website  watertownhistory.org

    ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin

 

Saloons

Taverns

 

WATERTOWN: “SECOND CITY” IN WISCONSIN,

PLANK ROAD BONANZA FOR LOCAL TAVERNS

 

“After the completion of the plank road, Watertown, early a place of promise, became the second city in the State and a bonanza for taverns; their story, however, has been well told in local histories.  People and produce from the country to the west and north for many miles PASSED THROUGH WATERTOWN TO MILWAUKEE, and land seekers made it their headquarters.  J. B. Van Alstine, for years the popular landlord of the Exchange, declared that he thought business dull in those palmy days unless he had a hundred guests and as many horses to care for.  Two of the old taverns are still running [in 1915], the Watertown House, now the Commercial, and the Buena Vista, which was opened in February, 1848, by Capt. Henry Bogel, a veteran of the Mexican War.  During the regime of William Wiggenhorn and his son, Eugene, the Buena Vista was the rendezvous of German revolutionist refugees, among them Carl Schurz and Emil Rothe, while on Sundays German services were held in its hall.”

 

Derived from “The Taverns and Stages of Early Wisconsin” by J. H. A. Lacher, 1915.  Contracts for construction of the road were let in October of 1848.

 

Click to enlarge

 

1864

03 24       LIQUOR LICENSES

Common Council Proceedings.  All licenses for taverns, saloons, groceries, and for the sale of strong, spirituous, ardent or intoxicating drinks or liquors, and all other licenses, except for exhibition, shall be issued for one year and shall expire on the first Monday of May in each year; except in special cases, the Common Council may issue the same for a fractional portion of a year, to expire on the same day.   WD

 

1914

After the completion of the plank road, Watertown, early a place of promise, became the second city in the State and a bonanza for taverns; their story, however, has been well told in local histories.  People and produce from the country to the west and north for many miles passed through Watertown to Milwaukee and land seekers made it their headquarters.  J.B. Van Alstine, for years the popular landlord of the Exchange, declared that he thought business dull in those palmy days unless he had a hundred guests and as many horses to care for.  Two of the old taverns are still running, the Watertown House, now the Commercial and the Buena Vista, which was opened in February, 1848, by Capt Henry Bogel, a veteran of the Mexican War.  During the regime of William Wiggenhorn and his son, Eugene, the Buena Vista was the rendezvous of German revolutionist refugees among them, Carl Schurz and Emil Bothe, while on Sundays German services were held in its hall

 

Proceedings of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 10 22 1914, pg 148.

 

1959

07 10          HOURS

Whether Watertown taverns are to be permitted to remain in operation until 1 a.m. the year around became an issue here last night and the subject has been made one special order of business in connection with the next regular meeting of the city council on July 21.  A petition for the 1 a.m. closing was filed by the city's tavern group of the Tavern League of Jefferson County which is now seeking to have cities and townships in the county to change their present ordinances so taverns may remain open until 1 a.m., a policy that is now possible under the recently enacted state law by the Wisconsin Legislature.   WDT

 

Cross Reference:

William Cody saga

Beer Glossary  

 

 

 

Table of Contents 

History of Watertown, Wisconsin

Index