††† ebookHistory of Watertown, Wisconsin


Richard's Grove

Richard's Grove School



1854 or later


†† Former Richardsí school, built by John Richards in the late 1840s.



DISTANT VIEW, with ski slide/jump

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Sledding and skiing were popular and the best place for these sports in Watertown was located on Richards Hill, near the Octagon House, then still a private home.William Thomas, grandson of John Richards and himself a quirky sort of fellow, erected a large ski slide on the south side of the house, along what is today Charles Street.From this slide, one could, if the wind was at your back, slide down the chute and sail clear across the frozen Rock River and end up on the east side of the river.


This was a popular spot on winter afternoons until one day in 1924 when two brothers. Hubert and Leonard Born, decided to slide down the hill at nightfall.Normally, there was a look-out placed at the base of the hill along Concord Avenue to watch for passing cars and wagons, but since this was at night, there was no one to watch for the traffic.As the boys came down the hill, they were struck by a horse-drawn cutter and after lingering for a day, they both died.Since then, it has been illegal to slide down Richards Hill.[Derived from Watertown: A History, by Bill Jannke]



DISTANT VIEW, with ski slide/jump



Image Portfolio



Richard's Grove

1860s, Washington Park part of


Richard's Grove

1873, Tornado damage


Richard's Grove

1876, July 4 parade marking nation's centennial


Richard's Grove School House

1871, Mention of

Richard's Grove School House

1910, Mention of





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History of Watertown, Wisconsin