Letter to the Editor: Embrace History by Renovating the Sister Bay Village Hall

Historic preservation of symbols of the past is an important part of the character of every community. Buildings that capture the history of Sister Bay’s past and evolution have been replaced over the years largely as a result of economic development. Now the village has an opportunity to embrace its history by keeping and renovating the village hall.

The village hall is shown at Historic Location 20 on the Map of Historic Locations in the Sister Bay Centennial book published by the Sister Bay Historical Society in 2014. This building is the last vestige of the past and a symbol of the future for both residents and visitors. The building’s Nordic architecture captures the spirit of our village. 

The fact that the building needs significant repairs and numerous upgrades is the result of years of deferred maintenance and neglect. Consideration of the building’s future should not begin with a decision to bulldoze the building that housed the village board and other groups for many years as important decisions were made by courageous visionaries. 

Please consider alternatives to destruction. Ask local architects and the State Historic Preservation Office in Madison for design ideas for renovation and effective use of the village hall. Discuss grant financing for needed restoration with the Door County Community Foundation, Door County Land Trust and grant-writing experts.

Sister Bay’s village boards have shown great ability to follow a vision that lifts up our community. The board has taken courageous stands in favor of ideas that many thought were unattainable. This is a time for the village board to stand firmly against bulldozing the village hall and firmly for maintaining this building as a symbol of what the village has accomplished, and where many important steps were taken.

Our family members have been taxpayers and devoted summer visitors since 1907. Our grandchildren are the sixth generation of Blossoms to love this community. Please do not eliminate this last icon of the village’s past without thoroughly exploring alternatives.

John and Linda Blossom

Sister Bay, Wisconsin