Main Street history to be celebrated
The photo is of the Schempf building from the 1902 Picturesque Watertown souvenir booklet.
Note that at that time the third story of the building had not yet been added.
Schempf Building, Main Street history to be celebrated
The historic Schempf Department Store building, 207-209 E. Main St., will be the site of two special events celebrating the history of downtown Watertown on June 26 and 27 hosted by the Watertown Area Chamber of Commerce, the Watertown Historical Society and the Dodge/Jefferson Counties Genealogical Society. Both events are free and open to the public.
Friday, June 26, 2 p.m.
A formal dedication of the Schempf building as an official Watertown historic landmark will take place on Friday, June 26 at 2 p.m. During this dedication ceremony, a plaque will be presented to Bill Lindborg of Long Beach, California, who purchased the building last year and is in the early stages of a full-scale restoration of the property. Watertown Mayor John David and Watertown Historic Preservation Commission Chairwoman Melissa Lampe will present the plaque to Lindborg, and will talk about the importance of the designation as a local historic site. This event is sponsored by the Watertown Area Chamber of Commerce.
Following the plaque presentation, Lindborg will talk about the history of the building and the Schempf family, of which he is a descendant. Debbie Skalitzky of the Dodge/Jefferson Counties Genealogical Society will also talk about the research that was conducted through that organization to trace Lindborg’s extensive historical family roots in Watertown.
To conclude Friday’s presentation, Chamber of Commerce/Main Street Program Executive Director Susan Dascenzo will provide an overview of the local Main Street program, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary as a Wisconsin Main Street Community this year.
Saturday, June 27, 1 p.m.
The Watertown Historical Society and the Dodge/Jefferson Counties Genealogical Society are teaming up on Saturday, June 27 starting at 1 p.m. to host a presentation on the importance of historic preservation and to provide an in-depth history of the Schempf building. Lindborg will also be the featured speaker at this event which will be followed by a full guided tour of the building.
Prior to the start of the presentation, historical images of downtown Watertown will be shown. During this time guests may enjoy hor d’oeuvers provided by Plattdeutscher Hall and the music of the Melody Steinbart Trio and accompanying musicians from Maranatha Baptist University. For a sweet treat, ice cream from Mullen’s, another historical business on Main Street, will be served.
In addition to Lindborg’s presentation on the history of the Schempf building and his family, he will talk about the importance of historic preservation on Main Street and what it means to a community. Skalitzky will also speak on behalf of her research on Lindborg’s family and the genealogical society’s dedication to connect families to their Watertown roots and heritage.
For more information regarding either these special events, please call Melissa Lampe at (920) 390-2061.
History of Watertown, Wisconsin