Van Der Vaart concrete-solid for 125 years
By Mark Sherry
Visitors to the New Holstein Aquatic Center are greeted by some of Van Der Vaart’s workmanship.

Rock solid and long lasting—that describes concrete and the local company which has been pouring it for 125 years, Van Der Vaart.

Van Der Vaart is the parent company of Tri-County Ready Mix located at 2216 Calumet Dr. (STH 32/57), New Holstein. The New Holstein location has a long and growing history of its own dating back to the late 1940s when George Vogel built a ready mix plant here and did business as Vogel Sand & Gravel.

As Van Der Vaart observes its 125th anniversary, it traces its roots back to 1888 when Oscar Zimbal established the Zimbal Brick Company in Sheboygan. Manufactured brick was the company’s only product at that time.

John Van Der Vaart purchased the company from Zimbal in 1927 and added a full line of masonry and fireplace products, including firewood sales.

Like most longtime businesses, Van Der Vaart’s business has taken many twists and turns along the way—adding new products, dropping others, changing along with the times. In 1930 the company installed the first gravity-fed mechanical batching system to produce ready mix concrete. Gravity-fed aggregates were weighed by scale and bagged Portland cement was physically added by hand to delivery trucks. In 1931 the company established Wisconsin Concrete Pipe and Culvert.

Ties to Pauly family

Van Der Vaart Brick & Building Supply was sold in 1946 to the Pauly Corporation of Manitowoc—the same Pauly family of which members settled in New Holstein and were instrumental in the community’s growth beginning in the 1950s.

In 1952 Sylvester Vogel joined George Vogel in New Holstein to establish Vogel Bros. Construction. Van Der Vaart purchased Vogel Bros. in 1956 and changed the name to Tri-County Ready Mix and Excavating. Tri-County Ready Mix built a new state-of-the-art automated concrete batch plant in 1969 to replace the original 20-year-old plant.

To complete the history to the current ownership of Van Der Vaart, Charles Harvey started C. Harvey Ready Mix in Manitowoc in 1965. Van Der Vaart, meanwhile, purchased land east of Kiel and established Manitowoc Sand and Gravel Co. in 1979.

Both companies continued to buy and/or sell other companies and make changes to their businesses until 1986 when Michael Harvey purchased all Van Der Vaart ready mix and block plants and established Van Der Vaart Holding Company. Michael Harvey purchased the C. Harvey Co. in 1988 and continues to be the owner of Van Der Vaart today. In addition to Tri-County Ready Mix in New Holstein, Van Der Vaart owns Van Der Vaart in Sheboygan, Sheboygan Concrete in Sheboygan Falls, Van Der Vaart in Manitowoc and C. Harvey Concrete in Manitowoc.

New Holstein native Bob Bosma— who manages Tri-County Ready Mix— has been around for a lot of the more recent changes in the company, having started with Van Der Vaart in 1976 as a truck driver. He managed maintenance at Van Der Vaart’s yard on Sheboygan’s south side before being able to start

Turn to CONCRETE/page 22 A