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Architecture and History Inventory
9996 WATER ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Memorial Town Hall
Reference Number:16850
Location (Address):9996 WATER ST
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
Year Built:1927
Additions: 1961 1943
Survey Date:1975
Historic Use:town hall
Architectural Style:Arts and Crafts
Structural System:
Wall Material:Limestone
Architect:William Bernhard-1943Henry Tideman-1961 library addition
Other Buildings On Site:
Demolished Date:
National/State Register Listing Name: Ephraim Village Hall
National Register Listing Date:3/27/1985 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:1/1/1989 12:00:00 AM
National Register Multiple Property Name:Multiple Resources of Ephraim
Additional Information:FLARED EAVES. SQUARE TOWER IN CENTER. ELABORATE TRUSSWORK IN FRONT GABLE. The limestone for the construction of this building came from nearby Eagle Bluff. Henry Anschutz of Sturgeon Bay supervised the building work. Ephraim was founded in 1853 by a small group of Scandanavian Moravians. From its beginnings as an isolated community with an economy based on fishing and lumbering, through the onset of its development as a summer resort area in the 1890s and into the twentieth century when Ephraim was well established as a resort, the village was unincorporated and governmentally a part of the town of Gibraltar. The advent of better transportation and greater leisure time after World War I helped to establish Ephraim's popularity as a resort area. The community of nearly 200 would often double in population during the summer. People who first stayed in hotels or rented cottages began to builf their own summer homes and, therefore, became local taxpayers. This increase in visitors and permanent summer residents generated a demand for mor direct local government and ancillary services. As a result, in 1919 Ephraim was incorporated as a village with four of the first elected village officers being hotel owners. The need for a village hall for the new governmentcoincided with the growing demand among many Ephraim citizens for a community center. Around 1915 the Ephraim Mens Club started a fund for building a community center and in 1922 the village voted to increase local taxes $1,000 per year and put the money in a fund for a hall. Money from lyceum courses, entertainments and donations were also put into the fund. No building was erected until the present structure at first called the "Memorial Town Hall", was completed in 1927. One indication of the support the hall had among different factions of the village population was shown when a group of resort owners and summer residents threw a fund raising party to benefit the nearly completed hall. In 1943, architect William Bernhard made specifications for new basement entries, stairs and interior work. The Village Hall, located in the commercial center of Ephraim was a multi purpose building serving the community in various ways. It was used as a village hall, basketball court, lecture room, library, lounge, and U.S. post office (until 1983). It is still used as an information center for tourists during the summer months. The library, once located in the basement of the hall was moved to a new addition of the building built in 1961. Besides village governmental meetings, the hall has been used for community activities such as movies, fish boils, music lessons, and rummage sales.

Resurveyed March 2014; no visible changes.
Bibliographic References:DOOR COUNTY ADVOCATE, 1/7/1927. DOOR COUNTY NEWS, 7/14/1927. Door County Advocate 2/18/1927. Door County Advocate 5/13/1927. Specifications for Village Hall alterations by William Bernhard of Ephraim, WI, 1943. Door County Advocate 7/22/1927. Door County Advocate 7/27/1927. Door County Advocate 10/26/1922. Door County Advocate 11/15/1922. Door County Advocate 7/10/1923. Door County Advocate 10/24/1919. Door County Advocate 6/4/1926. Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau, State of Wisconsin Blue Book (Madison, State of Wisconsin).
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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