This file part of www.watertownhistory.org website
Pioneer Tavern Demolished for Fuel
Old Mud Inn on Watertown-Portland Plank Road
Popular with Travelers
Der Freischuetz open west
of downtown, near the western terminus of the Watertown-Portland Plank
Road. Der Freischuetz existed until the 1880s,
but was better known at the Mud Tavern.
It was torn down in 1928.
Der Freischütz is an opera in three acts by Carl Maria von Webe.
It is considered the first important German Romantic opera, especially in its national identity and
HEADQUARTERS FOR WATERTOWN RIFLES
In April of 1861, the Watertown
Rifles HQ was in the Chappel
Block on Main Street. On 12 May they
were issued their uniforms and assigned to the 3rd Wisconsin Infantry Regiment
as Co. A. Their HQ was then moved to the Mud Tavern on W. Main
Street, about a mile west of the heart of town.
It was renamed Camp Bertram
after Henry Bertram who managed the place and also served in the company (1LT
and later CPT). Source
02 20 INCIDENT
AT MUD TAVERN
At a dance given at the "Mud
Tavern" on the Plank road in the western portion
of this city last Saturday night, Emil Kellermann was
cut and stabbed with a knife in a most inhuman manner, in the neck, face, back
of the head and back. He almost bled to
death before medical aid reached him, and he now lies in a dangerous condition
in his home in the 5th ward, with poor hopes of his recovery. Albert Maas, a 5th ward carpenter, is
under arrest on the charge of assaulting Kellermann
with a dangerous weapon, and is now in the Dodge
county jail at Juneau awaiting the results of Kellermann's
wounds. We understand a row occurred at
the dance over the payment for five kegs of beer that were purchased and Kellermann stepped forward as a peacemaker between the warring
factions, and was immediately attacked in the above
brutal manner. Kellermann
is a quiet, inoffensive young man, and there is much indignation over the
outrageous and criminal manner in which he was
The Milwaukee Journal, 01
more landmark of pioneer days in Wisconsin was erased when the Mud Tavern on
the western outskirts of this city was torn down last week. The timbers of the old hostelry which once rang
with the merry-making of pioneers who stopped off on their way from Milwaukee
met the ignominious end of being cut up for firewood.
early days the road leading to this tavern at certain seasons of the year was
almost impassable, on account of a long stretch of mud, and the building was
constructed principally of clay and mud from which the tavern was given its
name. The tavern was built sometime in
the forties and was for many years a great resort, not only for travelers but
for city people.
A plank road was built from Milwaukee through this
city to Madison and on to Green Bay.
Before the advent of the railroads into this region the road was the
main thoroughfare for freight and travel.
rear of the inn there was a large barn for the teams of the travelers who put
up there for the night. To the west of
the tavern was a large park, targets, bowling alleys, bandstands and picnic
grounds. A short distance east was a
brewery (1), just east of which was the old plank road tollgate [tollgate to
road to Portland?]. The tavern and its
surroundings were well equipped with everything to make things lively for
pioneer travelers of those days, and for many years it enjoyed a large
1) Corner of Dayton and W Main St. In 1852 William
Bucheit and Charles Reidinger
opened a small brewery on this site, called the Plank Road Brewery. In 1865 it was acquired by Friedrich Schwartz
of Milwaukee who brewed “weiss beer” or wheat beer in
this plant and in 1867 it closed.
Afterwards the buildings were used as a glue factory, before burning to the ground in 1871.
Watertown City Directory of
1866-67 lists Frederick Schwarz, brewery, w. N.W.R.R. [west of Northwestern
Plank Road Brewery
Watertown Democrat, 03 03 1859
subscriber, having become proprietor of the establishment known as the Plank
Road Brewery, will hereafter conduct it and will manufacture an article of Beer
that in all respects will be superior to any other in the market. He will warrant it to be a pure, healthy and
pleasant beverage. He invites all
dealers to give him a call and examine the price and quality of his beer.
Feb. 23, 1859 Francis Belrose. [in ad one week later
this brewery is called “the City Brewery”]
Two Taverns Left
ago, when a small boy, the editor of The
Watertown Gazette lived within three blocks of this tavern and remembers
many of the doings of the people of that neighborhood during the Civil War times. Up to 1866 Mud Tavern presented a creditable
appearance, and had to the north and west of it one of the best kept flower and
fruit gardens in the state. Since then
the tavern changed hands many times, and usually a pretty rough class of people
attended the various “socials” given there.
front part of the tavern a saloon and dance hall was conducted and usually the
crowds that attended the Saturday night dances held there turned them into
tavern is the last relic of pioneer times to be removed west of the Rock River,
but there are still two road taverns east of the river in a fair state of
preservation, one the building on the right as you turn near the electric power
house to cross the Oconomowoc Street bridge, known as the Boston House (2) in
early days, the other about two miles east of the city on the left on the
the southeast corner of Oconomowoc and Concord avenues was the historic Boston
House, a well-known business. It
included a large dance hall. Travelers over this section of the plank road
always looked forward to a stop at the Boston House.