DescriptionWatertown was founded in the 1830s when settlers from New England harnessed the rapids of the Rock River to produce power for sawmills, wagon works and other factories. By the early 1900s, the mainly agricultural area had changed to an industrial one. Many of the town's most influential citizens were German intellectuals fleeing the political situation in their fatherland after an 1848 revolution. A wave of Irish immigrants in the latter 1800s also helped shape the community.
Carl Schurz, an early German settler, entered local politics on the new Republican ticket and ultimately became minister to Spain under President Abraham Lincoln. It is his wife, however, who is remembered: While living in Watertown in 1856, Margarethe Meyer established what is considered to be the nation's first kindergarten. She was a student of Fredrich Froebel, the renowned German pioneer of infant education.
Visitor InfoWatertown Area Chamber of Commerce 519 E. Main St. WATERTOWN, WI 53094. Phone:(920)261-6320
Things to SeeOctagon House