back to home
(madison icon)1902

Askew Brothers

from Madison, Past and Present   1902

Askew Brothers

Madison, surrounded as it is by lakes, gives opportunity for navigation interests. Foremost among boat owners and operators are the Askew Brothers, known in every part of Madison for the excellent fleet they maintain on Lake Monona, which is patronized during the warm seasons by thousands and thousands of people, not only from this city, but from all parts of the state. The brothers have been engaged in the business for the past thirty years. Charles Askew was born in England in 1842, coming to Madison in 1856. William Askew, born in Canada in 1847, and came to Madison the same year. The brothers launched their business in 1872 upon Lake Mendota, their first vessel being the "City of Madison." They operated upon the larger lake for several years. But it became apparent that Monona and not Mendota was the attractive body of water to our people, and the Askew Brothers soon transferred their business there. In 1889 they built two steamers, the "Tonyawatha" with a capacity of ninety passengers, and the old "Lake-side," a huge boat capable of carrying three hundred people. These boats were built to accommodate the growing attendance at the Monona Lake-side Assembly. In 1893 the firm purchased the Winnequah boats, and took charge of the Winnequah Resort, which they held until the end of the season of 1900. Two years ago they purchased the Esther Beach Park, which has become the most popular lake shore pleasure resort in the city. It is located on the south border of Monona. The Beach and the Monona Assembly give the four steamers, "Tonyawatha," the "Winnequah," the "Monona A," and the "Alice" all they can do during the warm summer months.

Charles Askew

William Askew

Landing at the dock

Esther Beach dock


"Askew Brothers." Madison, Past and Present. [Madison: State Journal Printing Co., 1902] 168.
Held by the State Historical Society of Wisconsin: F589 M1 M32 (Oversize).