The Cheese Counter & Dairy Heritage Center: Did You Know… ?

The Cheese Counter & Dairy Heritage Center, located in the 1875 A.F. Laack building, have been getting questions about “who owns the 133 E. Mill Street building?” and “who is A.F. Laack?”  Here is everything you need to know:

This building is on the state and historical register of historic places and is currently owned by the Sheboygan Economic Development Corporation Foundation (SCEDCF).  The building was deeded to SEDCF from the City of Plymouth for a nominal sum to take advantage of certain grant opportunities and Historical Tax Credits.  Through generous donations of Sargento Foods, Sartori Foods , Masters Gallery Foods and Great Lakes Cheese Co., along with individual donors, the building was rehabilitated to the present functional condition.  The Plymouth Redevelopment Authority (RDA) is the governing entity for the operation of the Cheese Counter and Dairy Heritage Center.  The RDA can repurchase the building back from SEDCF for the same nominal sum at a future date when certain grant and funding requirements have been satisfied.

About the Building – 1875 A.F. Laack

The A. F. Laack building is a two story brick Italianate commercial block building constructed on a stone foundation with a basement level.  The main façade is finished in cream brick while the rest of the building has a rougher brick construction.  Historic photos reveal two equal iron and glass storefronts on the main north-facing facade, each with its own entrance at the western edge of the storefront.  The first floor existing façade was rebuilt in 2016-2017 as part of the historical renovation of the building that was finished in September 2017.  There is a row of seven equally spaced and center tall arched window openings on the second floor.  Each one has a stone sill and Romanesque half-circle arches with emphasized bases and keystones constructed of cream brick.  Above these seven brick arched windows is a large parapet cornice extending from the roof line.  Presumably constructed in terra cotta, this cornice is symmetrical with three bays, each supported by large classical brackets.  The letters ‘A.F. Laack’ and ‘1875’ were visible when acquired by the City.  In 2017, the letters were replaced to its original design.  The overall stylistic impression of the building is eclectic with a variety of influences including some Greek Revival and Romanesque details; however, the overall massing and main street façade is predominantly Italianate.

Born in 181, August F. Laack immigrated to America in 1847 and settled in the Town of Greenbush, not far from Plymouth.  He later moved to Plymouth and opened a hotel at the eastern end of E. Mill Street and constructed a wood frame hardware store nearby in 1866.  In 1875, Laack had a general mercantile and hardware store constructed at 131-133 E. Mill Street and converted the wood frame building into the Plymouth Marble Works.   Also referred to as the ‘old’ Laack building, the building was designed by Sheboygan architect and builder Charles Hilpertshauser and constructed by Plymouth masons Rattsburg and Wendt.  The two story brick commercial block at 131-133 E. Mill Street has a 40 foot front along the south side of E. Mill.  Though Laack senior retired to manage a fruit farm in Sheboygan County in 1871, he still maintained his business interests in Plymouth with the intention of handing them over to his son, Henry C. Laack, and would finance many of his son’s earlier projects in the 1870s and 1880s.  A.F. Laack also founded the Plymouth Marble Works, which supplied the various Laack family buildings and numerous other commercial buildings in Plymouth with masonry stone.  A.F. Laack died in 1887 and the building was inherited and operated by his son, H.C. Laack.  In 1895, the A.F. Laack building and hardware store was sold to William Towbridge, who operated it as a hardware store through the 1910s.  The building has been home to a number of businesses over the years including a diner, dry-cleaner, hair salon, retail businesses, and even a tattoo parlor.  The building was almost razed by the City of Plymouth but a plan was put together to save the structure and rehab it with support of the Plymouth Redevelopment Authority, Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation, the City of Plymouth, local businesses, interested individuals, USDA-Rural Development, and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.  Today, it is the home of the Cheese Counter & Dairy Heritage Center.

Apartments for Rent in Downtown Plymouth

CHEESE COUNTER AND DAIRY HERITAGE CENTER APARTMENTS FOR RENT – 133 E Mill St – Plymouth

$1,100 to $1,300 – 2 bed / 2 bath in downtown Plymouth with classic architecture and charm in an historic building.

Freshly renovated: Tall ceilings, arched windows with natural light in a vibrant community.  Close to coffee shops, restaurants and parks.  Hardwood floors throughout.  Secure entry, laundry connections, garage, no pets, non-smoking.  $1,100 – $1,300/month, 1 month security deposit, water & sewer included.

Contact Sue Barth at 920-892-2012 or sbarth@cheesecapitaloftheworld.com.

 

Plymouth Utilities Customer Warning: Doxo.com

Customer Warning:  There is an on-line bill pay website that appears to be affiliated with Plymouth Utilities, but it is not.  Doxo.com is a third-party website that allows people to pay their electric bills via their site.  However, doxo.com may charge the customer extra fees, and Plymouth Utilities cannot control when we will receive the customer payments from doxo.com, possibly resulting in a late payment or even disconnection due to non-payment.  To make sure you are paying Plymouth Utilities directly, visit our website at www.plymouthutilities.com.

ADVERTISEMENT FOR BID

Substation Equipment
PLYMOUTH, WISCONSIN

Project No. P05-17A
Plymouth Utilities will receive sealed bids for the purchase of substation equipment for an addition to the existing Substation 4. Bids will be received at the office of Forster Electrical Engineering, 550 North Burr Oak Avenue Oregon, WI 53575 until 1:00 p.m. local time on the 21st day of November, 2017, at which time all bids will be publicly opened and read aloud.

The bids shall be addressed to: Forster Electrical Engineering
550 North Burr Oak Avenue
Oregon, WI 53575

And shall be marked:

Sealed Bid
Submitted by (…)
Circuit Reclosers
Spec 3043, Volume IV Sealed Bid
Submitted by (…)
Substation Structures and Materials Package
Spec 3044, Volume V

Sealed Bid
Submitted by (…)
Relay and Control Panel
Spec 3051, Volume VI Sealed Bid
Submitted by (…)
Circuit Switcher
Spec 3052, Volume VII

The work shall include furnishing and delivering two 15 kV vacuum circuit reclosers with controls (spec. 3043), a substation structures and materials package (spec. 3044), one indoor relay and control panel (spec. 3051), and/or one 138 kV SF6 circuit switcher (spec. 3052). Bids may be submitted for one or more bid items.

Bidding documents may be examined at or obtained from the office of the consulting Engineer. Please identify which specification number you wish to receive in your request. The nonrefundable fee for these documents will be $20 (for an electronic copy) and/or $50 (for a printed copy).

Forster Electrical Engineering, Inc.
550 N. Burr Oak Avenue
Oregon, Wisconsin 53575
608.835.9009

No bid will be accepted unless accompanied by a certified check or bid bond of at least five percent (5%) of the bid amount, payable to the Owner. If the successful bidder fails to execute and file the contract, the amount of the check or bid bond shall be forfeited to the Owner as liquidated damages.

Plymouth Utilities reserves the right to reject any and all bids, to waive irregularities and informalities therein and to award contracts in the best interest of the Utility.

October 2017

Medication Take Back to be held Saturday October 28, 2017

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Cheese Counter & Dairy Heritage Center and More…

The Cheese Counter & Dairy Heritage Center is open to the public on Friday October 20th.  Business hours are Wednesday through Monday from 10 am to 6 pm.  The Cheese Counter is closed on Tuesdays.  For things to do in the Cheese Capital please view the pdfs below for a two day itinerary and tour information.

Two-Day Plymouth Itinerary

Plymouth Group Tours

Henry H. Huson Tower Dedication

Henry H. Huson Tower dedication:  September 23, 2017

While it may go unnoticed, Plymouth lost a landmark in the early morning hours of June 21st, 2015.  The Huson Water Tower, on Collins Street, was destroyed by fire.  A little piece of history making Plymouth one of those charming communities is no more.

The water tower dated pre-1881.  Henry Huson, 2nd mayor of Plymouth, built a Victorian home on the bluff of Collins Street in the 1870’s.  Across the street, along the banks of the Mullet River, he built a barn and stable for horses and sheep, which grazed on the hill.  A simple wind mill and pump provided water for the animals.

In 1881 Henry enclosed the wind mill creating an elegant little building on the Huson homestead.  Three stories tall with decorative embellishments, it included a 4- windowed tower at its peak with a wooden wind mill to pump water.  In the late 1890’s, underground pipes enabled water to be pumped directly to the Huson house. Undoubtedly due to Henry’s ingenuity, water was stored in second floor copper tanks with gravity providing running water for the house, a novelty at that time.

The last Huson family member to live in the Huson House, Alice Huson Bush, passed away in 1964.  The following year Henry Bush, Alice’s son and grandson of Henry Huson, donated the water tower and surrounding land to the city to be used for park purposes.

On April 30, 1974, by resolution, the city named the park in honor of Henry Huson.  A 3 ½ year tower restoration project was undertaken, in part, in anticipation of the city’s 100th anniversary.  Friends and community organizations created what was described as a “natural paradise in the middle of the city.”

On June 26, 1976, the tower and park was officially dedicated by Mayor Bill Bruhy. Wilbur Westphalen and Chuck Schumacher, of the Lions club, acknowledged clubs and organizations which helped in the endeavor.  They included the Kiwanis, Rotary, Garden, Junior Women’s, Jaycees, Jaycettes, Association of Commerce, National Guard, Toastmasters, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Building Tradesmen and the Industrial Development Corporation.  Wayne Capelle and AI Lyng, of the original project committee, received special thanks.  A copper time capsule containing the names of 118 citizens who donated $1,776 and a $50 bank note were placed in the foundation of the tower with the intention of reopening the capsule in one-hundred years.  The funds were to be used to celebrate the nation’s tri-centennial celebration.

In 1980 The National Register of Historic places deemed the Huson Water Tower a historic and archeological resource, bestowing it National Landmark status.  Only two other such properties in Plymouth have received this honor; 52 Stafford and the Henry Huson House.

A smaller scale restoration project was undertaken in 2004 when decaying wood was replaced and the tower was repainted to its original 1881 color scheme.

For decades, the tower has provided mystique and charm.  City employees and residents have carefully tended to the tower, from cutting grass, setting field stones, planting flowers, and even gracing the front door with a Christmas wreath.

A popular tourist attraction, the tower has been frequented by local and out-of-town visitors who would stop and see this unusual and mysterious little building.  If only to read the historical plaque from the street or peek in its windows, a framed building that had survived

134 years, is now a mere cement foundation.  Seeing this brings a sense of sorrow and loss, as a piece of quaintness only found in our hometown of Plymouth, is now gone.

Dan Buckman

President Plymouth Historical Society

June 25, 2015 – Plymouth Review

____________________________________________________________________________________

-A planning committee was formed and met August 17, 2015.  The committee consisted of Don Pohlman, Mayor; Brian Verges, City Administrator; Mark Pflaller, Architect; Glen Guerra, Architectural Consultant; Dan Buckman, President Plymouth Historical Society.  The committee planned and organized reconstruction of the tower which was completed in 2017.

-Original tower measurements were taken by Jerry Thompson, Plymouth Wis. These measurements were invaluable in designing the new tower.

Architect- Pfaller Architectural Associates Inc. Elkhart Lake, Wis. Structural Engineer- Bob Steckel, Cedarburg, Wis.

Contractor- MZ Construction Inc. Linden, Wis.

Windmill design and construction- Ron Hartman, Sheboygan, Wis. Tower Dedication- Plymouth Historical Society

Plymouth Utilities Celebrates Public Power Week

Plymouth Utilities is celebrating Public Power Week, October 1-7, along with more than 2,000 other community-owned, not-for-profit electric utilities that collectively provide electricity to 49 million Americans.  Plymouth Utilities invites community members and customers to visit our Plymouth Utilities Operations Center at 900 County Road PP this week and sign-up for prizes.  We would invite you to read the op-ed from Jeff Stone, Executive Director of the Municipal Electric Utilities of Wisconsin (MEUW) which highlights the import value of locally owned municipal utilities like Plymouth Utilities.

In addition, if you know the names of anyone in the vintage Plymouth Utilities photo please e-mail us at Plymouthutilities@plymouthutilities.com.

Plymouth Public Works and Utilities Offer Recycling/Bulk Item Days