Village Hall – Sister Bay WI

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Original Use:
“The building, one of the finest in the state for any village of this size, was made possible by the public spiritedness. of the residents of the community and the whole­hearted co-operation of the National Youth Administration that furnished all of the labor on the building with the exception of skilled craftsmen.

“The main building is 78 by 40 feet with an “V for the public library that is 20×20 In the main building, which has a large entrance hall, is the auditorium that will comfortably seat more than 300 for events on the 19×26 foot stage where all types of plays and entertainments may be presented. The local women’s club is making the draperies and curtains for the stage to be in place for the dedication”

“Downstairs there is the community kitchen, furnished with the latest in modern equipment by the women’s club. The heating and air-conditioning plants are also there, as well as the lavatories. The entire building is air-conditioned.

“The building also has a projection room for a movie machine when the community wishes to use the building for shows, and at the entrance, there is a ticket booth on the one side, and a room for village officers’ business meeting on the other.

“The library has its own entrance on the side with a concrete sidewalk running from the front to the door on the south.”
Source: The Door County (Wisconsin) Advocate, Friday, August 8, 1941 “Sister Bay’s New Village Hall Dedication August 17”

Past functions:
The earliest uses were for programs right after the attack on Pearl Harbor and focused on patriotic themes such as Christmas community programs, concerts for the Wisconsin’s Badger Bomber Fund for private fund raising to purchase new bombers for the U.S. Army.
Source: Door County Advocate, Friday, February 13, 1942. “Another Concert for Bomber Fund,”

“Sunday afternoon with the staging, of the big home talent Cherryland Winter carnival here at 1:30, the Door County Winter sports club will ring down the curtain on its activities for the season except a party to. crown the champions next Tuesday evening, at the Sister Bay village hall. Numerous “gate” prizes will be awarded lucky attendants, and patriotic pageantry will be blended into this program.
Source: Door County Advocate, Friday, February 20, 1942 “Cherryland Winter Carnival and Meet at Peninsula Park” :

Later Functions:
Library. The Village Hall was the home for the village library until it was determined to be too small. A new library on the waterfront was built to accommodate the expanded needs. About twenty years ago, an even larger library was built away from the original site and the first replacement demolished.

Meeting Hall. From the beginning the village hall was used for community programs, plays, concerts, movies, wedding receptions, and funerals; for exhibitions, art and antique shows, book sales, and the annual Fall Festival “Preachers Stew” and Lions Club plays. The Boy Scouts and other civic groups met there.

The Village Board of Trustees and village committees met there for many years until a new fire station was built with a more modern meeting room outside the village’s central core.

Present Functions:
For the past several years, the village has not adequately maintained the village hall and has increased the user fees. This, the chronic lack of parking, and new or repurposed facilities in other nearby villages has discouraged active use.

Future Functions:
In October, 2022, after concerted local efforts, the Village Board voted to create a Friends of the Village Hall Committee to recommend ways in which the Village Hall can be preserved and repurposed to meet the needs of a growing 21st Century community.

Source notes

The Door County (Wisconsin) Advocate (urls listed with individual articles above in Use / Function (past & present) above.

The Wisconsin Historical Society Files WHS “Sister Bay Community Hall” File

Final report of the National youth administration, fiscal years 1936-1943; Federal Security Agency, War Manpower Commission, Washington, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1944.

Opportunities for the Youth
The Federal Government, through the combined efforts of the National Youth Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps, provided work for nearly 5 million youth during the Great Depression and World War II years. These figures included more than one million young women.[14] By the end of June 1938, the National Youth Administration had constructed 125 schools and libraries, as well as improved and made repairs on an additional 4,459. NYA constructed 59 gymnasiums and dormitories, repairing another 233. Youth contributed to the construction of 74 warehouses, courthouses, offices, and administration buildings, along with repairing 352. In addition to buildings, NYA workers also built 5,149 athletic fields, baseball fields, and grandstands, along with the improvement of 12,697 more. In addition, NYA created over two thousand handball and tennis courts and improved an additional two thousand.–Wikipedia
(Comment: that would make the Sister Bay Village Hall only ONE of seventy-four such buildings in the entire country.)

Badger Bomber Fund
"Badger Bomber Fund Marine Band in Badger Bomber concert " • February 11, 1942
: Manitowoc County Historical Society

"Bomber plea on air" Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Milwaukee Sentinel; • February 26, 1942

"Proceeds from dance top $400 for Badger Bomber fund" 1942-03-14 ; L.E.Phillips Memorial Public Library Notes Search;

NOTE: In 2003, an attempt to have the building recognized by the Wisconsin State and National Register of Historic Sites using the National Register Program site was initiated by Judy Berns of Sister Bay. It was rejected because an attic fire had occurred in 1981

"Thank you for supplying additional information regarding the roof of the Sister Bay Community Hall in Door County. While the building has an interesting construction history and has long been a social center for the community, we do not believe that the building meets the National Register criteria for eligibility. Specifically, the alternation of the original roof configuration has diminished the building’s architectural integrity. This is an important consideration for eligibility. While we understand why this project was undertaken, the new roof alters the overall historic appearance and profile of the building. (WHS Files, page 13, “Sister Bay Community Hall” File)

Project originally submitted by Carl Madsen on November 22, 2022.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

10693 WI-42
Sister Bay, WI 54234

Coordinates: 45.19896, -87.118914

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