Historic Bristol Town Hall building moved from its foundation

Part of an effort to preserve Bristol's history
Posted at 12:51 PM, Apr 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-24 13:51:11-04

KENOSHA COUNTY -- After nearly 150 years at its current location in the Bristol Woods County Park, the historic Bristol Town Hall was moved to Fireman's Park at 8323 198th Avenue.

The move is an effort to better utilize the historical structure. 

"A lot of people have lived here for a long time," John McCabe with the Bristol Wisconsin Historical Society said. "So we're trying to collect and preserve the history for future generations."

McCabe helped create the Bristol Wisconsin Historical Society with the main goal of saving the original Bristol Town Hall. It has sat vacant for decades in Bristol Woods County Park, used more as a storage shed than anything else. They were able to raise the funds to have the building moved from its foundation to a place closer to the center of the village so people can tour it and learn about the history of Bristol.

"There are a lot of people who have a lot of collections from Bristol in the early days and we need a spot to put it up and show it," McCabe said. 

One of the people who has quite the collection is John Davidson. However, it's not his only contribution. Davidson put up most of the $77,000 it takes to move the building three miles. 

But for him, it was well worth it to preserve some of Bristol's history. 

"Moving and setting it up is something that had to be done," Davidson said. "I voted in here a couple times. It's been sitting there and now we got it back and are making good use of it."

It's a cause other Bristol residents are excited to be a part of. 

"I grew up here," Paul Hansen with the historical society said. "This is home right here. This is part of my parents' farm we're standing on right now. Your roots are here."

"It's nice to know where you come from," Tony Jones said. "Nice to have your roots, have a base. Today, everyone is so fast-paced. Good to take a step back and know what it was back in the old days." 

The building took several hours to move about three miles. The group expects renovations to take six months to a year before people can enjoy the building. 

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