Established in 1910
This file is under construction at this time
Cannon at Riverside Park, undated photo, WHS 006 688
09 25 KUSSEL FARM
Don't Fail to Attend.
Sale of barns, sheds and other out buildings on the Kussel farm, if you want to buy some cheap lumber. Sale Saturday, Sept. 26 at 2 P. M. WG
DISTANT VIEW OF KUSSEL FARM
09 25 AUCTION SALE [at Kussel farm]
[same date] The undersigned will sell on his premises in the Sixth ward on Wednesday, Sept. 30th, at 10 o'clock a. m., the following personal property to the highest bidders: 2 work horses, 1 single heavy harness, set of heavy harness, 1 double carriage harness, 1 single buggy harness, 1 Milwaukee binder and Milwaukee mower, 1 seeder, 1 sulky corn cultivator, 2 hand cultivators, 1 drag in three parts . . . 1 disc sub-soil plow, fanning mill, 1 lumber wagon, wide tire truck wagon, milk wagon, several buggies, sulky potato bug sprinkler, corn sheller, land roller, 1000 lb. scale, some hay and other farming utensils and some household goods. Terms—All sums under $10 cash, over that amount six months time will be given on good secured notes at 5 per cent interest.
Lunch at noon. Samuel Kussel, Prop. WG
10 09 BIG REAL ESTATE DEALS
BIG REAL ESTATE DEALS. The Riverside Land Co. is putting in a fine driveway between Fourth Street bridge and county line bridge [new “driveway” is assumed to be the upgrading or rebuilding of Labaree St., a portion of which had existed as early as 1855; county line bridge is Division/Boughton St bridge]. They have recently sold 420 lots in Beloit in one day, 232 lots in Janesville, 145 lots at Monroe and 173 lots in Stoughton. If you are in line for an investment don't fail to purchase lots in the Riverside addition, known as the Sam Kussel property, in the 6th ward [Samuel Kussell home was at 924 Labaree]. Watertown is on the boom and these lots are bound to advance in price.
DON'T PUT IT OFF. Start now and buy a lot in the Riverside addition to Watertown, for these lots will not last long at these terms and prices.
DON'T FORGET. Sale of lots in Riverside addition, opens Wednesday, Oct. 14 at 7 a. m. Come early. WG
Cross Reference: Riverside Addition [Kussel Farm] - Labaree St. Labaree St
10 16 LOTS GO LIKE HOT CAKES
Over 200 lots were sold in the Riverside addition in the 6th ward last Wednesday. Several sat up all night to get the first chance to buy the lots at 7 o'clock in the morning. It was the biggest sale of lots that has ever taken place in Watertown and Mr. Bunn, who had charge of the sale, was delighted with it. WG
11 13 MAP OF RIVERSIDE ADDITION
By Alderman Werner:
Whereas Charles G Kiewert has submitted to this common council for approval in accordance with chapter 225 laws of Wisconsin, 1905, a map of Riverside addition, extended, being a sub division of part of outlot No. 31, in the Sixth ward of the city of Watertown, Wisconsin;
Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved, By the common council of the said city of Watertown that the said plat of the Riverside addition, extended, be and the same is hereby in all respects approved.
The resolution was referred to the committee on judiciary and streets and bridges. WG
E J Brandt headed the Board of Park Commissioners when Riverside Park was established.
05 13 RIVERSIDE PARK ESTABLISHED, includes bathing beach
NEW PARK CERTAIN - Watertown is to have a new pleasure park. Action along this line was taken at a meeting of the park commissioners last evening when it was decided to ask for bids for laying out the same, the bids to be received by the board up to May 28.
The proposed park will be known as Riverside park and will be located on an island in what is now known as Riverside addition, formerly the S. Kussel property in the Sixth ward. This matter was taken up last year and will be pushed to completion the present summer by the board of park commissioners. In connection with the park it is planned to build a river drive connecting this pleasure ground with other portions of the city, ending in the Third ward along the newly platted Crangle addition.
One of the features of the proposed park will be a rustic bridge connecting the island with the mainland proper, and a bathing beach with dressing rooms will also be featured - which will appeal to all, especially the children. The Watertown News, 13 May 1910
06 03 LANDSCAPING PARK BID
Board of Park Commissioners received only one bid for landscaping the new Riverview park, that of J. L. Froding of Oconomowoc, his bid being $8850. He received the contract. WG
Riverview Land Co, 1909c but pre 1935, 11 E Main ?
Riverview Land Co, 1913, 102 N First, real estate ?
04 06 PARK SPRINKLING BIDS
Monday evening bids for the sprinkling system in Riverside Park were opened by the Park commission. They were as follows:
Kehr Bros.: $1141 20
Mendenhall & Son: 1263.65
Bursinger & Downey: 1400.00
O. Biefeld & Co.: 1652.24
Wm Schiebel: 1577.95 WG
04 27 PARK CARETAKERS NAMED
The Board of Park Commissioners have named the following park caretakers: Gerhard Rippe for Riverside Park at a salary of $50 a month for the season, Wm. Radtke at a salary of $25 a month for the season to care for the city park Recreation Park and the College Avenue triangle. WG
05 21 BATHHOUSE PROPOSED
The matter of a public bath house to be erected at or near Riverside Park was discussed, but no action was taken on this matter pending possible action by the park board, who has the matter in hand and are trying to make the erection of the bathhouse possible during the present summer. WG
BIKE IN PARK
DISTANT VIEW OF RIVERSIDE PARK
VIEW FROM ISLAND
10 07 PUBLIC BATH HOUSE CONTEMPLATED. More Land Purchased For Park Purposes.
The Park Board has secured additional land for park purposes, buying of John Schlueter one half acre of land just across the river from Riverside park, on which the Park Board contemplate erecting a public bath house and otherwise improving it. The price paid was $450. This is a commendable move on the part of the Park Board, and the city council no doubt will and should endorse their action. WG
WWI - PARK USED BY COMPANY E FOR TRAINING
08 04 COUNTY COUNCIL OF DEFENSE meeting at Riverside
-- -- ICE SKATING ON THE ROCK AT RIVERSIDE PARK
All lovers of skating are surely indebted to the weatherman for the winter has been ideal for ice sports, since the absence of snow places the entire river at the students' disposal, and the agreeable temperature makes the outdoor exercise a pleasure. Many students take interest in skating, and during free time many youngsters are seen strolling toward the river with a pair of skates under their arms. Again, we see them at the supper table with glowing cheeks, thus proving to us that above all skating develops a good appetite. Action taken by the city, especially by the Chamber of Commerce, increased the local interest for winter sports very much.
The wide bend of the river at Riverside Park offers a well adapted place for an ice rink, which is cleared from snow, whenever necessary and is illuminated in the evening by electric lights. A clubhouse is also at the skater's disposal, where skates are rented, clothes are checked, refreshments and confectionery offered for sale, and which affords rest and warmth to those who are tired and cold. These improvements in Watertown are certainly appreciated by the students and young people of the city. Derived from The Black and Red, Norhtwestern College publication of 02 1921
11 16 GAZEBO RELOCATED to Riverside Park when Cole Memorial Hall was constructed on the site of Library Park [behind Public Library] in the late 1920s.
FIELD MASS AT RIVERSIDE PARK, PART OF CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION
The setting for the field mass was one of great beauty and solemnity. The altar used was the first one erected in St. Bernard's church and was taken to the field for the occasion. The baldacchino was designed by Baldwin S. Raue who spent more than a week in working it out, and this was a beautiful piece of work which, when carried out for the setting of the altar, proved to be a work of art . . .
PARK STONE LOCATION BEFORE MOVING
This stone in the park was moved to near bandshell and placed over 1954 time capsule
STONE TURRET WITH BIRDHOUSE ATOP
04 05 RIVERSIDE PARK ZOO GROWS
Specimens Given City Free – Two deer, pheasants, including ring neck, black neck, mutant, Lady Amhurst and golden from the State Conservation Commission. Swan a gift from Tripoli Shrine. Raccoon from William & Sadie (Norton) MacBoyle. Owl from Ehler Brinkman.
05 29 RIVERSIDE PARK ZOO NOW READY
Collection of animals may be enlarged during the year. . . . There are 5 raccoons, 3 deer, 6 pair of pheasants, 4 swans, 2 owls and 1 hawk at the present time. Three foxes were recently traded and will result in securing several peacocks here, probably in autumn it was disclosed.
RIVERSIDE PARK SWANS
06 06 SWIMMING POOL DEDICATED
Dedicated on July 5, 1942. It was constructed during the years 1940 and 1941. WDT
CHANNEL OF ROCK RIVER
04 28 NEW BAND SHELL (dedicated in 1954)
Watertown’s new band shell in Riverside Park will be constructed of concrete, wood and stone, it was revealed today. The design, plans and specifications are on file at the City Hall for consultation and study by prospective bidders. Bids are due at 2 p.m. on May 12 in the office of City Manager Dean Van Ness, according to the call for bidders which was released in the Times on Saturday. The shell will be 36 by 46 feet in size, overall. It contains storage rooms which can also be used for dressing quarters when the stage is used for pageants or other outdoor productions. The approval of the Wisconsin State Industrial Commission is expected shortly, it was said at the City Hall this morning. State engineers have already given their approval of the design as to its acoustical qualities. WDT
08 19 BLACKTOPPING TENNIS COURTS
11 18 NEW BAND SHELL (Wilbur Wollin, contractor)
Wilbur Wollin, Watertown contractor who filed the lower of two bids for the construction of the city's band shell to be erected in Riverside Park, was awarded the contract and it is proposed to begin work this fall if weather conditions permit. Awarding of the contract was approved by the City Council. The bid price was $20,263. The money came from the Wenzel Prochazka legacy, set up under the will of Mr. Prochazka and which designated that the sum be used for park purposes. WDT
06 28 TIME CAPSULE BURIED IN RIVERSIDE PARK
01 17 REFERENDUM TO DISCONTINUE SALE OF BEER AT PARK
The Pitterle-Beaudoin Post No. 189, American Legion, which each summer sponsors the largest celebration at Riverside Park, the Fourth of July festivities, today began to assemble its forces to seek defeat of the April 2 referendum which will decide whether the sale of beer is to be continued in Riverside Park and other public parks in the city. The Legion has made it clear that it wants to continue sponsoring the celebrations but cannot do so if its largest revenue raising source at the park is halted.
1959 DEER PEN
10 13 THE POPCORN HASSLE
The Riverside Park popcorn hassle, which was brought into the open at the city council meeting on Oct. 6 today seemed headed toward a solution and a report to that effect will be filed with the council at its meeting next Tuesday night. The issue was brought into the open by the Pitterle-Beaudoin Post No. 189, the American Legion when its commander told the council that officers would find it difficult to sign up a carnival for rides and concessions unless such group was given exclusive rights to concessions at the park for the annual Fourth of July celebration which the Legion sponsors each year. A report received by the Times today stated that the solution calls for the carnival company to have complete control of all concessions on the Fourth of July midway in the park. There is nothing to bar “outsiders” to maintain stands in other parts of the park, but they will not be permitted on the midway. WDT
Cross Reference: Jine's Popcorn Stand at Riverside Park (2009)
02 12 “WINTER FROLICS” AT THE SNOWSLIDE
Over 250 Watertown children participated in the Junior Chamber of Commerce’s “Winter Frolics” held on Sunday afternoon at the Riverside Park snowslide. Ribbons were presented to the contestants who placed first, second and third in each event. After the sledding a drawing was held and the following prizes of sleds, saucers and toboggans were won by: Joan Neitzel, Gary Brink, Michael Pitterle, Steven Schumacher, Jeff Ready, Tom Bluel, Steve Strohbusch, Jeff DeTroye, Christine Rose and John Ready. WDT
07 03 NEW CONCESSION STANDS ERECTED
A rigid set of rules governing the use of the new concession stands being erected in the softball area at Riverside Park by the Watertown Junior Chamber of Commerce has been prepared and will be presented to the common council for approval next Tuesday night. The subject has been under discussion at previous meetings and the set of rules proposed differs little from the points covered in a Daily Times report published last month. Under the rules, permission to use the building, which the Jaycees will turn over to the city, will be limited to activities of the park and recreation departments of the city and to local nonprofit organizations in conjunction with a special event or tournament conducted on the athletic field. WDT
03 10 PARK SOLIDLY BOOKED
Riverside Park is almost solidly booked for the coming picnic and outing season, Keith Spaulding, city recreation director, has announced. All of the Sunday dates have been reserved for picnics and gatherings, including the use of various park facilities, such as the pavilion, kitchens and the park island. In addition to the various church picnics and the celebrations for the Fourth of July and Labor Day weekends, the park has also been reserved for family reunions, large and small gatherings and special events for industrial, business and organizational events. WDT
03 02 GAZEBO, WINTER SCENE
10 15 RIP-RAP TO PRESERVE THE SHORELINE
Rip-rap to preserve the shoreline around Riverside Park was approved by the Watertown City Council. The rip-rap contract was awarded to Weis Excavating, Inc., of Johnson Creek, the lowest of six bidders on the contract. Tom Checkai, assistant park and recreation director, said, “We've been losing a considerable amount of shoreline in recent years because of erosion. This project should halt that problem.” High water in recent springs and the deteriorated condition of the existing walls has made the project necessary. WDT
Abstracted from WDTimes Supplement of 08 03 1987.
The two outstanding symbols of Watertown are the Octagon House and Riverside Park. While many city residents have never been in the former, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who has never utilized any of Riverside's 29 acres.
Seemingly squeezed into Riverside are four tennis courts, six volleyball courts, three softball diamonds, swimming and wading pools, the pavilion with dance floor and kitchen, the playground, horseshoe pits and the usual amenities. Still, there always seems to be a place to steal a moment of serenity — even on a busy weekend.
Riverside's origins began in 1910. Charles Kiewert of Milwaukee offered what was known as the Kussel farm to the city as a gift, with the stipulation that the city must spend $300 a year on improvements for a period of 10 years. There was some early opposition. According to newspaper accounts, the general feeling was: "What do we want that old swamp for — what should the city do with it — and we don't need a park."
But after trustees of the Fannie P. Lewis Park Fund stepped in and agreed to pay half of the cost, public opinion shifted and development came quickly.
By 1915 the park was being used regularly by many local groups and organizations for their annual picnics. The bathhouse (demolished several years ago) was constructed in 1917 and the tennis courts followed in 1922.
The tennis courts are still there. The bathhouse and adjoining beach gave way to the swimming pool. Other improvements through the years included the bandshell, pavilion and expansion of the athletic facilities.
09 12 HANGING OUT IN THE PARK
The Watertown Park, Recreation and Forestry Department Monday tabled a proposal that would have established Riverside Park as an alternative to “hanging out” on Main Street. John Steber, director of the park, recreation and forestry department, said commission members were interested in developing an alternative for youths to downtown, although they weren’t certain if Riverside Park was the best choice. “I think they (commission members) recognize the need for something,” Steber said. “But they don’t have the magic formula out there.”
09 28 GRADUATION MOVED FROM RIVERSIDE PARK TO GYMNASIUM
Graduation ’96 will be held in the gymnasium at Watertown High School. Several concerns about holding the ceremony at its traditional site, Riverside Park, led to the decision, said Principal Kathy Wagner. School board member Denise Barker and student board member Jessie Groose urged that seniors be allowed input into the decision. Last year, seniors were allowed to vote on where to hold the ceremony. They selected the park.
“Students should have a big part in that decision,” Groose said. Wagner listed several concerns of the ceremony at Riverside Park, including difficulty for older and handicapped residents in parking and getting to the site. The sound system is better in the gymnasium and it will be comfortable no matter what the weather is. She noted that it costs $2,000 in overtime to set up the park on the morning of graduation, something that could be avoided by setting the gymnasium up ahead of time.
CHAMBERLAND PLAYGROUND BUILT
Built in 1996, Chamberland was completed in five days after about 2,555 volunteers started the job. During the five days there were three work shifts a day and each shift averaged about 150 people. Community fundraising efforts netted around $80,000 for the project, which doubled the original goal of $40,000. Those funds were combined with $60,000 from the city. If contractors were hired to build the playground and if all the material would have been purchased at retail price, the expected cost would have been between $500,000 and $600,000.
05 04 GRADUATION MOVED TO HIGH SCHOOL, FROM RIVERSIDE PARK
Citing safety issues, the Watertown Unified Board of Education on Monday voted unanimously to support moving graduation ceremonies from Riverside Park into the Watertown High School gymnasium. But Watertown High School seniors this morning opposed the move, many leaving school grounds in protest. Administrators requested moving the ceremony because of ongoing safety concerns in the school system. The board took action on the change of location after it met in closed session to discuss student disciplinary issues. WDT
08 31 Erosion study of Riverside Park and Tivoli Island; portions of Tivoli have disappeared from sight WDT
09 16 Millennium celebration in Riverside Park; midnight fireworks extravaganza WDT
09 06 BAND SHELL FIRE
The band shell at Riverside Park received roughly $30,000 in damage following a suspicious fire Tuesday night. The fire, which started in the first floor area and extended into the walls and roof of the band shell, was reported by a citizen who saw the smoke at 6:59 p.m. Five hundred gallons of water and fire fighting foam, containing an extinguishing agent, were used to put out the fire which kept 22 firefighters on the scene for 2 1/2 hours. “Smoke was just pouring out of the roof area and eastern most side of the structure,” said Watertown Fire Chief Henry Butts. “Flames were visible for a short period of time but there was thick black smoke and you could hear the fire burning in the walls,” Butts said. Two engines, one ladder and an EMS team also responded to the fire. No one was injured in the incident. “The structure had a good amount of fire damage and will have a significant amount when we’re done,” said Butts. WDT
04 30 PARK & REC ALIGNS WITH ROTARY
The Watertown Rotary Club hopes to join forces with the Watertown Park and Recreation Department to leave a lasting legacy for the city as well as the civic organization. The two entities hope to work together to take advantage of grant money to restore the Rock River shoreline at the Riverside Park island and its Rock River channel adjacent to the mainland. If the grant is received and the shoreline is restored, the park would have a new look that will enhance the environment for future generations. WDT
08 23 ISLAND RESTORATION
A portion of the shoreline at the Riverside Park island is restored by community volunteers and members of the Watertown Rotary Saturday as part of a continuing effort to limit erosion from the Rock River. The roots of environmentally friendly vegetation will eventually anchor the shoreline, and the plantings will lend beauty and attract wildlife to the area. The initial phase of the project was sponsored by Town and Country Bank and Chickens Unlimited, and organizers of the effort have applied for a state grant to continue the restoration of the park’s 2,100 feet of i river bank. WDT
06 09 SHORELINE RESTORATION
Residents will get a chance this weekend to discuss the plan of action for this month’s restoration project of the shoreline at Riverside Park. Project Manager Augie Tietz of the Rotary Club will be holding a general discussion of the project at the park on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 2 p.m. The actual restoration process will take place June 16-18 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tietz said he is still actively pursuing volunteers for the program. He added he hopes to get at least 30 to 40 volunteers. WDT
07 13 FLOODING DAMAGED PLANTINGS AROUND ISLAND
The flooding in June may have damaged a number of homes and businesses in the city, but it has also destroyed a majority of the plantings around the island at Riverside Park. According to Watertown Park, Recreation and Forestry Director John Steber, the damage to the plantings is estimated at $45,000, which includes allowance for plant material, planning and professional services, city labor and 653 hours of volunteer work coordinated by the local Rotary Club. Although parts of the island look decimated, Steber said it’s too early to tell if all of the plants have been wiped out. “In that, we won’t know for some time,” Steber said. “The initial appearance is that, yes, they are (destroyed). We know some of the reeds have seemed to survive, but everything else is just dirt black or brown stubble that’s left.”
2014 THE WITCH'S HOUSE
2015 CHAMBERLAND PLAYGROUND UPDATED
09 01 WDTimes article
A park where a generation of Watertown adults remember playing as children has been undergoing a renovation this summer with the help of a 2010 Watertown High School graduate. Rebecca Gentil, an art major at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, has been painting geese to decorate the Chamberland playground at Riverside Park . . . The main goal was to replace the synthetic surface and to repair damaged areas within Chamberland. Some of the new additions to the park will be a two-person swing, merry-go-round and teeter-totter. Watertown High School students repainted the murals at the park as well as a number of other additions including replacing old or weathered boards and installing new turf. The park and recreation department will also add an accessible swing for children with disabilities . . . .
08 02 NEW SIGNAGE
07 09 WATERTOWN DAILY TIMES COLUMN (1 of 2)
07 15 WATERTOWN DAILY TIMES COLUMN (2 of 2)
Tom Schultz, “Times Square”
05 04 DOCUMENTARY
Maranatha Baptist University video class production
in cooperation with the Watertown Historical Society
Riverside Park, Rustic Bridge
Riverside Park, Rustic Bridge
Riverside Park, Rustic Bridge
Bird House at Riverside Park, undated photo, WHS 006 724
History of Watertown, Wisconsin