Bristol ponders renovations for old town hall building

An exterior view of the old Bristol Town Hall along Highway C in Bristol Woods County Park.

An exterior view of the old Bristol Town Hall along Highway C in Bristol Woods County Park.

Doing some low or no cost work on the old town hall building at Bristol Woods County Park and reviving use of the historic building for some functions is an idea that seems to appeal to most of the Bristol Village Board.

But what should be done, how to get it done, and what could be done with the building afterwards are still open issues.

Village administrator Randy Kerkman gave some follow-up information on the building at Monday’s Village Board meeting. Last September, Trustee John McCabe suggested having a board meeting or two in the building from time to time.

Kerkman said he has visited the building and found some pertinent facts:

  • The building does not have electrical service at this time. It did have service at one time.
  • The roof may be leaking or may have had a leak.
  • The building is not fully accessible for people with disabilities, as is required for a location of a government meeting.
  • The building needs painting.
  • The building is used by the county for storage.

McCabe also offered another clarifying fact — the building actually is owned by the county.

“There’s a lot of work that would have to happen and we have no budget for the work there,” Kerkman said.

However McCabe said he has had conversations with County Executive Jim Kreuser about the building that might ease the village’s financial concerns.

If the town could provide some historical photos or information as part of a plan for the property, the county might be able to do some rehab of the building Kreuser said, according to McCabe.

Or if that is not viable, McCabe also said he would be willing to coordinate groups of  Scouts or other volunteers to paint and/or tidy the building. He said he is also willing to put together a plan to be presented to the county. Board members will be emailing any ideas they have for the building to Kerkman.

“I would kind of like to use it for a couple meetings …,” said McCabe. “I hate to see that building just rot away.” The site might also be useful for other village functions, like Arbor Day ceremonies, he suggested.

Kerkman said he would contact local historians John and Shirley Davidson to see if they had any photos/info that could be helpful to the county.

All board members present (Ruth Atwood was absent) seemed in favor of exploring the options further.

“Preservation is important,” Farrell said. “I think we understand the goals is not to spend tax dollars.




  1. Jake says:


    It appears you have an issue with this building of “history”, and it appears you have some misplaced anger towards some people,….take a breath.

    I moved out to Bristol in 1966 and have always looked to the building as part of our Wisconsin and local heritage. When you take the time to “think” about it, it should be saved and most importantly used to keep it alive. I’m not a historian and I too am concerned about taxes, but there are ways to take care of things and I believe the board will come up with.

  2. recycle, refit, reuse says:

    Interesting that a village is involving themselves with a structure they don’t own.
    Interesting that the building isn’t being used as a destination, shelter, part of a program within Bristol Woods/Pringle.
    Not too sure this building was originally on this spot.
    History can be preserved with readily available information – at the site. That would require some sort of parking availability, if even for a roadside stop to read whatever may be posted there to read. We know there isn’t parking (hard to have a meeting without parking nowadays) and we know that the roadway is fast-paced and in a hilly area (not good for pedestrians or bicyclists).

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