ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


Tour Center


clink to enlarge




Dedicated to Miss Gladys Mollart.  


Lee Block, president of the Watertown Historical Society, and chairman of its building committee, presided at a brief outdoor dedication ceremony of the tour center Sunday afternoon, and placed a plaque on the building, hereafter to be known as the “Gladys Mollart Tour Center”.


Block made the dedication with these words: 


“It is my pleasure, on behalf of the Watertown Historical Society and its board of directors, to dedicate this building and to name it in honor of the single person who has been most responsible for the successful operation of this society, the Octagon House, the restored first kindergarten and the pioneer barn for over 31 years.  By proclamation of the board of directors, this building will hereafter be known and we hereby place this plaque in commemoration of this fact, as the Gladys Mollart Tour Center.”


Presentation of the plaque, which was donated by Ed Hulbert, society board member and a member of the building committee, had been kept a surprise for Miss Mollart.  Block introduced special guests who attended the dedication ceremony, Dr. James Morton Smith, director of Wisconsin State Historical Society, Ray Sivesind, state director of sites and markers, Jerold Dommer, architect for the new building, Mayor Kenneth Wilkes, city aldermen, Clarence Hartman, Chamber of Commerce and two descendants of the Richards family, Mrs. Rodman Moesta, great-great-granddaughter of John Richards and Mrs. Georgia Richards Reynolds, great-granddaughter.  Mrs. Moesta, with her husband and two daughters, Maureen and Elizabeth, had flown in from Detroit for the ceremony.  Mrs. Reynolds lives in Watertown.


Dr. Smith and Sivesind responded briefly to their introduction.  Smith told the assembled persons that his goal at the Wisconsin Historical Society was to “strengthen the ties between the state society and the local societies.  This is a tribute to what can be done at the grass roots level by a dedicated person and a dedicated historical society,” he said.


Sivesind, a longtime friend of the Watertown Historical Society, expressed pleasure and congratulations in this new achievement.  Miss Mollart, in her response to the surprise dedication of the building in her name, said “we have always been grateful to the Richards family and are pleased to have two members of the family with us today.”  She read a letter from Mrs. Harvey Richards from Florida.  Mrs. Richards, widow of the late Harvey Richards, who was very instrumental in presentation of the property to the Historical Society, had sent red roses for the Octagon House on this special occasion.


The dedication on Sunday followed through, by a little over a year, comments made by John Clifford, editor and publisher of the Watertown Daily Times, in an editorial of tribute to Gladys Mollart in July, 1969, when he wrote “her interest in the Octagon House continues with even accelerated enthusiasm.  Now she and other members of the Watertown Historical Society have in mind an administration building on the grounds. . . the support this endeavor is receiving also is heartwarming to Miss Mollart.  Rest assured, there will be an administration building.  She’ll see to that.”


Block paid tribute to many who had helped the Historical Society achieve its plans, reiterated the many advantages of the new building, and named his building committee, Richard Hoge, Miss Mollart, Mrs. S. J. Luchsinger, Mrs. Harold Peterson, E. F. Hulbert, Robert Bauch and Mrs. Donovan Mabie.


Following the dedication ceremony there was an open house for visitors.  Mr. and Mrs. Mabie, custodians who live on the Octagon House premises, were given special commendation for their part in the moving this summer into the new tour building, and also had their new apartment in the tour center open for guests.



Cross References:

09 21 1970 WDTimes article included picture


07 01 1983:  Jerry Dommer, architect – New Library.   Bids for Watertown's new library were opened Thursday afternoon at the Watertown Municipal Building and the news was good.  The low base bids totaled $1,054,606, over $100,000 less than originally estimated by architects.  Jerold Dommer, head of The Durrant Group, said he was pleased with the interest in the project and especially that the apparent low bids were below estimates.


11 17 1983:  Jerry Dommer, architect – Ground was broken Monday for Hus Apartments, a senior citizen facility to be operated as part of Marquardt Memorial Manor.  Taking part in the ceremony were future residents of the new apartments, officials from Marquardt Manor and Mueller Apartments, and members of the Moravian clergy.  Hus Apartments is the fifth construction project by Maas Brothers Construction Company on the site of Marquardt Manor.  The project also represents the fifth set of plans prepared by Jerry Dommer of the Durant group of architects.




Table of Contents 

History of Watertown, Wisconsin