Remodel nearly complete at Washington House
The remodel of the tavern in a landmark location in West Bend started just a couple months ago and over the past few weeks a noticeable transformation has taken place. How long did it take you to pinpoint the location?
The building at 228 N. Sixth Avenue in West Bend is listed in the National Register of Historic Properties.
From the book The Story of Washington County by Carl Quickert there was a brief mention of Baltazar Goetter.
“B. Goetter who in the spring of 1849 opened up the first brewery and later erected the “Washington House,” one of the largest and finest hotels in the State at the time, and for many years the preferred rendezvous of the German pioneers.”
From the sign out front of the cream city brick building.
“This building was one of the first brick building erected in West Bend. It was built in 1849 by Baltazar Goetter. It replaced a wooden hotel built in 1852. That building was destroyed by fire on January 1, 1864.
The Italianate structure reopened October 15, 1864 as a headquarters for travelers along the “Old Stage Coach Road” serving coach and ox-cart alike.
The book The Spirit of West Bend by Dorothy E. Williams has a section on the hotel fire involving the Washington House.
“Perhaps the most dramatic moment in the life of the Washington House occurred on January 1, 1864. It was a severely cold day, as New Year’s days usually are. Every room o fthe hotel was filled. The many stoves were crammed full of wood to ward off the frigid air, and inside in the cheery atmosphere the men played billiards, cards, or told stories to while away the holiday.
Suddenly the dread cry of “FIRE!” brought everyone to his feet. The roof was a fire! Instantly, townspeople and guests set to work to save what they could. There was no local fire department as yet, and the only equipment the village had was a “donkey engine” with 20 feet of hose, entirely inadequate to reach the river, which at any rate was frozen solid. Willing hands pitched blankets, beds, pitchers, washbasins, luggage, and looking glasses from the upper floors to the frozen ground below. After the entire first floor was cleared, men went into the cellar to rescue the sauerkraut jar and carried the heavy burden all the way up the steps and outside to safety.
Other helpers managed to carry out the cumbrous hotel range, with the holiday turkey still in the oven. The turkey promptly froze. Most of the food in the basement was well enough insulated so it did not freeze – the apples, potatoes, etc. When it was all over, the only item remaining on the spot where the hotel had been was the cast iron stove which had overheated and probably caused the terrible conflagration. There is no record of where the guests spent the rest of the day, but probably the townspeople took them in.
Almost at once Mr. Goetter began to rebuild, this time a three-story cream-colored brick building of local clay that rivaled the famed Crem City brick from Milwaukee, according to local observers. It could accommodate 100 guests and was ready for occupancy by October 15 of that same year. By this time West Bend had its own cabinet maker, Mr. Roecker, who made some of the furniture for the new rooms.
Many famous Americans have stayed at the Washington House including William Jennings Bryan, William Barkley (Vice President), and John F. Kennedy and it is the oldest business left in the city, having celebrated both the centennial and bicentennial.
West Bend School District responds to social media post about students and face masks
A note of clarification regarding face masks in the West Bend School District. There was recently a post on social media about face masks that claimed middle school students in the West Bend School District were being asked to remove some political masks and not others.
Superintendent Jen Wimmer was asked about the allegations regarding the masks and responded.
“We have been made aware of a person posting information on a local Facebook group page that alleges a staff member at Badger Middle School told a student to remove a face mask because it featured a political candidate. The Badger administrative team, supported by our Director of Human Resources, is conducting a thorough investigation.
As that investigation takes place, families and the community can be assured that the West Bend School District believes students have the right to exercise non offensive and non-disruptive free speech. Supporting a political candidate or advocating for a group (i.e. BLM, Blue Lives, flag, military, etc. as Ms. Kellom notes) is allowed in our schools. There is no policy or practice that would discourage this (unless as part of that message it included offensive language or imagery).”
Wimmer said, “Thank you for reaching out and helping to correct public perception regarding our practice. Again, we support our students’ rights to express themselves in a non-offensive and non-disruptive manner.”
An email from the district’s communications manager Nancy Kunkler initially denied the incident took place. “The person also alleges the students in the West Bend School District cannot wear anything that supports police. The incident the person described did not take place; no one at Badger Middle School was told to remove a mask with a political or election-related matter.”
Parents of the students involved in the incident have contacted WashingtonCountyInsider.com and confirmed it was a male teacher that confronted the student and requested that a mask supporting President Donald Trump be removed. The parent of the girl who reported the incident said it occurred in the hallway on the third floor.
Below is the original post from Facebook and Sue Kellom.
“I learned today that students at the Badger School are not allowed to wear any Trump mask and were asked to remove them as they were “Offensive” however BLM mask are allowed. I’m so sick of this double standard BS! You can have a School named after Barack Obama but Trump is offensive!?
I encourage everyone to write an email or call the West Bend School District to stop this discrimination. I understand political things however if you allow BLM then you also need to allow Blue Lives Matter, Military Lives matter, Trump mask and the American Flag mask.”
National Life Chain is Sunday, October 4 in Hartford By Terese Hummel
The annual, national Life Chain event returns to Hartford and West Bend on Sunday, October 4, 2020. Beginning at 2 p.m., pro-life individuals and families from Washington County will gather at the east parking lot of Willowbrook Park and spread out along Highway 60 (E. Sumner Street) in Hartford. There will also be a gathering at 2 p.m. at the corner of Paradise Drive and S. Main Street.
Held each year on the first Sunday of October, Life Chain is a legal, peaceful, quiet display of people in our area communities gathering to publicly and silently state that there are alternatives to abortion and healing is possible.
There are no disturbing images for passing motorists, only thought-provoking statements including “Adoption, the Loving Option,” “Jesus Forgives and Heals,” and “Pregnant? Need Help? 800-712-HELP.”
The display will line Highway 60 in Hartford until 3:30 p.m., in unison with other Life Chains across the country. From its small beginnings as a local witness in Southern California, the Life Chain has spread to more than 2,000 cities all over North America. The first Sunday of each October is National Life Chain Sunday.
We believe it is time for the Church to fight for the unborn with spiritual weapons. The battle for life will not be won in the courtroom or the voting booth until it is first won in prayer. We call for pastors to lead the Church in repentance for our nation. When God’s people humble themselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from their own ways, we believe that God will hear from heaven, forgive our sins, and heal our land (2 Chronicles 7:14-15).
Uniform signs will be available free of charge on October 4 at Willowbrook Park’s east parking lot. On the back of each sign, participants will find Scripture and praise-and-hymn lyrics.
For more information, please contact Terese Hummel at 262-689-3742
Log home in Town of Wayne lost to fire
A dire house fire over the weekend in the Town of Wayne went from bad to worse. On Saturday, September 19, 2020 at approximately 10:38 p.m. a dozen fire departments responded to a house on fire at 9115 Woodlawn Drive.
After the fire was extinguished the Washington County Sheriff shared photos of the damage. See video below. But then on Sunday the logs in the home that dates to 1902 held in so much heat the fire started again. Firefighters bought in an excavator and leveled the historic home.
Homeowner Michael Ziegelbauer was devastated by the fire.
On Monday, he stood in the middle of the charred remains. “I had just finished remodeling a couple rooms,” he said.
Ziegelbauer, 29, was at a loss.
The two-story had once been home to Orville and Ruth Kern. They owned it from 1948 until 2006.
“We bought the property when we got married,” said Ruth. “We bought it for $700. We used every bit of money we had.”
Ruth, who now lives in Kewaskum, farmed the land with her husband and raised six children.
“The kids had this painted for me,” said Ruth about the picture of the old homestead. “The log home has been cleaned up a bit. This is when it had windows added and we had a man name Muckerheide level off the front yard.”
Ruth met Orville at a bar. “I was with somebody else,” she said. “They introduced us and he asked me out. We dated for a year and a half and then got married. I was 19 years old.”
“Orville was so kindhearted, a wonderful guy. He was town clerk for 25 years,” she said.
Ruth and Orville worked hard and spruced the place up when they could afford it.
“Our windowsills were really deep,” said Ruth holding her hands more than a foot apart. “Everybody envied it. We remodeled the whole thing… little by little.”
Orville built a new outhouse and installed plumbing. “My husband dug a well by hand; we didn’t have running water. The first thing we did was build a toilet and then when we had money we put in hot water.”
“We had a wood heater and that pipe from the wood heater would heat the living room too,” she said. “We wallpapered the upstairs because the plaster was bad. Even when I sold the place the real estate agent said that was pretty wallpaper.”
“I worked for George Hess, personnel manager at West Bend Aluminum Company. I worked there until we got married and then my husband didn’t want me to work because he said it didn’t work when we live on the farm but we sure could have used the money.”
The Kerns lost their first child, a girl, when she was 20 weeks old. “She had a heart condition,” said Ruth. “After that we had three girls and three boys.”
Ruth recalled the good times and bad on Woodlawn Drive. The ice storm from 1976 and when the fire department brought a generator so the milk would not freeze. “We bought seven cows,” said Ruth.
The cash crops are where the Kerns made a lot of money. “We had sweet corn and field corn and peas,” she said.
The fire departments that assisted in the fire call were Kewaskum, West Bend, Theresa, Lomira, Allenton, Boltonville, St. Lawrence, Slinger, Knowles, and Eden Fire Departments.
Baskin Robbins / Dunkin’ staff training to begin as opening nears
The address, 1610 W. Washington Street, has now been posted in the window at the new Baskin Robbins / Dunkin’ store in West Bend.
Construction got underway June 10, 2020 in the lot formerly home to Pizza Hut. “We’re hoping for a late October opening for our new Dunkin’ and Baskin restaurant in West Bend,” said owner Emily Kettinger.
“Equipment will be coming in early October and then it’s just getting everything installed and the final touches coordinated. Hopefully, we’ll be training new staff in the coming weeks.”
The 2,160-square-foot property is nearly complete as signage is expected in the coming weeks and the parking lot will be paved.
Neighbors have been eagerly anticipating the opening of the ice cream store and coffee shop. This is the second time West Bend will be home to a Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors. In 1974 Ken and Shirley Leisman opened the first Baskin Robbins in the West Bend Plaza.
“It was by the old Kohl’s Food Store in the mall on Main Street,” said Kathy Leisman Suchon, the daughter of the owners. “On the other end of the mall was Alston’s clothing store and we were right in that middle by the garden area on the right-hand side. I remember the whole front and side of the store were all windows.”
Suchon also remembered a Ben Franklin in the strip mall and RadioShack, 842. S Main Street.
Suchon said her parents got into the ice cream business because they really wanted to do something together. “They thought what is better than an ice cream parlor that brings families together and everyone is happy when they get ice cream and they just thought it would be really fun,” she said.
Outdoor Fun at Fall Harvest Fest
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, 6869 Wildwood Road in West Bend, invites the community to attend Fall Harvest Fest, Saturday, October 17, outside on the church property from 1 – 4 p.m. Guests are encouraged to come in costume. This event is free and open to the public.
A variety of family activities are planned. Trunk or Treat will be set up on the top tier of the parking lot where treats will be handed out. Nearby a craft tent will be available for a make and take craft kit (parental supervision required). Following a map of hidden clues, children can venture out on a scavenger hunt. Then kids can kick a few balls at the soccer station while learning about an upcoming soccer camp.
Other activities for the day include a free hot dog lunch while supplies last. Praise band Unworthy will play Christian cover songs from 2 p.m.– 3 p.m. Bingo for adults and kids, with prizes will round out the fun from 3 – 4 p.m.
A contingency plan is in place in case of rain. Any questions can be directed to the church office at 262-334-9892 or visit www.shepherdofthehillswi.com for more information.
Andrew Wundrock named new President of Wisconsin Pharmacal
Wisconsin Pharmacal Company, LLC has announced Andrew Wundrock has been appointed to the position of President of the company effective September 2020. Wundrock has been with Wisconsin Pharmacal for over 25+ years in various roles – most recently Senior Vice President Sales & Marketing.
Wundrock’s thorough understanding of the consumer product space, Wisconsin Pharmacal’s core strengths, and his unique relationship with the retail trade position him well to advance the company forward in this competitive landscape.
“Andrew has demonstrated a keen understanding of our business throughout the years. His dedication to the company and attention to detail, along with his long-tenured relationships with our major retail partners, make him an excellent choice to lead our company”, said John Wundrock – CEO.
Wisconsin Pharmacal and its subsidiary, Lake Consumer Products, manufacture and market a wide variety of outdoor health and safety, first aid, and feminine health & wellness products across a widevariety of retail outlets – including Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, Target, Amazon, and others.
“It is with a great deal of enthusiasm that I accept the position of President of Wisconsin Pharmacal. I am highly confident we have the best team in place to help us advance the company forward in a very competitive landscape. I am proud of our accomplishments to date and look forward to new challenges and opportunities.” said Wundrock. Wisconsin Pharmacal is a diversified consumer products company that is FDA & EPA approved and manufactures and distributes long-established brands in the OTC Health/First Aid and Outdoor/Safety markets.
Election Day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020. Over the weekend quite a few neighbors across Washington County received their mail-in ballot via U.S. Postal.
Wisconsin will mail all registered voters an application to vote absentee prior to the election. You can also vote in person as Wisconsin offers early voting.
Details and deadlines for Election Day, November 3, 2020
The following details are per the Wisconsin Election Commission.
The deadline to register online to vote is Wednesday, October 14, 2020.
According to the Wisconsin Election Commission: All voters in Wisconsin can request an absentee ballot be mailed to them for any reason. Voters must be registered before they can request an absentee ballot. Voters may request their absentee ballot in writing.
The deadline for registering by mail to vote is postmarked by Wednesday, October 14, 2020.
The deadline to request a ballot by mail is (received by) Thursday, October 29, 2020.
The deadline to register in person to vote is Friday, October 30, 2020.
According to the Wisconsin Election Commission – Voters may register in-person in their municipal clerk’s office during the clerk’s business hours until 5 p.m. on October 30, 2020. Find your Municipal Clerk’s Contact Information here.
The early voting period runs from Tuesday, October 20, 2020 to Sunday, November 1, 2020, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live.
You can also register and vote on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3. Polls will open at 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. Remember to bring a valid I.D.
According to the Wisconsin Election Commission – Voters can register to vote at their polling place on Election Day, November 3, 2020. Find your Polling Place here.
Election questions from the community:
A woman at Cedar Ridge received her absentee ballot and the envelope the ballot arrived in was open. Was this tampered with?
West Bend City Clerk Stephanie Justmann – “It is the mail machine. Sometimes the envelope goes through the machine and doesn’t hit the sealer properly and it doesn’t seal the envelope correctly.”
Can people vote three days after November 3, 2020 with no postmark needed on their mail-in ballot?
West Bend City Clerk Stephanie Justmann – “That is not correct. Right now, all election rules are in place. I have to receive this ballot by 8 p.m. on election night, November 3, 2020. If it comes on Nov. 4 it is past the deadline. If it arrives on Nov. 4 and it is postmarked Nov. 2 it is after the deadline. I have to receive all ballots by 8 p.m. on November 3.
How many mail-in ballots has the City of West Bend sent.
West Bend City Clerk Stephanie Justman – “The City of West Bend sent 5,400 absentee ballots out for the Nov. 3, 2020 election as of September 21, 2020. At the last presidential election in 2016 there were a total of 5200. We’ve now mailed out more in total than the last presidential election.”
If I send in my mail-in ballot now… when will it be counted?
West Bend City Clerk Stephanie Justmann – “The mail-in ballots that are returned now will be counted on Election Day. We start at 7 a.m. and at central count we will have three voting machines that will be counting ballots on Election Day. There will be three different groups of central count poll workers.
If the mail-in being stored until Election Day where is it being stored?
West Bend City Clerk Stephanie Justmann – “The mail-in ballots are held in the vault at City Hall. Everything is alphabetized by district and held there until election day.”
Even though there is postage included on the mail-in ballots, can those ballots be walked into and dropped off at City Hall?
West Bend City Clerk Stephanie Justmann – “Absolutely. The media has been telling people to drop them off at City Hall. You can mail it in or drop it off at the clerk’s office or you can bring it to the polls on Election Day and turn it in.”
Below is a list of polling places for November 3, 2020 in the City of West Bend. If you need help determining your polling place click HERE.
District polling location in City of West Bend
Aldermanic District #1 Washington County Courthouse, 432 E. Washington Street
Aldermanic District #2 Washington Co. PAC, 333 E. Washington Street (Indiana Ave.)
Aldermanic District #3 First Baptist Church 2300 S. Main Street
Aldermanic District #4 City Hall, 1115 S. Main Street (West Entrance)
Aldermanic District #5 Washington Co. PAC, 333 E. Washington Street (Indiana Ave.)
Aldermanic District #6 Washington County Govt Center, 432 E. Washington Street
Aldermanic District #7 Moraine Park Technical College, 2151 N. Main Street AMTC Addition, Entrance T2,
Aldermanic District #8 City Hall, 1115 S. Main Street (West Entrance)
Anyone who is not sure in which Aldermanic District he/she resides, may call the City Clerk’s Office at 262-335-5103. All polling places are accessible to disabled voters.
Preserve Parkway road closure in Village of Germantown starts September 28
There will be a road closure effective Monday, September 28 at 6 a.m., Preserve Parkway in the Village of Germantown will be closed to facilitate the installation of sanitary sewer for Kinderberg Estates.
The road closure starts at Buckthorn Drive (north end of Kinderberg Park) south to Donges Bay Road. This closure will ensure the safety of the traveling public and utility workers. Preserve Parkway will reopen at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, September 30.
Village of Germantown to hold in-person absentee voting on two Saturdays in October
In Person Absentee Voting begins Tuesday, October 20, 2020 for the November 3, 2020 General / Presidential Election.
Below is a list of in-person voting hours in the Village of Germantown.
October 20 – October 22: 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
October 23: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 24: 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
October 26 – October 29: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
October 30: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday, October 31: 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
October 30 is the last day to register to vote in the Village of Germantown Clerk’s Office prior to the election. There is no absentee voting or voter registration on November 2, the day prior to the election.
You may also make a request in writing to receive an absentee ballot through the mail.
All requests for an Absentee Ballot must be in writing by the elector. Use the Application for Absentee Ballot or write an email or letter requesting an absentee ballot be mailed to you.
The application must be received by the Clerk no later than 5 p.m. on the Thursday, October 29 before the election in order for an absentee ballot to be mailed to you.
Any written requests must include the following information:
Name of the registered voter requesting the absentee ballot.
The address to which you are registered to vote in the Village of Germantown.
The address where the ballot should be sent, if different than your residence.
The signature of the registered voter requesting the absentee ballot. Signature is not required for email requests.
If you have not previously provided a copy of photo ID, photo ID must accompany the request. For the full list of acceptable photo ID visit http://bringit.wi.gov.
Registered Voters may request an absentee ballot via MyVote.WI.gov and follow the instructions. Questions may be directed to the Village of Germantown Clerk’s Office at 262-250-4740 or via email at email@example.com