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This building not only has a history, but it also has the history of the individual who owned it and worked here. His name is Erhardt G. Wurthmann, and he was a very influential man that influenced Cedarburg's Fire Department as well as showing the genuine immigrant experience to America.

Window, Building, Rectangle, Black-and-white

Built and established in 1888, painter and ornamentalist Erhardt G. Wurthmann, like many other immigrants coming to the United States, came to Cedarburg in 1866, one year after the Civil War. He also would become the town's third fire chief of the CFD (Cedarburg Fire Department) from 1889 to 1914. Wurthmann came to the United States from Oldenburg, Germany. Born in 1846, Wurthmann was abandoned when he was ten years old. He came to the United States as a teenager at sixteen years of age. The original community that he settled in would be Mequon, which was still a part of the original portion of Ozaukee County. In Mequon, he started painting as his new career.

In 1863, he moved to Chicago and made it his home for three years. He would then move back to Ozaukee County and locate Cedarburg, where his painting and business thrived. He also acquired sixty acres of land, just on the outer parts of Cedarburg, where he built a brick house. In 1870, he married Helen Roebken and had two children named Otto and Adele.

As Cedarburg's fire chief, he instituted many customs and conventions still practiced and remained in the fire department up into the twenty-first century. Including the department's constitution that forms the structure of the entire department for years to come. But during his tenure, the fire department's structure and design were abolished. But the destruction of the fire department did not destroy the attitude and confidence of the department members. In 1908, under Wurthmann's leadership. The department would acquire new equipment and build and design a new firehouse still standing today. Wurthmann's store is built based on a Queen Anne false front; the primary clapboard also made up the building's structure and many hand-cut decorative details. Some dentrails show the year that his residence was established. This is shown on a triangular projected pilaster on the structure's roofline. The store is now Nouveau Antique Jewelry.

Zimmermann, H. Russell. The Heritage Guidebook: Landmarks And Historical Sites In Southeastern Wisconsin. Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Heritage Banks, 1976. 195.

Zimmermann, H. Russell. The Heritage Guidebook: Landmarks And Historical Sites In Southeastern Wisconsin/Highlights Of Historic Cedarburg. Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Heritage Banks, 1976.

A Walk Through Yesterday: In Cedarburg Wisconsin. 2005.

Cedarburg Fire Department: 150 Years Of Service/1866-2016. Cedarburg, Wisconsin. Cedarburg Fire Department, 2016. 14.

Wisconsin Historical Society, Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Erhardt G. Wurthmann Store, Cedarburg, Ozaukee County, Wisconsin, 13386. Accessed April 15th 2022.

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