ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


Labor Day 1906


09 08       The national and state government in recognition of the dignity of American labor, having set apart the first Monday in September of each year as a holiday in honor of those whose honest toil is the foundation of national happiness and prosperity . . . and it being appropriate that all join in paying homage to those who earn their bread by the sweat of their face, our factories, the banks and business places in and about the city close on Monday and everybody united in the exercises becoming the occasion.  One of the events of Labor Day was the grand picnic and celebration of the various labor societies of Watertown at Tivoli island  . . . Everybody was invited and hundreds took advantage of the affair and enjoyed every minute. One of the principal features and first event of the Labor Day celebration was a parade which took place shortly after 1 o'clock, p.m., marching on Main street to Tivoli island via Cady Street . . . The exercises at Tivoli island opened with a couple of selections by Thacker's band after which the literary part of the afternoon's program took place . . . The literary portion of the afternoon program was followed with some sports that brought forth considerable enthusiasm among the spectators and kept them in the best of humor.  The first event was a tug-of-war between the plumbers and tinsmith for a purse of $1. The victory was to the first mentioned.


The next event was of the same character, a tug-of-war between painters and cigar makers. The honors and the prize of $1 went to the cigar makers. The watermelon eating contest was a laughable affair indeed. In the first contest Alvin Conrad demonstrated the fact that he has a great face on him for melons by capturing first prize, a catcher's mitt, while Arthur Justman won second prize, a baseball bat.


As a fitting close for the day's festivities, a dance was given at the island Wednesday evening, which was participated in by a large crowd. Every moment was enjoyed till along in the small hours of the morning. Throughout the evening the island was a scene of merriment, many partaking of lunch under the shade of the trees and remaining until the dance was on.




Labor Day has been a national holiday in America for 87 years. The purpose is to honor the working people of our land.  In 1956 a commemorative Labor Day stamp was issued with a picture of a strong man holding a sledge hammer, a pick, a hoe, and an ax over his shoulder. His wife was seated by his side with a book in her lap showing a small child how to read. In the lower left hand corner was a large block with words of Carlyle carved into it: "Labor Is Life."


The meaning was clear and I think it is true: without industrious labor there will be no life—no means to feed, clothe, house, and educate a family or oneself.



09 10       One of the features of Watertown’s three day weekend Labor Day celebration at Riverside Park will be the appearance Saturday night of Watertown’s popular rock ‘n roll band which now is augmented by a girl vocalist — Marta Brennan.  The other members of the group are Pat Vandenberg, bass guitar; Don Bast, rhythm guitar; Tom Schumacher, lead guitar; Jack Gutzdorf, lead singer; Jim Owen, drums.




Table of Contents 

History of Watertown, Wisconsin