Two of the 38 histories on the Fitchburg Historical Society website as of Sept. 11 are Ganshert Nursery and Landscapes and Family Pharmacy.
At 60 years and six years old respectively, they show the range of businesses included in the project. Both were written by Tereba; some of the others have been submitted.
Ganshert Nursery and Landscapes relocated from near St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison to Fitchburg off of Seminole Highway in 1959. Paul Ganshert’s father used the land to grow trees for the nursery, which confused his farming neighbors.
Paul explained that under his father, the company had done “anything you could think of outside” but now uses contractors as well. He grew up learning from his father and eventually went to school to become a landscape architect.
Ganshert’s found Fitchburg as a convenient place to have some land for the nursery but still be rather close to urban Madison customers. But Fitchburg has grown a lot over the past fifty years, and the nursery is now off Lacy Road.
“Fitchburg’s always been great, pretty relaxed,” Ganshert said about the business environment in town.
Family Pharmacy, on Fish Hatchery Road, is in Fitchburg for a very different reason. Thad Shumacher started the business in 2013 as part of a regional chain but are now completely independent.
“I think every community needs an independent pharmacy,” Shumacher said.
Both businesses are active in philanthropy and keep close connections to other community groups.
Ganshert said he has worked with the Fitchburg Chamber Visitor and Business Bureau his whole career and that the company has also donated landscaping for other businesses and nonprofits, including the Ronald McDonald House.
Schumacher is involved with a charity bike ride group called the Family Pharmacy Pill Peddlers, which donates to the Fitchburg Festival of Speed and the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County, where he is a board member. Cycling ties in with the Chamber’s efforts to promote the sport in Fitchburg.
“We have unbelievable path system, probably the only roundabout for bicycles in the country, and so I think that we’re able to play off each other that way,” he said. “So they promote my business as a business and they promote that part of our community outreach, as well. And so we kinda get a two-fold approach.”