ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


Methodist Church

Methodist Campgrounds



02 03       The revival in the Methodist Church still continues with unabated zeal and fervor     WD


05 12       Methodist Church enlarging house of worship; some thirty-five feet will be added to the length of present building   WG



02 23       Rev. N. J. Aplin, donation visit for   WD


03 15       DR. CHARLES JEWETT lectures on use of ardent spirits   

Dr. Charles Jewett of Boston is now delivering to large audiences in the Methodist Church a series of able and interesting lectures on the injurious effects of the use of ardent spirits.  The lectures are not to merely amuse and please, but to have a practical value and application.  His way of treating the subject is very different from the common one—he investigates it as he would any other scientific question and demonstrates as clearly as facts, observations and experience can prove anything, the necessarily destructive and fatal effects of all alcoholic drinks on the human system.  Of course, such a conclusion everybody knows to be correct, but it is the manner in which it is arrived at—the path of reasoning and argument through which we are led to it—that renders the discussion fascinating and instructive.  All who can should attend the course.  It is not every day that we have the opportunity of listening to so accomplished a teacher as Dr. Jewett.   WD




The children attending the Sabbath School of the Methodist Church of this city are to be rewarded with one of those pleasant and delightful festivals which are so popular among all members of such institutions and lend to them an attraction that draws many little ones within the circle of their influence.  Well, next Wednesday evening the last of the old departing year, the happy time is to come off, and we have no doubt that the brightest faces in that assembly will be those oftenest seen in their places on each passing Sunday and who have been most diligent in getting and reciting their lessons well.  WD




Methodist Sunday School Pic Nic:  On Thursday, the 14th, the Methodist Sunday School of this city will take their annual pic nic excursion to Pine Lake.  That is a pleasant place to go.  It is not far away, yet sufficiently distant to have a fine ride on the cars and get away from the familiar sights and sounds of dusty and busy streets.  When the members of a party once find themselves under the overshadowing arches of the old woods and on the margin of the clear lakes, they have nothing to do but make themselves as happy as they choose and if they do not find excitement and novelty enough in the fresh scenes around them the fault must be their own.  At all events the children never fail to keep the groves vocal with their merry voices and make the most of these delightful expeditions to the country.  WD




“ . . . These meetings are not to be denominational in design or character – the sole object being to induce men to become Christians.  We extend to you a respectful and earnest invitation to attend all these meetings and we ask your influence and active efforts to secure the attendance of others.


“We especially urge upon all Christians, in view of the spiritual wants of our city, to lay aside, as far as practicable, their secular occupations and sustain these meetings.”


C. Boynton, Pastor of the Congregational Church, and I. Searles, Pastor of the Methodist Church.    WD




The fine audience that gathered in the Methodist church Tuesday evening to hear Mrs. Florence D. Richards' lecture on temperance, listened with the deepest attention as the lady spoke of the evils of the saloons, and of the work of the Women's Christian Temperance Union, or Organized Mother-love, as the union is sometimes characterized.  Mrs. Richards is a forcible, eloquent speaker, and easily carried her audience with her, moving it to laughter or tears as she passed from wit to pathos.  Her visit was greatly encouraged and strengthened the local union, which is more than ever determined to keep on in the work for "God, and Home, and Native land."   WG



04 10       The Lenten services at the Methodist church closed last evening.  Rev. Hastlestad spoke on "The Relation between Purpose and Action."  God calls upon men to take advanced positions on customs of life, issues, and moral principles which mean little or nothing in the old world life but which mean much in the new life.  Advancement in cleanliness of private life, exactness in business relations and moral purposes generally . . . the load we carry for our failures of the past will hold good for tomorrow for the failures of today. . . . We have no claim upon God except as we use our powers.  Sins cannot be forgiven as long as they are harbored; light is of no value until it is used; activity glorifies God when it expresses glorious purposes.


It was a strong presentation.  Rev. Hastlestad returns this morning to his home in Milton with the benedictions of all who heard Him.



02 12       Unveiling of likeness of Jonas Stahl, who, for thirty years was the inspiration of the Methodist Church and Sunday school    WG


Methodist campgrounds

    Watertown Daily Times, 08 08 1992

Last month's announcement that Don and Nerina Grinwald were donating the 11 acre parcel of land adjacent to Milford Street Park brought back memories of the old Methodist campgrounds to some long-time Watertown residents.


The campgrounds were located on the parcel which the Grinwalds purchased and are donating to the city for park expansion.


One of our regular readers told us her family farm was located next to the campgrounds, and she remembered the operation quite well.


She said back in about 1910 there was a family by the name of Dahms who had a cottage on the site of the campgrounds.  She said the family stayed there all summer long and then returned to their home in the fall.


She said the Methodists had a week-long camp at that location each year, in June.  The camp basically consisted of a tabernacle in the center and was surrounded by probably a dozen cottages for sleeping quarters.  On one end was the dining room.


Each of the cottages were named after a city in Wisconsin.  Among the names were Eau Claire, Stevens Point, Wausau, Columbus, Juneau, Beaver Dam and several from Milwaukee.


There was nothing modem about the cottages.  They were up on stilts and had no water or rest room facilities. T he second floor was for sleeping quarters.


The tabernacle floor was dirt.  All it had inside was benches for participants to sit and a stage of sorts on one end.


She said in the winter all of the units had the windows and doors boarded up until the warmer weather of the next year.


She recalled that back in about 1950 she and her husband returned to visit the old campgrounds and found the buildings in a state of disrepair.


She said the tabernacle was still standing and upon entering it she found a box full of old Methodist hymnals on the stage.  She kept one as a memento and has it to this day.


She also recalled many groups used the campgrounds after taking a train trip to Watertown. She said they would come up from Johnson Creek and other cities along the Chicago and North Western line and then have a parade-like walk out to the campgrounds.  Often the trains would be met by wagons pulled by horses.


Another Watertown resident, Orv Wesemann, told us a bit more information about the camp.  He said it was back in 1949 that he made arrangements with Rev. Don Standard, pastor of the local Methodist congregation, to purchase two of the cabins for $400 each.


Wesemann said he razed them and used die wood for construction of his home on Ninth Street.


He also recalled that one of the primary reasons the camp was closed was the state's insistence that plumbing be installed in the cottages.  He said the Methodists decided instead to commit funds to other camps which were located along lakes, etc., for more recreational opportunities.


The Methodists, he recalled were not the only group to use the site.  Many churches of other denominations used the site for their summer picnics as well.


So, after many years as a campgrounds for people in the area, the old Methodist property is being returned from private ownership back to the public domain.




Text COPYRIGHTED by the Watertown Daily Times




First Methodist Church Sunday school 10 a.m., morning worship 11 a.m., Epworth league 7:15, topic, "The Renunciation of Vulgar Display as a Means of Recognition, the Modesty of Strength."  Evening worship 8 p.m.  Services at Pipersville at 9 a.m., Sunday school at 10 a.m.  The Rev. William Nowack, missionary of China, will be the speaker at all of the services, both morning and evening.  Everybody is cordially invited at these services.  Strangers very welcome.   WG




A Splendid Concert.  One of the very best concerts ever given here was that at the First Methodist church last Monday evening by the Lawrence Glee club.  There was a large audience present and the splendid program furnished was thoroughly enjoyed.   WG



Friday evening the Epworth League of the First Methodist church pleasantly entertained members and friends at the church parlors in honor of the reappointment of Rev. Lorenz Knutzen to the pastorate of the church.  Miss Abbie Norton gave an address of welcome to the pastor on behalf of the league and he responded in a very feeling manner.  Miss Florence Amadon rendered some choice piano music, and Watertown’s popular reader, Miss Edna Chadwick, gave several excellent readings, which called forth much applause and favorable comment.  A vocal solo was rendered by Miss Florence Piller, and the program closed by refreshments served by members of the league.   WG



09 18       NEW CHURCH PLANS

Plans were announced here today on behalf of the Watertown Methodist congregation for construction of a new church edifice to be erected on a tract of land acquired last year, on the Rock River front on Hall Street, directly opposite Doctors Court.  Preliminary plans presented by James Potter of the architectural firm of Law, Law Potter and Nystrom of Madison were approved by the congregation in May.    WG





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History of Watertown, Wisconsin