Governor visits Bradley’s to celebrate its 160 years

Gov. Scott Walker talks with his former high school chemistry teacher, Ann Serpe, of Elkhorn, during a visit to Bradley’s Department Store on Tuesday to commemorate the store’s 160 years in business.

By Alexandrea Dahlstrom

SLN Staff

Gov. Scott Walker made a trip to his hometown Tuesday to celebrate the anniversary of Delavan’s longest-running department store.

Walker, a Delavan native, was present among dozens of locals and officials to celebrate the 160 years Bradley’s Department Store has been in business.

“This is a great town with a fantastic store and good for Delavan,” he said. “You have to have a vibrant downtown for the community.”

Walker said he visited Bradley’s during Maxwell Street days as a kid when then-owner Bill McKoy would set out the tables in front of the store.

Walker’s mother Pat Walker, who was also at the celebration, used to write for the Delavan Enterprise and had a column called “Pat’s Ponderings.” Walker’s wife, Tonette Walker, also made the trip to the East Walworth Street store.

“Today is just amazing,” owner Lois Stritt said during Walker’s visit. “One of the best things to happen to me. There is such a sense of community and love in this town. We are so honored to have him here.”

Walker earlier visited Lake Lawn Resort for breakfast with officials from the Walworth County Boys and Girls Club.

At Bradley’s former owners Bill and Diane Mckoy were also in attendance along with State Sen. Neal Kedzie, Rep. Tyler August, Mayor Mel Nieuwenhuis and Alderman Ryan Schroeder.

“It was great to see people I grew up with. Parents I knew. My chemistry teacher and assistant principal were here,” said Walker.

Stritt also will have a ceremony and balloon release on Saturday at Bradley’s. Mayor Mel Nieuwenhuis will be in attendance to give the proclamation. He said he will also be cooking up the 160 hotdogs they will be giving away along with 160 cupcakes. Bradley’s will also have specials and sales throughout the day.





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