction. The largest availability of parts in the whole country!” says the Badger Corporation auction listing. The auction is set to close on May 24 with an in-person preview scheduled for May 23.

Items for sale include everything from old displays to the entire contents of shelves.

Wiken and his wife own at least four properties in the area.

The main property, addressed as 2371-2379 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., is owned by a trust named for Wiken and his wife. It contains 8,605 square feet of finished space and is assessed for $300,800. It was constructed in 1892.

The trust also owns a two-story building to the north at 2365-2369 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. It contains 4,456 square feet of space with apartments on the upper level and signage covering the windows for the store on the first floor. Built in 1927, it is assessed for $312,400.

The couple, with no mention of the trust in the assessment records, owns the one-story, 734-square-foot building at 2363 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. Built in 1885, it is assessed for $84,000. It was most recently leased to Via Fever, a pop culture store that closed in May 2021.

The Wiken trust also owns a two-story, 2,037-square-foot building at 436-438 E. Smith St. that was used for storage. It is assessed for $95,200. The Smith Street property is separated by an alley from the store.

According to newspaper advertisements, there was once a second store location in West Allis.

Power Equipment Co. isn’t the only Milwaukee institution associated with the Wiken family. Dan’s nephew Chris Wiken is the second-generation owner of The Packing House supper club, 900 E. Layton Ave. Dan’s uncle, the late Dick Wiken, was also a highly-regarded wood sculptor.

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4 thoughts on “Eyes on Milwaukee: 100,000 Parts Store Closed, Auction Underway”

  1. dk mke says:

    Last time I was there was three or four years ago. Needless to say Dan had the right part and knew right where it was. What an institution.

  2. says:

    Ya’ know who had replacement burners for that old Hotpoint stove…..and a pulley belt for that old Maytag dryer? Like B.S. Wisniewski before it, an institution. DIYers across Cream city are weeping.

  3. exlibris says:

    We were duly impressed with the extensive knowledge Dan Wiken had about appliances. He and the store will be missed.

  4. says:

    It’s sad to see a business that’s so important to so many people and other businesses disappear instead of being continued by someone else. it’s also sad that such continuances, when they happen, are far from the area formerly served.

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