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Main Street

 

FROM MUD TO BRICKS,

or What Took Them So Long?

 

THE PAVING/BRICKING OF MAIN STREET

 

Article written and contributed by Ben Feld

 

1895

04 24       ROAD-BED NEEDS REPAIR

Some portion of the road-bed of Main Street are in an utterly poor condition and sorely need the attention of the proper officials.  It is a matter of local pride that such things should be looked after more closely, and not have an opportunity for visitors to engage in wholesale scoffing.   WR

 

06 05       CRUSHED STONE ADDED

A quantity of stone crushed by S. M. Eaton's crusher is being placed on portions of Main Street.  It is thought to be just the thing for an excellent road-bed.

 

1899

07 18          CROSSWALK APPRECIATED

The crosswalk built by Prof. A. J. Whiting across Main Street at the post office corner on Thursday afternoon was much appreciated by the pedestrians.  This ought to be enough of a hint to the city authorities, who now compel the citizens to walk in the mud from one to three inches deep after a rain.   WR

 

07 21          WORKERS NEEDED FOR STREET PAVING

Fifty more men are wanted to work on the street paving now going on here.   WG

 

07 25          CONCRETE BED FOR MAIN STREET,

The work of paving Main Street is now progressing more satisfactorily and Contractor Schoenlaub is confident he will have the brick laid as far as the bridge before carnival time.  The first block west of College Avenue is about finished and the concrete bed is laid to Sixth Street.  More labor could be used on the paving to advantage.

 

Complaint is again made by merchants on Main Street that, their cellars are filled with water after hard rains.  The cause, it is thought by some, is the shallowness of the Main Street sewer, but the city engineer is more inclined to the opinion that the absence of street walls, thereby allowing the entrance of surface water, is the reason for the flooding.   WR

 

09 05          PAVING WILL BE FINISHED THIS WEEK

The work of paving Main Street will be finished this week, the concrete at present writing being laid within a few feet of the bridge. After this week operations will cease until the carnival is over, when work on West Main Street will be begun.   WR

 

09 08          PAVING WILL BE FINISHED

The paving of Main Street will be finished this week, and immediately after the carnival the West Main Street paving will be commenced.   WG

 

09 12          PAVING COMPLETED

The paving east of the bridge was completed Saturday we believe it gives general satisfaction.  An especially good job was done on the approach to the bridge.  Contractor Schoenlaub now has his men employed on West Main Street, near Montgomery.   WR

 

09 15          PAVING AND CURBING COMPLETED

Contractor Schoenlaub has finished his paving contract to Main Street bridge, and his work is general satisfaction.  The street presents a fine appearance, both the curbing and paving, and is a creditable job to Mr. Schoenlaub.  WG

 

10 20          DELAY IN GETTING CRUSHED STONE

Contractor Schoenlaub is experiencing another delay in getting crushed stone for the street paving on West Main Street, owing to the scarcity of cars.  This is a matter over which he has no control, and our people must bear with the inconvenience with patience.  The weather has been bad for the work also for the past two weeks.  The indications are that the weather will hold good for two or three weeks longer, and before that time the paving will be completed.   WG

 

11 28          ASSESSMENT FOR STREET PAVING

Considerable dissatisfaction is being manifested among the property owners of Main and West Main Street affected by the paving, owing to the fact that at the last moment it is ascertained the cost of the work assessed to them must be paid at once or be placed on the tax rolls and collected by the city treasurer with the other taxes.  It was quite generally supposed that an opportunity would be offered to meet the cost of paving in five yearly installments, the same plan as was adopted in the case of the sewerage improvement, where the property owners were given the option of paying the entire assessment at once or in three yearly installments.  The common council, however, neglected to take the necessary steps in the matter of the street improvement and it is now too late to devise any means for the relief of the property owners.  Quite a number of homes would no doubt have preferred to take the five-year method of liquidating their indebtedness.   WG (this issue includes a report by the board of public works concerning the paving of Main Street)

 

12 05          ASSESSMENTS EXPLAINED

A long article by or about Harlow Pease explaining the assessments for the contract for paving of Main Street.   WR

 

12 05          FINAL REPORT ON STREET PAVING

[same date] The common council met in special session last Friday night.  Alderman Brooks and Mayer were absent.  Upon recommendation of the judiciary and finance committees, to whom the matter had been referred, the final report of the board of public works on the street paving and the amount due the contractor was adopted, with the proviso that $40 be deducted from the amount for city water used by the contractor.  The report was adopted.  Contractor Schoenlaub presented an indemnity bond for $3,000 with proper sureties which guarantees that all necessary repairs to the street pavement will be made for a period of five years.  The bond was approved and accepted.   WR

 

1966

09 17          A VIRTUAL “NO MAN’S LAND”

Watertown’s Main Street will be a virtual “No Man’s Land” for at least four months next spring and summer, according to preliminary discussion held last night at the common council’s committee meeting which dealt with the Wisconsin State Highway Commission’s schedule to carry out the long awaited “Main Street widening and improvement” project here.  The entire street area, from Ninth Street to the Cole Memorial bridge, will be closed to all traffic while the construction program is underway.  A “foot bridge” will be provided across the bridge but all vehicular traffic will be routed over the Cady Street and Milwaukee Street bridges to accommodate east-west and west-east motor traffic.  This is the same plan that was used when the present bridge was built in the 1930s.   WDT

 

1967

09 16          MAIN STREET REOPENING PARADE

Miss Kathy Schmutzler, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. O. E. Schmutzler, Jr., of 407 Hancock Street, has been named “Miss Watertown” and will reign over the Main Street reopening parade on Saturday.  Miss Schmutzler won the title by selling the largest number of Watertown Booster buttons in a contest which was underway here the last several weeks.  Runners up in the contest were Cheryl Schwanke, Joan Dehnert, Beverly Niemi, Wanda Bruske, Janice Reinhard and Diana Inlow.  All of the contestants will ride in Saturday’s parade.  Miss Schmutzler is a licensed practical nurse at Watertown Memorial Hospital.

 

09 19          MAIN STREET RECONSTRUCTION CELEBRATION

Watertown tomorrow will launch its Main Street reconstruction celebration with a three-day merchandising event, a carnival, street dances and the coronation of Miss Watertown and a “Big Parade” with 132 units on Saturday.  The celebration marks the city’s biggest downtown improvement project, the virtual rebuilding of 15 blocks of Main Street which was underway for months.  Saturday night there will be three street dances, with popular bands and one strolling band.  One of the dance areas will be in West Main Street, the other two on the east side.

 

09 23          MAIN STREET REOPENED WITH CELEBRATION

The day Watertown has been waiting for through a long summer arrived today and was celebrated with a giant parade viewed by thousands of people from the city and far and near — marking the “opening” of the city’s newly reconstructed and improved Main Street.  The weather was ideal, bright sunshine flooding the city, a breeze caressing the United States flags from poles along the line of march.  The parade was inaugurated by the cutting of a ribbon at West Main and Church Streets by Mayor A. E. Bentzin and the coronation of Miss Kathy Schmutzler as “Miss Watertown” in the person of Barbara Burk Baugh of Brookfield.

 

 

ADDITIONAL REFERENCES

Main

1859, Mud conditions

Main St, Bricking of

1899, Paving blocks installed, WHS_006_611

MilwJourSupplement, 01 24 1982

Main

1965, Re-construction proposed, widening of

Main

1967, Reconstruction of, WHS_005_096

Main

1967, Resurfacing of, Main St reconstruction project

Main

1985, Renovation Plan

 

 

 

 

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