Just the Beginning


Birth of Trachte


From boats to buildings


Building through challenges


Post-war growth


Solidifying our base


50 years of building


Changing hands


Building up and out


Building Bob’s Shed


Going electric


The 5,000th building


Investments and growth

Our History


George and Arthur Trachte, brothers and tinsmiths from Watertown, Wisconsin, moved to Madison, Wisconsin in 1899 to work and save money to open their own business. By 1901, having saved $100 each, they opened Trachte Brothers Company, a tinsmith and furnace repair shop. Their first order was for $10 worth of pans and dippers for the Madison Candy Company.


The business was moved into a new building near the Central Illinois Depot at Bedford Street and West Washington Avenue in Madison, WI. The brothers began to do more manufacturing, especially of various water tanks.


By this year, the Company is offering a variety of steel tanks, including stock watering and storage tanks, hog troughs, round water tanks, wagon tanks, troughs and pans, round storage tanks, dipping tanks for cattle, sheep and hogs, and tower tanks from 6 to 8 feet high.

1901 King St. early Trachte location

May 3, 1910

Receive a patent for Galvanized Iron Tank


Receive a patent for Roll-Forming Machine. This allows Trachte Brothers to manufacture corrugated livestock water tanks. Their new design method of “packing and riveting” the tanks, instead of soldering them, makes the tanks much more water-tight and durable.

By this year, the Company is making oil and gasoline tanks, including tanks that can be buried underground and attached to a spigot, feed cookers, and garbage or ash cans.

May 6, 1913

Receive a patent for Tank-Heater


The business moved to a new location at the corner of Mifflin and Dickinson Streets on the east side of Madison after the brothers purchased an old bicycle factory there.

April 6, 1916

Trachte Brothers Company becomes officially incorporated in the state of Wisconsin. The Articles of Incorporation state that “the business and purposes of which corporation shall be to manufacture machines, machinery and all sheet metal work, to sell and dispose of same….” The Company’s capital is $15,000 of stock in 150 shares worth $100 each. Three stockholders make up the Board of Directors. The Articles of Incorporation are signed by Geo. A. Trachte, Arthur F. Trachte, John H. Albrecht and J. J. McManamy.

The first Stockholders and Board of Directors meetings are held on the same day. At the Stockholders Meeting, George and Arthur Trachte sell their tank machine and galvanized steel tank patents, as well as the related equipment and tools to the new corporation for $10,000. They are paid with 50 shares each of the capital stock. At the Board of Directors meeting, George Trachte is elected President of the company; John H. Albrecht Vice-President; Arthur Trachte Treasurer; and J.J. McManamy Secretary. George and Arthur Trachte each receive a salary of $1,200 per year.

July 4, 1916

Receive a patent for Corrugating Machine (Patent No. 1189885)

September 28, 1916

The Company’s Articles of Incorporation were amended to raise the amount of capital stock to $32,000.


Trachte Brothers Company begin to sell steel garages for $100. This was the first metal building offered by the company, but they quickly expanded to making a variety of small steel buildings.

1913 Trachte Bros
1914 Trachte Mifflin-St Location
1916 Corrugating Machine


Around this time, the Company publishes a catalog marketing their “Non-Sinkable Corrugated Steel Boats.”

March 30, 1920

Receive a patent for Tank-Heater (Patent No. 1334978)


In the 1921 catalog, the Company now offers two types of tank-heaters: the “air float” heater and the “progressive” heater, meant to keep livestock water tanks ice-free in the winter. Both run on coal or other burnable fuel and cost $20 each.

January 13, 1922

George and Arthur Trachte’s salaries raised to $2,500 per year.

October 24, 1922

Receive a patent for Trough (Patent No. 1433048)

January 23, 1923

Receive a patent for Tank (Patent No. 1443060)

August 7, 1923

Receive a patent for Corrugating Machine (Patent No. 1464018)

January 21, 1924

George Trachte is re-elected as President, Arthur Trachte Vice-President and Treasurer, and Arnold L. Trachte joins them as Secretary.
September 8, 1925 – Receive a patent for Trusses (Patent No. 1552777)


The Company publishes a 25th Anniversary Catalog. Products included are steel garages, warehouses, stores, cottages, filling stations and farm buildings. The ease of use, durability and portability of Trachte metal buildings is emphasized.

January 21, 1927

The Company’s Articles of Incorporation are amended to raise the amount of capital stock to $50,000 in 500 shares of $100 each.

August 22, 1927

Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis is housed in a Trachte airplane hangar during his visit to Madison.


The Company begins to build metal cotton gin buildings.

East side cafe
Trachte Brothers Co Outdoor REV
Spirit Of Saint Louis


The Company introduces a “modernistic cornice” facade for their store buildings to give an art deco appearance instead of the typical, rounded Trachte roof.

October 21, 1930

Receive a patent for Metal Joining Strip (Patent No. 1779346)

June 27, 1931

At the Board of Directors meeting, all the Directors vote to take a 20% salary cut for the year in acknowledgement of the Great Depression.

June 11, 1932

Once again, all the Directors vote at the Board of Directors meeting to take a 20% salary cut for the year in acknowledgement of the Great Depression.


By this year, the Trachte catalog advertises a wide range of buildings, including pump houses, airplane hangars, boat houses, veneer sheds, corn cribs, office and school buildings.

September 15, 1937

At this Board of Directors meeting, Arnold Trachte resigns his position as a Director and Secretary-Treasurer. The new officers are George Trachte as President, Elmer L. Filter as Vice-President, and Arthur Trachte as Secretary-Treasurer.


The Company produces a 48-page catalog featuring its entire line of building products, including door designs.

Standard oil products

March 13, 1940

Trachte Brothers Company purchases the former Fuller Johnson Company plant right across the street from their Mifflin and Dickinson Street location. The property is purchased for $10,000.


Metal buildings gained a lot of popularity following World War II, and companies such as Oscar Mayer, Schappe Pontiac, Standard Oil and Sinclair Oil, as well as the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, became Trachte customers.

November 15, 1948

The Board of Directors agrees to accept a commission to build a garage and storage building for the State Highway Commission of Wisconsin.

oscar Mayer


Arthur, George and Arnold retire. Bob Trachte purchases the company with the help of his cousin, Leonard Trachte.

January 24, 1950

Major changes take place in Trachte Brothers Company leadership as Leonard N. Trachte is elected President, Henry J. Stoffen is elected Vice-President, and Robert M. Trachte is elected Secretary-Treasurer at the Board of Directors meeting.

Trachte continues to innovate, offering every vinery its durable galvanized field boxes for transporting peas to the canning factory. They are uniform in weight, sanitary and unbreakable. Bottoms are perforated. Reinforcing strips form protecting legs and provide for sturdy nesting with free circulation of air.


Trachte Brothers Company changes its name to Trachte Metal Buildings Company.

March 26, 1952

The Company’s Articles of Incorporation are amended to raise the amount of capital stock to $75,000 in 750 shares of $100 each.


Around this time, the Company creates small observatories with rounded roofs that slide back on tracks; many universities through the U.S. purchased and assembled them.

Utility site
1950 control house


Trachte Sales and Construction Corporation is created as a division of Trachte Metal Buildings Company.  Articles of incorporation were signed on July 26, 1962.

March 26, 1962

Company leadership is rearranged again as Leonard Trachte and Henry Stoffen resign their positions. Robert Trachte takes over as President, Dave Trachte as Vice-President, and Marion Trachte as Secretary-Treasurer. These three remain the company officers through 1966.


The first steel pagoda roof built in the United States is for an A&W restaurant in Edgerton, WI.


Manufacturing steel buildings for the fast food industry becomes the Company’s main line of work. Complete modules with restrooms, kitchen equipment, wiring, etc., were built at Trachte’s factory and then shipped all over the United States. Customers included Kentucky Fried Chicken, A&W Root Beer, Shakey’s Pizza Parlors, Lum’s Family Restaurants, Dairy Queen and Wendy’s.
December 1969 – Featured in Metal Building Review article “Trachte Celebrates Fifty Years of Manufacturing Metal Buildings”.

A&W Monroe
KFC vintage photo


Ron Trachte, son of Robert Trachte, President, purchases Trachte Sales and Construction Corporation.


Trachte Metal Buildings Company enters the self-storage industry by pioneering one of the first all-steel mini-warehouses in the country, located in Green Bay, WI.


Trachte Sales and Construction Corporation splits from Trachte Metal Buildings Company.  Trachte Metal Buildings focused on storage warehouses while Trachte Sales and Construction Corp. continued as its own company and focused on pre-assembled utility and other small control buildings.


The year 1978 inaugurated Trachte into the preassembled building market. Trachte was approached by GTE North, a telecommunications company, to design and install “pair gain” buildings, which is a telecom term referring to single pair copper telephone lines. This request was the first of 470 building provided for GTE North in 8 states. The introduction into the communications market is the gateway for Trachte to place more than 1500 preassembled buildings with communication carriers.

The new Channelframe steel framework was also introduced during this time as a superior design to angle frame in that it can handle much heavier design loads.


Robert Trachte retired and continued to help his son with Trachte Sales and Construction Corporation.

GTE control building


Ron’s twin brother Randy Trachte joins the business.

January 3, 1983

Trachte Sales and Construction Corporation moved operations and production from Madison to Oregon, WI. 422 N. Burr Oak Ave. in Oregon, Wisconsin.


In this year a 6,080 square foot production area was added onto Building A.


In this year Building B was built. It started as a 6,000 square foot facility.

gas and oil control building


In this year an additional 3,500 square feet of production area was added onto Building B.


In this year a 5,500 square foot addition was added to Building B. A warehouse building known as “Bob’s Shed” was installed. A compressor garage was built between Buildings A and B.


The company added a 6,250 square foot addition Building B.


Purchased first and only Ironworker for the Weld Department for $22,000.


Purchased the first Bridge Crane. Two additions took place this year: 2,000 square feet added to the office and 2,520 square feet added to Building A.

Cellular building
control building

2000 – 2010

Represents a market turning point from telecommunications to electrical transmission and distribution. In this year, Trachte provides the first of 370 preassembled buildings to date for relay panel manufacturers and resellers.


The Weld Shop is built at 479 N. Burr Oak Ave, Oregon, WI. and production started in 2006. The first paint booth is purchased for $126,000. A 2nd set of large cranes for larger steel floors was purchased for $175,000. A plasma cutting machine was purchased for $129,000. A total of $600,000 was spent in equipment investments this year.


Trachte Southeast, LLC (TSE) opened at 1249 Clary Connector, Eastanollee, GA. The location expanded Trachte’s manufacturing presence to be closer to the majority of large electrical original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and to a major concentration of federal agencies and defense contractors in the southeast.


Trachte introduces Trachte Rapid Assembly Modular Shelters (T-RAMS) as an option for shipping buildings abroad. T-RAMS are essentially a Trachte building, but built in fully integrated wall and roof panels, small enough to fit in a shipping container. T-RAMS buildings are shipped around the world and used in power, mining, communications, and military applications.


The Braun Road Production Facility is built at 350 Braun Road, Oregon, WI.

Tuscan control building
wind farm control area

April 3, 2012

Receive order from NxGEN Modular for Apple Data Center to support Siri application on all iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 devices. Final location: Prineville, Oregon. Project ships June 22, 2012. Total Contract: 2.7 million.

January 3, 2013

Order for the 5,000th building is placed with dimensions of 15’4”x 28’ x 10’6”


The Trachte family sold the business to an institutional investor and the company was officially registered as Trachte, LLC.


Trachte continued its market leadership and made significant investments in all facets of the business. Trachte achieved significant growth in the integration business due to alliances with major switchgear OEM partners.


Trachte Southeast (TSE) produced its 1000th building.

crane installing control room
Trachte 1000th building


During the Covid-19 pandemic, Trachte was considered an essential business by the State of Wisconsin and operations continued as business as usual. Safety measures were implemented in all facilities, the office staff were able to work remote, and production facilities practiced social distancing. Later in 2020, Trachte was sold to a Private Equity firm.


Trachte experiences record growth in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and global supply chain issues.


Trachte USA acquires Parkline Inc., to create one of the largest Prefabricated & Control Buildings (P&CB) providers in the United States, combining two market leaders with complementary product offerings and diversified end-user bases. The combined companies now have manufacturing capacity in four locations across the country (WV, TX, WI, GA).

In August 2023, Trachte expanded to a larger office space in Madison, WI to accommodate personnel growth. The Madison office is in close proximity to production facilities in Oregon, WI, and includes a majority of office operations.