colfax-wi-municipal-building-restoration

The cornerstone of the building was laid in 1915 and the building completed in 1916.  A loan from the State Trust Fund was secured in the amount of $13,000 to be paid off in annual installments of $1,000 each.  The architect who drew the plans for the building was Mr. Carl Volkman of Eau Claire, Wisconsin.  The contract for the construction of the building was awarded the Wisconsin Construction Company of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.

The building is built of sandstone from the Colfax stone quarry.  The Colfax Stone Company was a very prosperous business at the time.  They shipped stone as far east as New York and also had orders from Montana.  A school in Watertown, South Dakota was built of this stone, a depot in New Richmond, as well as a Lutheran Church in Madison, Wisconsin to mention a few.

The Ladies’ Reading Club provided the fireplace in the library and moved their library books into the new library as soon as it was completed.

During World War I the auditorium was used for weekly rallies to support the service men and women.

In January of 1919, Gerhard Hammer purchased the Joy Theater motion picture business from Mr. Harsh and installed the equipment in the Village hall auditorium.  The first motion picture shown there was on January 21, called “Pershings Crusaders”.

As the years have gone on, many events were held in the building including lyceum programs, St. Olaf Choir concerts, wedding dances, roller skating, church services and baptisms, and high school class plays.  The building was also used for classrooms during a building project at the school.  It was used during the tornado in 1958 for a shelter and a place where injured were taken to await the ambulance.  For many years it has been the meeting place for the scouts, barber shoppers, Kiwanis, and youth groups and also used as the senior citizens center.  This building has, for many years, been the social hub of the community.  All these events accumulate into many wonderful memories for the people who have grown up in the Colfax area.

In 2002 the building was declared on of Wisconsin’s 10 most endangered historic properties.  In October of 2003, the building was listed on the State Register of Historic Places and in January of 2004 placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

It is the goal of the Colfax Municipal Building Restoration Group to restore the building so the basement meeting rooms and the auditorium can again be used by the community for many of the same kinds of events that were held there in the past.

The Colfax Municipal Building Restoration Group has non-profit status under the 501© (3) IRS code.

The Group has paid for the restoration of the main hallway of the building, replacement of the front steps, replacement of windows and numerous other projects.  They continue to work toward the restoration of the old theater.

A history room has been established on the third floor of the building.  It is located in the room which was once used for the sale of tickets and concessions.  Many items of local history are displayed.  We encourage people to stop and browse in this room to learn more about the history of Colfax.

 

 

Contact Us

PO Box 238
Colfax Wi
54730