Curtiss-Wedge, F.; Jones, Geo. O. (ed.) / History of Dunn County, Wisconsin
Chapter XIV: Further history of Menomonie, pp. 91-116 ff.
be to acquire, open, extend, maintain and improve parks, boulevards and pleasure drives in and about the city of Mfenomonie according to authority contained in Chapter 55 of the Laws of 1-899 (the Olin law). A plan for raising funds through membership fees, suggested by J. C. Wilcox, was adopted and made a part of the by-laws, which provided for three classes of members-annual, life, and honorary. Annual members were to pay dues of SIl.00 or more in advance; any person might beccme a life member by paving S100; honorary members might be elected by the directors but should have no vote. Under these regulations several persons be- came life members and about 125 more subscribed frcn 1.00 to 825 per year for five years in order to raise the amount necessary to purchase and improve the pond property. mrv h In this manner the money was raised and the work began. First, the pond bank, or what was left of it, was purchased and with the assistance of many citi- zens, the pupils of the schools, and the expenditure of a moderate amount of money, the bank was cleared of underbrush, fallen and dead trees, and other unsightly objects, and from year to year it has been kept in fair condition. Four trails down the bank were put in and a running trail around the entire park was provided. The last payment to the Wisconsin Power Company was made in 1909. Another task undertaken by the Association was the much needed improve- ment of grading and terracing Wilson Avenue from Broadway to a connection with the depot hill road, this work costing about $900. The city assisted in this im- provement by putting down a good brick walk with gutters on each side. As a further improvement on depot hill the Association bought a lot and moved the Pixley house and blacksmith's shop, so that the city, having bought out Mr. Kirk- land, the proprietor, could utilize the grading down of the depot hill in making a better roadway into the city from the west. A number of shacks which disfigured the approach to depot hill were moved to another track of land and improved to some extent in appearance by being better grouped and by the laying out of gar- dens and the planting of fruit trees about them. All this was good work and well done, but what was now needed was a comprehensive and coherent plan of opera- tion so that the money raised, not without difficulty, through subscriptions might not be wasted in haphazard and amateur attempts at improvement which might prove ill-advised or too costly in the end, but that it might be expended wisely for permanent b~nefit to the community. This idea having been advanced by J. C. Wilcox, Mr. Stout, to whom it seemed timely and sensible, took early action on it by sending for Warren P. Manning, a famous landscape architect of Boston, who came here and for a fair remuneration took in hand the task of making a general survey and laying out a definite plan of work for the Association. Subsequent to the sale of the pond bank to the Association the Wisconsin Power Company sold its holdings to the Chippewa Valley Railway, Light & Power Company, and when the latter company raised the old clam three and a half feet, the shallow pond, formerly used for floating logs to the mill, was suddenly con- verted into a navigable lake, which is now called Lake Menomin. At once a strong interest in boating sprang up which called for suitable accommodations. Several projects were proposed, and, as usual in such matters, there were various opinions, into the respective merits of which it is not necessary to enter. It is sufficient to say that a modern community boat house was built, supplied with boats and canoes, and which, with individual slips, cost something over $4,000. For this enterprise no subscriptions were solicited, and no money subscribed for general Association work was put into the boat house proposition, the intention being to make it pay its cost and be self-supporting. The boat house is well patronized bv the people, and in particular by the students of Stout Institute. The Association is responsible for a number of other improvements. Its latest work has been to reclaim the banks of Wilson Creek along Highway No. 12, the land between that highway and Wilson boulevard having been acquired. A part of it is to be made into a tourist park and the rest la out into a community park and children's playground for North Menomonie. The Mvenomonie Improveme,, Association has now a membership of 200 or more prominent citizens, and its work HISTORY- OF DU'NN COUNTY n t , I
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