Sturgeon Bay in Door County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Bradley Crandall Sawmill Site
founding of Sturgeon Bay
The Founding of Little Lake
Sturgeon Bay's first major settlement was founded in 1853 with the construction of the Bradley-Crandall Sawmill. The original mill was located on a small island and had a workforce of 30 – 40 people, about half the population of the area. Life was hard and transportation difficult. Wild animals were prevalent, especially bears and wolves.
The channel between the island and the mainland was called "Silver Lake" by the early settlers because of its beautiful reflective qualities. Later known as "Bradley Lake", it gradually decreased in size because of the dumpings from the mill. The natives began calling it "Slab Lake" or "Little Lake".
During the depression and panic of 1857 the lumber mill failed and lumber was hauled to Chicago to settle debts. Bradley had to sell his cow, the only one in Door County. These hard years were called "the years of salt and potatoes".
In 1859 the first flour mill was working. The sawmill, again operational, generated large quantities of
The sawmill closed in 1910. Little Lake had become a health hazard because of sawdust dumpings and was unmarketable. In 1928 the city purchased the property plus 25 additional acres to create a park. For some years the lake was used by the state as a bass rearing pond. Water tanks, now used as planters, originally held specimens of fish native to Door County waters.
In 1962 Sturgeon Bay residents defeated an attempt to develop a marina and the area was conserved for future generations to enjoy.
Sturgeon Bay in 1982
Sturgeon Bay Home and Garden Club
Peninsula Planters Garden Club.
Reconstructed in 1993 in collaboration with
Door County Historical Society.
Erected 1982 by Sturgeon Bay Home and Garden Club, Peninsula Planters Garden Club.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers.
Location. 44° 50.74′ N, 87° 22.916′ W. Marker is in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, in Door County. Marker is on North 3rd Avenue (County Highway B) near Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Sturgeon Bay WI 54235, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Steam Barge Joys (approx. ¼ mile away); Historic Sturgeon Bay (approx. 0.7 miles away); ‘Old Bell’ Tower (approx. 0.7 miles away); Hay Hardware (approx. 0.7 miles away); 110-114 North 3rd Avenue (approx. ¾ mile away); Merchants Exchange Bank (approx. 0.8 miles away); Masonic Temple (approx. 0.9 miles away); The Old Bridge (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sturgeon Bay.
Also see . . .
1. Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. Wikipedia entry. (Submitted on January 24, 2010.)
2. Sturgeon Bay, Door County. Links to Door County sites. (Submitted on January 24, 2010.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on January 24, 2010, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 1,002 times since then and 28 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on January 24, 2010, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. 2. submitted on November 4, 2011, by Bob (peach) Weber of Dewey, Arizona. 3, 4, 5. submitted on January 24, 2010, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.