DOOR COUNTY, Wis. You may be able to own a piece of door county history. Parts of the historic Eagle Tower at Peninsula State Park will be up for auction later this month to help pay for a new tower.
Eagle tower being deconstructed
Eagle tower closed in 2015 and was deconstructed last year, inspections found it was no longer safe and repairs to the existing tower wouldn't be enough.
"We've heard from so many people in the community and people that have donated to the project, how important the tower has been to their families," said Rachel Stollenwerk, Campaign Director for The Eagle Tower Fund.
The tower has 108 stairs, is 75-feet tall with and 250-feet above water level. The popular Eagle Tower is visited by one million people every year within Peninsula State Park.
"Many families have been coming there for up to seven generations, and so just kind of the keepsake of the tower itself, the history and the memories that it provides for the visitors are what’s really important to it," said Missy VanLanduyt, DNR External Relations Partnership Section Chief.
A dozen artists and carpenters are repurposing unusable materials from the old tower to be auctioned off to the public later this month.
"From stairs to bolts and all types of things and they've really started turning them into really creative both art pieces or functional things like benches and so we'll be using all of those pieces as part of our live and silent auction," said Stollenwerk.
So far the Eagle Tower Fund Committee has raised $600,000 for the project. They're hoping to raise $750,000, which is the amount the state will match. That extra $750,000 proposed in the next state budget.
One of the goals for the new tower is to make it resemble the old tower while opening up access to more people.
"We also intend to add elements to the future tower that will aid persons with visual impairments, hearing impairments, cognitive impairments so that we can have a recreational facility that is usable by all persons regardless of their abilities," said VanLanduyt.
Construction is planned to begin late next year according to VanLanduyt.
The live and silent auctions for the repurposed eagle tower pieces is set for Saturday, September 30th at "White Cottage Red Door" in Fish Creek from 1-4 p.m. The live auction begins right at 2:45 p.m.