Teweles Descendant Hopes Granary Can Be Saved, More City News

Deconstruction of the Teweles and Brandeis Granary was expected to begin by Thursday, Feb. 22.

Alderwomen Laurel Hauser, Kelly Catarozoli and Barb Allmann made a final push to amend the dismantling contract to ensure preservation. That effort failed during a closed session of the city’s Common Council Feb. 20. The alderwomen had proposed dismantling the Granary in larger pieces and storing it on the property until the city comes up with a plan for the waterfront.

The city’s original waterfront plans will require significant changes due to the Department of Natural Resources ruling earlier this month that placed the Ordinary High Water Mark landward of the Granary.

Tracy Teweles hopes the Sturgeon Bay granary that once bore her family’s name can be saved.

Teweles is a descendant of Ludwig Teweles, of the Teweles and Brandeis Seed Co. that once operated the grain elevator on Sturgeon Bay’s west waterfront. Teweles grew up in Milwaukee and now lives in Chicago and said she has tried to follow the saga of the west waterfront from afar.

Teweles said she has old memorabilia from the granary and company, including old seed bags, advertisements, and even old records of the company’s advertisements.

“Teweles and Brandeis was one of the first seed companies that advertised to farmers on the radio,” she said.

Teweles has vacationed in Door County for 24 years.

“I have a huge emotional attachment to Door County,” she said. “It’s easy to tear something down, but once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.”

“The Granary really speaks to the agricultural past of the county and the early settlers who had to pull stones from the fields to make a life,” she said.

Teweles and Brandeis were a major part of the growth of early Sturgeon Bay and some of the first immigrants to Wisconsin in the 1860s, she said, but also major factors in agriculture regionally. They were early leaders in plant genetics and agricultural advertising, she said.

The Teweles Seed Company was founded in Milwaukee in 1865 and became the second largest seed company in North America. It was the first to put seed in yard-size bags and created the first hybrid alfalfa, one of Door County’s most important crops.

Municipal Services Director Resigns

Bob Bordeau, the city’s municipal services director, resigned Thursday, Feb. 8. When asked for a reason for Bordeau’s abrupt resignation, City Administrator Josh VanLieshout said the city does not comment on personnel matters. City Engineer Chad Shefchik will act as interim municipal services director until a replacement is hired.

Sturgeon Bay Men Arrested on Weapons, Drug Charges

The Mequon Police Department arrested two Sturgeon Bay men Saturday on gun and drug charges after a traffic stop.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Willard Hartman and Benjamin Krohn, both 19, were pulled over for a traffic violation. Officers discovered five guns with loaded magazines in the vehicle, as well as marijuana and oxycodone.

The two men face 25 criminal charges in Ozaukee County Circuit Court. They will return to court March 6. The two were released on $5,000 cash bonds after their initial court appearance.

City May Hire PR Firm for PRAT Education

The Sturgeon Bay Finance Committee approved a recommendation that the city employ the services of Hillstrom PR to help educate the public about a Premier Resort Area Tax (PRAT) in advance of an April 3 referendum.

The Common Council voted to pursue the PRAT in November to generate revenue to improve its streets. To put the half-cent sales tax increase in effect, the city must first get approval from citizens in a referendum, then get the state legislature to approve special legislation to allow the city to enact the tax.

The Common Council will vote on the proposal at Tuesday’s meeting.

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