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Riverside Park

This file is under construction at this time

 

Cannon at Riverside Park, undated photo, WHS 006 688

 

1908

09 25          KUSSEL FARM

Don't Fail to Attend.

Sale of barns, sheds and other out buildings on the Kussel farm, if you want to buy some cheap lumber.  Sale Saturday, Sept. 26 at 2 P. M.   WG

 

09 25          AUCTION SALE [at Kussel farm]

[same date] The undersigned will sell on his premises in the Sixth ward on Wednesday, Sept. 30th, at 10 o'clock a. m., the following personal property to the highest bidders:  2 work horses, 1 single heavy harness, set of heavy harness, 1 double carriage harness, 1 single buggy harness, 1 Milwaukee binder and Milwaukee mower, 1 seeder, 1 sulky corn cultivator, 2 hand cultivators, 1 drag in three parts . . . 1 disc sub-soil plow, fanning mill, 1 lumber wagon, wide tire truck wagon, milk wagon, several buggies, sulky potato bug sprinkler, corn sheller, land roller, 1000 lb. scale, some hay and other farming utensils and some household goods.  Terms—All sums under $10 cash, over that amount six months time will be given on good secured notes at 5 per cent interest.   

 

Lunch at noon.   Samuel Kussel, Prop.   WG

 

10 09          BIG REAL ESTATE DEALS

BIG REAL ESTATE DEALS.  The Riverside Land Co. is putting in a fine driveway between Fourth Street bridge and county line bridge [new “driveway” is assumed to be the upgrading or rebuilding of Labaree St., a portion of which had existed as early as 1855; county line bridge is Division/Boughton St bridge].  They have recently sold 420 lots in Beloit in one day, 232 lots in Janesville, 145 lots at Monroe and 173 lots in Stoughton.  If you are in line for an investment don't fail to purchase lots in the Riverside addition, known as the Sam Kussel property, in the 6th ward [Samuel Kussell home was at 924 Labaree].   Watertown is on the boom and these lots are bound to advance in price.

 

DON'T PUT IT OFF.  Start now and buy a lot in the Riverside addition to Watertown, for these lots will not last long at these terms and prices.

 

DON'T FORGET.  Sale of lots in Riverside addition, opens Wednesday, Oct. 14 at 7 a. m.  Come early.    WG

 

Cross Reference:   Riverside Addition [Kussel Farm] - Labaree St.       Labaree St

 

10 16          LOTS GO LIKE HOT CAKES

Over 200 lots were sold in the Riverside addition in the 6th ward last Wednesday.  Several sat up all night to get the first chance to buy the lots at 7 o'clock in the morning.  It was the biggest sale of lots that has ever taken place in Watertown and Mr. Bunn, who had charge of the sale, was delighted with it.   WG

 

11 13          MAP OF RIVERSIDE ADDITION

By Alderman Werner:

 

Whereas Charles G Kiewert has submitted to this common council for approval in accordance with chapter 225 laws of Wisconsin, 1905, a map of Riverside addition, extended, being a sub division of part of outlot No. 31, in the Sixth ward of the city of Watertown, Wisconsin;

 

Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved, By the common council of the said city of Watertown that the said plat of the Riverside addition, extended, be and the same is hereby in all respects approved.

 

The resolution was referred to the committee on judiciary and streets and bridges.   WG

 

c.1909

               E J Brandt headed the Board of Park Commissioners when Riverside Park was established.

 

KUSSEL ISLAND

  

 

1910

06 03       LANDSCAPING PARK BID

Board of Park Commissioners received only one bid for landscaping the new Riverview park, that of J. L. Froding of Oconomowoc, his bid being $8850.  He received the contract.   WG

   1910, "Riverview Park" 

 

Riverview Land Co, 1909c but pre 1935, 11 E Main  ?

Riverview Land Co, 1913, 102 N First, real estate  ?

 

1911

04 06       PARK SPRINKLING BIDS

Monday evening bids for the sprinkling system in Riverside Park were opened by the Park commission.  They were as follows:

Kehr Bros.:  $1141 20

Mendenhall & Son:  1263.65

Bursinger & Downey:  1400.00

O. Biefeld & Co.:  1652.24

Wm Schiebel:  1577.95   WG

 

04 27          PARK CARETAKERS NAMED

The Board of Park Commissioners have named the following park caretakers: Gerhard Rippe for Riverside Park at a salary of $50 a month for the season, Wm. Radtke at a salary of $25 a month for the season to care for the city park Recreation Park and the College Avenue triangle.   WG

 

1914

05 21       BATHHOUSE PROPOSED

The matter of a public bath house to be erected at or near Riverside Park was discussed, but no action was taken on this matter pending possible action by the park board, who has the matter in hand and are trying to make the erection of the bathhouse possible during the present summer.    WG

 

RUSTIC BRIDGE

             

 

BIKE IN PARK

 

c.1914

RIVER SCENE

  

 

c.1915

VIEW FROM ISLAND

        

 

RUSTIC BRIDGE

     

 

PAVILION

 

   < very similar to NT_073 and NT_074

 

10 07       PUBLIC BATH HOUSE CONTEMPLATED.  More Land Purchased For Park Purposes.

The Park Board has secured additional land for park purposes, buying of John Schlueter one half acre of land just across the river from Riverside park, on which the Park Board contemplate erecting a public bath house and otherwise improving it.  The price paid was $450.  This is a commendable move on the part of the Park Board, and the city council no doubt will and should endorse their action.    WG

 

1916

RUSTIC BRIDGE

   

 

1919

08 04       COUNTY COUNCIL OF DEFENSE meeting at Riverside

          

 

1920s

11 16          GAZEBO RELOCATED to Riverside Park when Cole Memorial Hall was constructed on the site of Library Park [behind Public Library] in the late 1920s.

 

1936

FIELD MASS AT RIVERSIDE PARK, PART OF CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION

     1936 Watertown Centennial Celebration  

  Image Portfolio        

 

The setting for the field mass was one of great beauty and solemnity.  The altar used was the first one erected in St. Bernard's church and was taken to the field for the occasion.  The baldacchino was designed by Baldwin S. Raue who spent more than a week in working it out, and this was a beautiful piece of work which, when carried out for the setting of the altar, proved to be a work of art . . .

 

c.1940

STONE TURRET WITH BIRDHOUSE ATOP

  

 

c.1941

RIVERSIDE PARK SWANS

  

 

1940s

CHANNEL OF ROCK RIVER

  

 

PAVILION

          

 

        

 

1942

06 06          SWIMMING POOL DEDICATED

Dedicated on July 5, 1942.  It was constructed during the years 1940 and 1941.   WDT

 

1940s

DEER PEN

  

 

1953

04 28          NEW BAND SHELL (dedicated in 1954)

Watertown’s new band shell in Riverside Park will be constructed of concrete, wood and stone, it was revealed today.  The design, plans and specifications are on file at the City Hall for consultation and study by prospective bidders.  Bids are due at 2 p.m. on May 12 in the office of City Manager Dean Van Ness, according to the call for bidders which was released in the Times on Saturday.  The shell will be 36 by 46 feet in size, overall.  It contains storage rooms which can also be used for dressing quarters when the stage is used for pageants or other outdoor productions.  The approval of the Wisconsin State Industrial Commission is expected shortly, it was said at the City Hall this morning.  State engineers have already given their approval of the design as to its acoustical qualities.   WDT

 

11 18          NEW BAND SHELL (Wilbur Wollin, contractor)

Wilbur Wollin, Watertown contractor who filed the lower of two bids for the construction of the city's band shell to be erected in Riverside Park, was awarded the contract and it is proposed to begin work this fall if weather conditions permit.  Awarding of the contract was approved by the City Council.  The bid price was $20,263.  The money came from the Wenzel Prochazka legacy, set up under the will of Mr. Prochazka and which designated that the sum be used for park purposes.   WDT

 

1954

06 28       TIME CAPSULE BURIED IN RIVERSIDE PARK

   1954 Centennial Celebration  

 

1957

01 17       REFERENDUM TO DISCONTINUE SALE OF BEER AT PARK

The Pitterle-Beaudoin Post No. 189, American Legion, which each summer sponsors the largest celebration at Riverside Park, the Fourth of July festivities, today began to assemble its forces to seek defeat of the April 2 referendum which will decide whether the sale of beer is to be continued in Riverside Park and other public parks in the city.  The Legion has made it clear that it wants to continue sponsoring the celebrations but cannot do so if its largest revenue raising source at the park is halted.

 

1959      DEER PEN

           

 

10 13          THE POPCORN HASSLE

The Riverside Park popcorn hassle, which was brought into the open at the city council meeting on Oct. 6 today seemed headed toward a solution and a report to that effect will be filed with the council at its meeting next Tuesday night.  The issue was brought into the open by the Pitterle-Beaudoin Post No. 189, the American Legion when its commander told the council that officers would find it difficult to sign up a carnival for rides and concessions unless such group was given exclusive rights to concessions at the park for the annual Fourth of July celebration which the Legion sponsors each year.  A report received by the Times today stated that the solution calls for the carnival company to have complete control of all concessions on the Fourth of July midway in the park.  There is nothing to bar “outsiders” to maintain stands in other parts of the park, but they will not be permitted on the midway.   WDT

 

Cross Reference:  Jine's Popcorn Stand at Riverside Park (2009)

 

1965

02 12          “WINTER FROLICS” AT THE SNOWSLIDE

Over 250 Watertown children participated in the Junior Chamber of Commerce’s “Winter Frolics” held on Sunday afternoon at the Riverside Park snowslide.  Ribbons were presented to the contestants who placed first, second and third in each event.  After the sledding a drawing was held and the following prizes of sleds, saucers and toboggans were won by: Joan Neitzel, Gary Brink, Michael Pitterle, Steven Schumacher, Jeff Ready, Tom Bluel, Steve Strohbusch, Jeff DeTroye, Christine Rose and John Ready.   WDT

 

07 03          NEW CONCESSION STANDS ERECTED

A rigid set of rules governing the use of the new concession stands being erected in the softball area at Riverside Park by the Watertown Junior Chamber of Commerce has been prepared and will be presented to the common council for approval next Tuesday night.  The subject has been under discussion at previous meetings and the set of rules proposed differs little from the points covered in a Daily Times report published last month.  Under the rules, permission to use the building, which the Jaycees will turn over to the city, will be limited to activities of the park and recreation departments of the city and to local nonprofit organizations in conjunction with a special event or tournament conducted on the athletic field.   WDT

 

1983

10 15       RIP-RAP TO PRESERVE THE SHORELINE

Rip-rap to preserve the shoreline around Riverside Park was approved by the Watertown City Council.  The rip-rap contract was awarded to Weis Excavating, Inc., of Johnson Creek, the lowest of six bidders on the contract.  Tom Checkai, assistant park and recreation director, said, “We've been losing a considerable amount of shoreline in recent years because of erosion.  This project should halt that problem.”  High water in recent springs and the deteriorated condition of the existing walls has made the project necessary.   WDT

 

1987

Abstracted from WDTimes Supplement of 08 03 1987.

The two outstanding symbols of Watertown are the Octagon House and Riverside Park.  While many city residents have never been in the former, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who has never utilized any of Riverside's 29 acres.

 

Seemingly squeezed into Riverside are four tennis courts, six volleyball courts, three softball diamonds, swimming and wading pools, the pavilion with dance floor and kitchen, the playground, horseshoe pits and the usual amenities. Still, there always seems to be a place to steal a moment of serenity — even on a busy weekend.

 

Riverside's origins began in 1910.  Charles Kiewert of Milwaukee offered what was known as the Kussel farm to the city as a gift, with the stipulation that the city must spend $300 a year on improvements for a period of 10 years.  There was some early opposition. According to newspaper accounts, the general feeling was: "What do we want that old swamp for — what should the city do with it — and we don't need a park."

 

But after trustees of the Fannie P. Lewis Park Fund stepped in and agreed to pay half of the cost, public opinion shifted and development came quickly.

 

By 1915 the park was being used regularly by many local groups and organizations for their annual picnics. The bathhouse (demolished several years ago) was constructed in 1917 and the tennis courts followed in 1922.

 

The tennis courts are still there.  The bathhouse and adjoining beach gave way to the swimming pool.  Other improvements through the years included the bandshell, pavilion and expansion of the athletic facilities.

 

1995

09 28       GRADUATION MOVED FROM RIVERSIDE PARK TO GYMNASIUM

Graduation ’96 will be held in the gymnasium at Watertown High School.  Several concerns about holding the ceremony at its traditional site, Riverside Park, led to the decision, said Principal Kathy Wagner.  School board member Denise Barker and student board member Jessie Groose urged that seniors be allowed input into the decision.  Last year, seniors were allowed to vote on where to hold the ceremony. They selected the park.

 

“Students should have a big part in that decision,” Groose said.  Wagner listed several concerns of the ceremony at Riverside Park, including difficulty for older and handicapped residents in parking and getting to the site.  The sound system is better in the gymnasium and it will be comfortable no matter what the weather is.  She noted that it costs $2,000 in overtime to set up the park on the morning of graduation, something that could be avoided by setting the gymnasium up ahead of time.

 

1996

               CHAMBERLAND PLAYGROUND BUILT

Built in 1996, Chamberland was completed in five days after about 2,555 volunteers started the job.  During the five days there were three work shifts a day and each shift averaged about 150 people.  Community fundraising efforts netted around $80,000 for the project, which doubled the original goal of $40,000.  Those funds were combined with $60,000 from the city. If contractors were hired to build the playground and if all the material would have been purchased at retail price, the expected cost would have been between $500,000 and $600,000.

 

1999

05 04       GRADUATION MOVED TO HIGH SCHOOL, FROM RIVERSIDE PARK 

Citing safety issues, the Watertown Unified Board of Education on Monday voted unanimously to support moving graduation ceremonies from Riverside Park into the Watertown High School gymnasium.  But Watertown High School seniors this morning opposed the move, many leaving school grounds in protest.  Administrators requested moving the ceremony because of ongoing safety concerns in the school system.  The board took action on the change of location after it met in closed session to discuss student disciplinary issues.    WDT

 

08 31          Erosion study of Riverside Park and Tivoli Island; portions of Tivoli have disappeared from sight    WDT

 

09 16          Millennium celebration in Riverside Park; midnight fireworks extravaganza    WDT

 

2001

09 06          BAND SHELL FIRE

The band shell at Riverside Park received roughly $30,000 in damage following a suspicious fire Tuesday night.  The fire, which started in the first floor area and extended into the walls and roof of the band shell, was reported by a citizen who saw the smoke at 6:59 p.m.  Five hundred gallons of water and fire fighting foam, containing an extinguishing agent, were used to put out the fire which kept 22 firefighters on the scene for 2 1/2 hours.  “Smoke was just pouring out of the roof area and eastern most side of the structure,” said Watertown Fire Chief Henry Butts.  “Flames were visible for a short period of time but there was thick black smoke and you could hear the fire burning in the walls,” Butts said.  Two engines, one ladder and an EMS team also responded to the fire.  No one was injured in the incident.  “The structure had a good amount of fire damage and will have a significant amount when we’re done,” said Butts.   WDT

 

2004

04 30       PARK & REC ALIGNS WITH ROTARY

The Watertown Rotary Club hopes to join forces with the Watertown Park and Recreation Department to leave a lasting legacy for the city as well as the civic organization.  The two entities hope to work together to take advantage of grant money to restore the Rock River shoreline at the Riverside Park island and its Rock River channel adjacent to the mainland.  If the grant is received and the shoreline is restored, the park would have a new look that will enhance the environment for future generations.   WDT

 

08 23          ISLAND RESTORATION

A portion of the shoreline at the Riverside Park island is restored by community volunteers and members of the Watertown Rotary Saturday as part of a continuing effort to limit erosion from the Rock River.  The roots of environmentally friendly vegetation will eventually anchor the shoreline, and the plantings will lend beauty and attract wildlife to the area.  The initial phase of the project was sponsored by Town and Country Bank and Chickens Unlimited, and organizers of the effort have applied for a state grant to continue the restoration of the park’s 2,100 feet of i river bank.   WDT

 

2005

06 09          SHORELINE RESTORATION

Residents will get a chance this weekend to discuss the plan of action for this month’s restoration project of the shoreline at Riverside Park.  Project Manager Augie Tietz of the Rotary Club will be holding a general discussion of the project at the park on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 2 p.m.  The actual restoration process will take place June 16-18 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Tietz said he is still actively pursuing volunteers for the program.  He added he hopes to get at least 30 to 40 volunteers.   WDT

 

2014      THE WITCH'S HOUSE

      used to be called "the witch's house".

 

2015      CHAMBERLAND PLAYGROUND UPDATED

09 01          WDTimes article   

A park where a generation of Watertown adults remember playing as children has been undergoing a renovation this summer with the help of a 2010 Watertown High School graduate.  Rebecca Gentil, an art major at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, has been painting geese to decorate the Chamberland playground at Riverside Park . . . The main goal was to replace the synthetic surface and to repair damaged areas within Chamberland.  Some of the new additions to the park will be a two-person swing, merry-go-round and teeter-totter. Watertown High School students repainted the murals at the park as well as a number of other additions including replacing old or weathered boards and installing new turf. The park and recreation department will also add an accessible swing for children with disabilities . . . .

 

2014

08 02       NEW SIGNAGE

  

 

 

  Image Portfolio  

 

Cross References:

 

Riverside Park, Rustic Bridge

1915

Riverside Park, Rustic Bridge

1915, WHS_004_NT_074

Riverside Park, Rustic Bridge

WHS_004_NT_117

 

 

    Bird House at Riverside Park, undated photo, WHS 006 724

 

 

 

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