ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin







Judy Quam, a guide and former manager of the Octagon House Museum,

joins volunteers in an annual spring cleaning effort at the local landmark. 

For several days each April, workers prepare the historic home for the upcoming tourism season. 

The former home of John and Eliza Richards was built in 1854.




Octagon House Museum opens May 1st

so mark your calendar to visit us this year.

╰☆╮GREAT DEAL: Become a member of our society now

and receive two tickets for free tour of

Octagon House and grounds on the day of your choosing.


Celebrate your wedding, anniversary, corporate picnic,

or other special event at the Octagon House Museum

E-mail  for inquiries.




April 29:  The Interurban Trolley

On Monday, April 29, at 7 p.m., the society will hold its annual meeting followed by a presentation on the historic Interurban Trolley that once ran between Watertown and Milwaukee.  Watertown resident Charles Damaske, author and historian of the Milwaukee Electric Railway & Light Company, will share vintage photos of the rail cars and extensive information about the formation and history of the line, focusing on the segment between Watertown and Oconomowoc.  Damaske is the president of the Milwaukee Electric Railway & Transit Historical Society established in 1983 and editor of the magazine, Live Wires.  His extensive photo and slide collection covers the trolley line from its early horsecar days to the abandonment of streetcars in 1958.


Following Damaske’s presentation, an update will be provided on recent successful efforts to transform the former trolley line right-of-way into a multi-use recreational trail.  The presentation will take place at the Watertown Senior & Community Center, 514 S. First St.  It is free and open to the public.


May 4:  Opening for the 2019 season

Opening of the Octagon House Museum for its 81st tour season.


May 19:  Dedication of new Watertown History Center

On Sunday, May 19, the society will host an open house and dedication of its new Watertown History Center – a beautiful new building constructed this past winter at the Octagon House Museum to welcome guests and to better preserve and showcase the society’s extensive collection of historical artifacts and Watertown memorabilia.  The construction of the new history center was made possible through a gift provided by Kenneth Riedl, Watertown historian and member of the society’s Board of Directors.


The spacious, light-filled new structure features an expanded visitor center with gift shop, handicap accessible restrooms, and a venue for hosting events such as wedding and baby showers and small business meetings.


The open house will run from 1-3 p.m. with the dedication and ribbon cutting starting at 1:15 p.m.  Cake and lemonade will be served and the Octagon House will be open for touring.


For more information, please call the Octagon House at 920-261-2796 or email .


August 18:  Annual 1st Brigade Band Concert & Ice Cream Social 

On the grounds of the Octagon House


For more information, call 902-261-2796


September 7:  Octagon House Antiques & Art Show (4th annual)

On the grounds of the Octagon House


For more information, call 902-261-2796



The Octagon House Museum is located at 919 Charles Street, Watertown, Wisconsin.

Also on the grounds are the first kindergarten, pioneer barn and tour center gift shop.





12-3 pm, Sat & Sun (other by appointment)


June, July & August:

12-3 pm, Every day except Tuesdays (will be open of July 4th)



12-3 pm, Sat & Sun (other by appointment)



By appointment only


Tours are fully guided every hour on the hour in an air-conditioned museum.


For more information please call the Octagon House Museum at (920) 261-2796 or check the Events page of our website,






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History of Watertown, Wisconsin