HISTORY OF THE DORCHESTER RECREATIONAL PARK
As the story goes: one day in early 1967 Ted Schwoch Jr. and Bill Pinter met
at the Dorchester State Bank while they were doing their regular weekly
bank business. While conversing on the bank’s front steps about the
weather and other important daily doings; Ted looked over at the small,
dark, dreary park with the rotting band stand and said; you know Bill, I think
we can do better than that. That became the battle cry for the next three
years and will you look at the Dorchester Park and Dorchester Lake today.
Wow - what an achievement. Without a doubt - the Dorchester Park and
Lake are Dorchester’s greatest assets. What started out as a conversation
on the steps of the Dorchester State Bank turned into a challenging
undertaking and an accomplishment that turned Dorchester into a
The first official notice of this undertaking occurred with the printing of
The Dorchester Clarion on September 7, 1967 and which read as follows:
September 7, 1967 — Plans For Recreation Area Discussed Here Wednesday
Bill Ludwig of Neillsville met Wednesday afternoon with eight local
residents to report findings of a survey for a possible recreational area in
the village. Ludwig with the U. S. Department of Agriculture in this area,
brought to the meeting a contour sketch of the area prepared from a survey
made here recently.
The area under consideration is within the limits roughly bounded by Linden
Street from the creek to Center Avenue; Center Avenue east to include the
draw which drains the area to the north and then south along a line just
west of the Sebold Minkery and west back to the place of beginning. The
survey and consultation services of Ludwig are provided by the agriculture
department at no cost to the village. The project is under consideration as
a part of the Poplar River Watershed Project. In this connection, a planning
committee will meet with village representatives in early October to discuss
further plans for the area. It is thought both federal and state funds are
available to help pay costs of impounding a lake of from three to seven
acres in the area.
The mechanics of building a dam, dredging to required depth and other
construction facts were explained by Ludwig Wednesday.
October 12, 1967 ---- Recreation Area Plans Discussed At Meeting
Representatives of the several organizations concerned with development
of the proposed recreation area in the village met in Municipal Hall Friday
night. Plans for the area were discussed as was the procedure for making
formal application of government funds to assist with the cost of the
Attending the meeting were Ted Schwoch Jr., Alvin Meyer, Adolph Gorke
and James Maurina, representing the village; George Greaser, Gerald Baker
and James Geiger from the Fire dept.; Kenneth Marcott, Richard Hunsader
and W.C. Pinter for the Lions Club; Otto Genrich and William Jantsch of the
John Schafgen of Chippewa Falls represented R.C. Greaves & Associates,
Landscape architects, at the meeting. He explained the requirements and
procedure for making formal application for government funds. Prominent
among requirements is an accurate estimate of total cost based on the sum
of costs for the several phases of construction. Schafgen will assist in
making the application. Decision on granting of funds will be made by
federal and state agencies concerned on the basis of information contained
in the formal application.
January 18, 1968 — Set Meetings To Discuss Village Recreation Project
The public is invited to sit in on a meeting here Monday night which will
discuss the recreational lake project in the village. The village park
committee and representative committees from the Fire Department, Lions
Club and American legion will meet to discuss the recreational project and
to prepare for a meeting in Neillsville Thursday.
Monday’s meeting will be in Municipal Hall here beginning at 8:00 p.m.
Village President Ted Schwoch Jr. urged all interested persons to attend
and become acquainted with progress thus far on the project. He said a
large delegation is desired to attend Thursday’s meeting which will have a
direct bearing on the project.
The project has been approved for assistance under the ASC program of
Clark County. However, more financial and technical assistance is
necessary to the success of the venture, spokesmen said today. Hence the
importance of next week’s meetings. They emphasized that Monday night’s
meeting will provide much information on the project and demonstrate the
need for community support.
George Zuehlke, chairman of the Clark County Soil and Water Conservation
Commission, arranged the Thursday meeting with officials of the state
agency concerned to consider the local project for state and federal
assistance, both technical and financial.
The meeting will be in the court house in Neillsville Jan. 25 at 10:00 o’clock
in the morning. Schwoch, speaking for all interested in seeing the project
become a reality, urged everyone who can to attend the meeting.
ASC engineers from Eau Claire were here Dec. 22 and again surveyed the
location, which was originally surveyed last August in the preliminary
January 25, 1968 — Recreation Project Considered At Neillsville Meeting
A delegation of Dorchester residents attended a meeting in Neillsville today
which discussed and considered for aid for the proposed recreation project
in the village. The outcome of the meeting is important to the project
from both financial and technical standpoints. It is approved for aid now by
the ASC, but funds thus available are inadequate for needs.
Another meeting on the project will be held in the court house at Neillsville
next Tuesday, Jan. 30. It is set for 1 p.m. and as many local residents as
possibly can are urged to attend. Senator Gaylord Nelson is expected to be
at that meeting.
The status of and progress thus far accomplished on, the project were
detailed at a meeting in Municipal hall here Monday night. About 20
attended this meeting.
Ted Schwoch Jr., village president, and member of a committee promoting
the project, outlined plans and reported on progress Monday night. His
report reflected optimism of the committee for the future of the project.
An option has been taken on 45 acres owned by Rudy Ortlieb and purchase
depends greatly on outcome of the current meetings.
Plans call for a lake of about 15 acres in the northwest corner of the 45
acres in the area; bounded on the north by Center Avenue and on the west
by the Soo Line right-of-way. The lake will be deep enough for fish and on
its shore are planned beach, picnic area, bathhouses, kids area, camping
sites, toilet facilities, residential area and others. R.C. Greaves and
Associates is working on an overall plan now to include a complete
recreation area and facilities.
February 1, 1968 — Recreation Project Gets State Approval
The Dorchester recreation and lake project received approval for support
from the state agency concerned on Tuesday of this week. The go-ahead
was given following a morning meeting with D.R. Tyler of the Wisconsin
Department of Natural Resources (conservation department) and the
Dorchester committee comprised of Ted Schwoch Jr., Kenneth Marcott and
W.C. Pinter. At that meeting a comprehensive picture of plans for the
recreation area was presented and displayed for Tyler and the project was
discussed for a couple of hours.
State approval is conditional upon correction of some existing external
conditions, which the committee feels present no problem. Also necessary
is a comprehensive site plan and estimated cost analysis, which needs to be
filed by March 1. The plan will need to show what is to be included in
construction, immediate and future; where it will be located on the site
and the estimated cost.
The project committee said it welcomes suggestions to be incorporated into
the plan. Interested persons are asked to make their suggestions
immediately, since deadline for filing the plan is only a month away.
Between 15 and 20 persons from here last Thursday attended a meeting in
Neillsville which considered the local project and another (Cunningham
project southwest of Neillsville). P. Jensen and D. Tyler of the state
department were present for the meeting, where the plan was also
presented in detail. Local residents reported those in charge were
impressed with the local presentation.
Two carloads of local residents attended a meeting in Neillsville at
1 p.m. Tuesday of this week in behalf of the project. However, it was not
on the agenda at that meeting which dealt exclusively with projects of the
Poplar River Watershed.
February 8, 1968 — Lake Project Plans Were Discussed At Meeting Here
A public meeting of the Dorchester recreation and lake project committee
was attended by over 30 persons in Municipal Hall Monday night. The
committee of 12 elected officers examined and discussed plans and
progress of planning on the recently approved lake project.
W.C. Pinter is chairman of the committee, Richard Hunsader is secretary
and Alvin Meyer treasurer.
The committee is comprised of Meyer, James Maurina and Adolph Gorke,
village representatives; Kenneth Marcott, Hunsader and Pinter for the Lions
Club; George Greaser, James Geiger and Gerald Baker, representing the
Fire Dept.; Wilfred Heindl, Otto Genrich and William Jantsch representing
the American Legion post.
Plans of the lake project, made by an Eau Claire firm of landscape
architects, were considered and discussed at the meeting, with numerous
revisions and modifications made. Ted Schwoch Jr., village president and
prime mover for the project, displayed a site plan of his design with
movable symbols for the several installations. It was used extensively in
the discussion. Schwoch also reviewed progress on planning for the project
since its inception more than a year ago. He reported too that conditions
made in provisional approval of the plan are being met. Favorable
responses have been made to overtures, he said.
A representative of the architects met with a sub-committee in the hall for
a couple of hours Monday afternoon. The plans were explained to the
committee for presentation that evening and forms completed for the
so-called LAWCON applications.
March 21, 1968 — Development Corp. Met Here Monday Night
The Dorchester Area Development Corporation Monday night voted to offer
a Twin City firm a site on which to build a feed processing plant in this
community. The firm is decentralizing and seeks a location in this area of
Wisconsin to produce feeds for distribution among dealers in the area. The
25 or more members at the meeting agreed to acquire up to five acres of
land with access to the railroad if the firm locates here.
The firm has been offered sites at Colby and Abbotsford and now is
considering the merits of the several locations. Ted Schwoch Jr., informed
the meeting that the village lake and park project had been approved for
additional funding help by LAWCON. The agency now has agreed to share
costs of both site acquisition and site development. Also, promised is
financial help with roads, parking, picnic area and related work.
There was lengthy discussion on a methods for securing industry for a
community under a pilot program approved for the village, culminating in a
decision to pursue the matter for additional information and possible
action. A discussion about low-cost housing similarly occupied the meeting
resulting in a move to obtain more information on which to act.
July 25, 1968 — Federal Funds Granted For Park Project Here
The village park project has been approved for LAWCON funds, according to
announcement by Representative Melvin R. Laird Wednesday. The
announcement was made by telegram to The Clarion. Application for the
funds was made several months ago, and the approval came earlier than is
usual, village president Ted Schwoch Jr., said commenting that special
efforts were made to secure approval in time for work to be started this
summer. Work is expected to start soon on the project with approval of
the application for the grant. The text of Rep. Laird’s telegram follows:
Rep. Mel R. Laird (Marshfield) announces the approval of a $6,031 grant by
the U.S. Interior Dept. Bureau of outdoor recreation to the village of
Dorchester for acquisition and development of approximately 45 acres of
land for public recreation project. To include landscaping, seeding,
construction of a road and parking lots, picnic tables, grills and park sign.
This development on County Trunk “A” in the village will provide facilities
for picnics, baseball, tennis and nature area. A small fish pond financed by
the village will complement this development. Federal funds will be
matched by the village.
A similar telegram was received from Senator Gaylord Nelson just as The
Clarion was going to press this afternoon.
August 29, 1968 — Plan Corporation To Operate Proposed Park
A number of community residents, meeting in Municipal Hall Wednesday
night, decided to organize a non-profit corporation to build and operate the
proposed park development in the Center Avenue Soo Line triangle.
The 24 at the meeting voted unanimously to form such corporation and to
begin selling memberships to provide financial muscle. The park committee
comprised of representatives from the Village Board, Lions Club, American
Legion and Fire Department and other residents of the community at last
night’s meeting were unanimously favorable to the proposal and an
organization meeting to elect directors and officers is planned soon.
It was reported that a FHA loan for the park project has been approved,
and the funds should become available about Sept. 15. An organization to
enter into the borrowing agreement is necessary. Thus, it is felt there is a
degree or urgency in organizing the corporation. It was also reported a
“Green Thumb” project has been approved for the site and a LAWCON
grant was approved some time ago.
November 7, 1968 — Dorchester Park Corporation Meeting Set For Nov. 14
The Dorchester Park Corporation will hold a meeting Thursday, Nov. 14, in
Municipal Hall at 7:30 p.m. John Ringstead, FHA director for Clark County
will attend, as will Atty. Ernest Gay of Owen. All voting members of the
corporation are urged to attend the meeting, an important one, officers
said today. All interested members may attend the meeting, they said, and
emphasized everyone is welcome. Voting members are those persons who
have contributed to the park fund.
November 7, 1968 — Lions Club Donates $1000 to Dorchester Park Project
The Dorchester Lions Club in regular meeting Monday evening, voted to
contribute $1,000 to the Dorchester park project. Routine business was
transacted at the dinner meeting also. Vincent Acheret of Medford was a
guest at the meeting. He talked to the members, describing the new
branch campus of Stevens Point State University that will be located at
Medford. He declared the new school would benefit this entire area and
November 21, 1968 — Construction Is Underway Now On lake Project Dam
Park Plans Made At meeting Thursday Night
Dorchester Park Corporation was legally implemented at a meeting in
Municipal Hall Thursday night of last week. Granted papers to operate as a
corporation by the state, the membership adopted articles of organization
and by-laws and elected directors to govern activities.
Directors are Alvin Meyer, William Jantsch, Ted Schwoch, Jr., Richard
Hunsader and W.C. Pinter. The board elected Pinter, president, Hunsader,
vice president, Schwoch, secretary and Jantsch, treasurer.
Thirty six persons attended the meeting which also was attended by John
Ringstead, Clark County FHA director; William Ludwig of Clark County Soil
Conservation Service and Atty. Ernest Gay. Each gave information on the
park and its development as related to their respective fields.
The park project is cooperatively sponsored by Dorchester Lions Club,
Dorchester Fire Department, Leach Paulson Post No. 517, American Legion
and the Village of Dorchester.
January 23, 1969 — Excavating on Park Project Down to Depth at End
The picture above taken by Joseph C. Weber late last year, shows the
network of steel reinforcing set for the dam which was poured just
upstream from Linden Street to form the lake of Dorchester park. The
dam, with abutting walls has since been poured and construction work has
continued to the present. A total of several tons of steel were used in the
floor and walls of the dam.
Excavation on the park site got underway Dec. 20 and continues. Ted
Schwoch Jr., village president and an officer of Dorchester Park Corporation
said last week that excavation of the deep end was expected to be
completed by week’s end. Maximum depth is 14 feet in that area just
above the dam. The area upstream towards Center Avenue is being
bulldozed out to lesser depth. That work continued this week. Two
bulldozers have been on the job daily except Sundays and holidays since
the starting date.
March 20, 1969 — Completion of Excavation For Lake Is Near Now
Dorchester park Corporation officers said this week that if all goes well,
excavation for the lake on Dorchester park site will be completed during
this weekend. The island was piled up near the north over the past couple
weeks and when leveling is completed, the link with shore-line to the east
will be severed. It is left now for movement of machinery over and back
now. Leveling will begin when ground thaws and dries a bit.
Also waiting for thawing and drying of the loose earth are the dikes on
either side of the concrete portion of the dam. Obviously, frozen chunks
will not make a practical fill to hold back water which already has
inundated the lake site.
August 28, 1969 — See Finish of Grading on Dorchester Park Project
Blasting was resorted to Monday to combat the frozen earth and ice which
has handicapped grading on the Dorchester Lake site. Earth dug out and
piled high during last winter’s excavation froze as it was excavated and this
mixed with ice and snow, thawed only as the top layers were scraped off.
Monday ted Schwoch Jr., W.C. Pinter and Joe Hennlich blasted the pile to
permit air and the warmth of sunlight penetration and speed thawing.
Schwoch said Tuesday that it is expected sub-grading will be completed in a
week or so, if all goes well. The dike on the south end at the dam is nearly
September 18, 1969 — Volunteer Help Needed for Landscape Work at Park
A seven-man crew from the Clark County “Green Thumb” program is here
this week picking stones and hauling rock from the stone quarry to rip-rap
the dam on Dorchester Lake. August Podobnik of Greenwood is foreman of
the crew. Ellis Stone Co. Of Stevens Point is donating the rock for the
8 foot high by 1 foot rip-rap job.
Grading on the park site for the ball diamond, the island and a strip along
Center Avenue is completed and ready for lining and seeding and tree
planting. To accomplish this, Ted Schwoch Jr., says help is desperately
needed and he called for volunteers to begin work right away. He declared
the landscaping should be done soon and appealed for all possible help to
accomplish it before end of fall. All persons who want to help are asked to
get in touch with Schwoch right away.
September 25, 1969 — Park Progress Detailed at Annual Meeting Monday
Ted Schwoch Jr., secretary gave a detailed report of progress on
construction of Dorchester lake and park to the annual meeting of
Dorchester Park Corporation. About 25 members attended the meeting in
Municipal Hall Monday night.
The meeting also elected officers for the coming year to include: W.C.
Pinter, president; Richard Hunsader, vice president; Ted Schwoch Jr.,
secretary; William Jantsch, treasurer; Otto Genrich and Lloyd Carlson,
directors. All are reelected except Carlson named to succed Alvin Meyer
who declined re-election.
Costs so far incurred on the project were enumerated in detail by Schwoch,
including approximately $16,000 for excavation, $9,000 for construction of
the dam, $5,000 for roads, landscaping, ball diamond, etc. He reported
receipt of $75,000 on a loan from FHA and a smaller sum of money as a
grant. The loan is for a 40 year term.
Treas. Jantsch reported on funds on hand of about $7,000 received
from cooperating organizations and membership fees. The Fire Dept has
contributed $1,500, Lions Club $2,000, American legion $2,500.
The corporation is comprised of over 100 members and it was reminded
that by-laws stipulate a $2.00 renewal fee is due annually in September.
Schwoch reported that work is well along on leveling the earth excavated
last winter and that waterways and seeding work is about completed along
Center Avenue. The ball diamond, too is nearly finished with seeding also
done there. He said the roads had been dug to depth and road surfacing
laid. Much landscaping and seeding remains to be done. He showed slide
pictures of the project after the meeting.
October 30, 1969 — Dorchester Lake dam Will Be Closed Saturday
Dorchester lake will be dammed at noon on Saturday, Nov. 1. At that time
the gate will be closed on water which has been allowed to run through
until now. The Nov. 1 closing was set at a meeting of the park committee
Monday night. Closing of the dam also starts a guessing contest on what
date and hour will water spill out of a filled lake. Prizes will be awarded
the closest guesses in the contest which runs until march 1, next year. Ted
Schwoch Jr., said Wednesday that all grading should be roughed out in the
next week if the weather cooperates. Works on Tuesday encountered snow
and ice left over from last winter’s excavating operations — buried deep in
the pile of earth dug out then. Green Thumb workers have completed riprap
on the dam and now are working on the wall on the entrance road.
February 12, 1970 — Public Invited to Choose Name for Dorchester’s Park
The Dorchester Park Committee at a recent meeting decided to have a park
naming contest. They invite all school children and adults of the
community to submit their choice of a name for the park, along with a
sentence or two explaining why the name is their choice. Deadline for
submitting names is March 15. Board members will judge entries and award
$10 cash prize for the winning entry. They reserve the right to reject all
names if none is deemed suitable. The Dam Spillover Guessing Contest ends
March 1 and all persons with tickets to sell are asked to make settlement
right after its close.
A new sign has been painted by Ernest Mehner and will soon be put up,
naming the several organizations participating in the project.
March 5, 1970 — Dorchester Park naming Contest Ends March 15
Persons desiring to submit names in the Dorchester park naming contest
may leave their entries at Jerry’s Shurfine Foods or Krueger’s Super Market
or they may mail them to park Corporation, Box 337, Dorchester, Wis.
54425. The deadline for submitting names is March 15. The dam spillover
guessing contest ends Sunday, March 1 and persons with tickets to sell are
asked to make settlement immediately after that date.
April 2, 1970 — Water Spilled Over Dam Last Thursday at Noon
Water spilled over the dam of Dorchester lake for the first time on Thursday
of last week, March 26, 1970 at 6 minutes and 58 seconds past
12 o’clock noon. Miss Julene Radlinger with a guess of March 26,
12:30 p.m. was first prize winner in the spill-over guessing contest which
ended March 1. She also won third place in the contest with a 2:30 p.m.
guess and Victor Zak who guessed the dam would over flow at 1 p.m. last
Thursday was second place winner. First prize was a 9 inch portable TV’
second Polaroid color camera, and third AM - FM radio. The contest was
sponsored by Dorchester Park Corporation. Eighty three entries were
received in the park naming contest which closed March 15. Names and
reasons now are being examined and considered by judges who will select
April 9, 1970 — Plan Early Start On Shelter House at Park
Foundation for the shelter house in Dorchester Park will be poured as soon
as weather permits, park corporation secretary Ted Schwoch Jr., said this
week. The Green Thumb crew has been at work recently building rafters
for the structure. During the winter months, the crew worked here in
Municipal hall and built and painted many picnic tables and painted metal
barrels for use as trash barrels in the area.
May 20, 1970 — Dorchester Provides Own Resources for Recreation
(From the Marshfield News Herald)
Dorchester — A tract of land on the outskirts of this community is rapidly
being turned into a modern recreation park.
The project had its inception when a committee of Dorchester citizens,
headed by Mayor Ted Schwoch Jr., met in July of 1967 to develop tentative
plans. A lake has been completed, formed by a box-type dam with
spillway. Although spring fed to some extent the lake also receives water
from the Poplar River which originates in Taylor County and enters in the
Black River north of Greenwood.
Months of digging, which involved removal of thousands of cubic yards of
dirt, went into construction of the lake bed. An island is a feature of the
lake. A park adjacent to the lake will include an outdoor swimming pool
scheduled for construction in 1971; a regulation sized baseball diamond
nearing completion and picnic and playground areas.
A Green Thumb crew has constructed 85 picnic tables which will be placed
in the park for picnickers and has planted evergreen, maple and basswood
trees on the area. The project is being financed by a $75,000 loan from
Farm Home Administration and by donations from the Dorchester Lions
Club, the American Legion Post No. 517 and Volunteer Fire Department as
well as some funds from the village of Dorchester.
Agencies assisting in the Dorchester Development program include Farm
Home Administration, Clark County Soil and Water Conservation District,
Soil Conservation Service, Clark County Highway department, Department
of Natural resources and the Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation
Committee. Mayor Ted Schwoch Jr., said the entire project is to provide
recreation facilities, activities and services for area residents and
transients, and at the same time to add a beauty spot to the area.
July 16, 1970 — Facilities Are Added To Dorchester Lake Project
Construction of a shelter house was recently completed in Dorchester Park
and excavation was begun on a swimming pool there. The shelter house,
consisting of a roof set on timbers placed upright on a concrete slab, is up
the slope a ways from the east shore of Dorchester lake. The swimming
pool is being excavated just tot he south. Work also is underway on
bathhouses there. A number of picnic tables have been placed in the area
east of the lake, especially in the shelter house area, with waste
receptacles nearby each.
The shelter house was erected by a Green Thumb crew which has been
employed on the project. The crew working in Municipal Hall last winter
built the tables and many more and painted used drums for the waste
Some trees and shrubbery were planted on the park last year and more
landscaping work is planned. The ball diamond is mostly finished. Work on
development of the low lying 45 acre former pasture began in November of
1968 with excavation for the lake, which continued through the winter.
Simultaneously, a dam and dike were built at the south end of the acreage
and landscaping was begun.
A park corporation was organized to make and execute plans for the
project. Local organizations also are sponsors: including the Dorchester
Lions Club, Leach-Paulson Post No. 517, American legion, the Dorchester
Fire Department and the Village of Dorchester. Besides many clubs and
groups have contributed funds raised especially for that purpose.
The project is financed with a loan of $75,000 from the Farm Home
Administration; grant of $12,000 from the Land and Water Conservation
Funds (LAWCON grant) and $5,000 raised locally by the Dorchester Park
Corporation and sponsors.
Dorchester Days proceeds are turned over to the project and during the
recent festival area homemakers clubs raised several hundred dollars for it
with a stunt night program. The Holton 4-H club also recently contributed
over $100 and the baseball team donated $800 which it produced during a
fund-raising campaign during the spring.
July 30,1970 — Dorchester Lake Gives Up Fish To Youthful Anglers
Three happy boys visited The Clarion about 11:30 a.m. Monday with a catch
of fish taken from Dorchester lake earlier in the morning. Tom and Richard
Mertens and Gregory Ludwig each caught a respectable fish: the latter two
bullheads and Tom a shiner. The boys had measured and weighed the fish,
the bullheads at 12 inches and 1 1/2 pounds and the third fish 10 inches and
The Dorchester ball team played the first game ever on the new diamond at
Recreation Park this past Sunday.
September 10, 1970 — Work On Dorchester Park Expected To Be Done Soon
Ted Schwoch Jr., this week reported that work on Dorchester park nears
completion. The several individual projects are in the final stages of
completion, as follows:
The bathhouse is about 85 per cent complete, with doors yet to be hung
and a few odds and ends of construction yet to be done; Rip-rapping of the
swimming pool will be completed this week; there is about six feet of water
in the pool at this time; The parking lots and the road around the lake and
park area are nearly completed; Seeding, mulching and planting trees by a
Green Thumb crew will be done this fall to complete the park.
Schwoch, who is secretary of Dorchester Park Corporation, organized to
build and administer the park, announced that the annual meeting of the
corporation will be held Wednesday night, Sept. 16, in Municipal Hall,
starting at 8 o’clock. Two directors will be elected and other business
transacted. All members are urged to attend.
September 24, 1970 — Dorchester Park Corp. Annual Meeting Held
The Dorchester Park Corporation members in annual meeting Wednesday
night last week re-elected Ted Schwoch Jr., and W.C. Pinter directors for
three year terms. Reports were read and other annual business transacted.
John Ringstead, FHA administrator of Clark County was present and made a
report. Corporation officers are Pinter, president; Otto Genrich, vice
president; Schwoch, secretary; and William Jantsch, treasurer. Lloyd
Carlson is the other director on the five member board.
The board met Tuesday for an inspection of the park, to check on progress
of the work and how much remains to be done. Doors are being hung at the
bathhouse and trim put on. As soon as materials arrive plumbing and
heating facilities will be installed to complete the bathhouse.
The swimming pool is completed. Green Thumb workers are seeding grass
this week and if weather permits, will finish the camp sites and planting of
trees this fall.
May 13, 1971 — Get Additional Funds For Dorchester Park
The Farmers Home Administration has approved an additional loan of
$26,000 to the Dorchester Park Corporation. The Clarion was informed
Wednesday noon by the secretary in Senator Gaylord Nelson’s home office
in Milwaukee. The loan is for 40 years at five per cent interest.
The brief announcement explained that: Purpose of the loan is to enable
the community to complete construction of its outdoor recreation complex;
including camping area, picnic grounds, lake facilities, baseball diamond.
The new funds are in addition to loans and grants previously received from
state and federal agencies for construction of the park and lake.
May 13, 1971 — Landscaping Work Done In Dorchester Park
Landscaping of Dorchester Recreational Park includes the planting of
several varieties of shrubs and trees; continues this spring. A Green Thumb
crew last week starting planting on a project including 17 varieties of trees
and shrubs. The plants were obtained for the park through Clark County
ASC from the University Extension Dept. The nursing stock is specifically
for experimental purposes and is planted strictly according to directions by
the Extension Service. Planting is in specific designs and patterns and
directions specify size and depth of the holes in which stock is set.
Stock is being planted on the camp site for beautification, survivability and
for screening purposes. Eventually each campsite will be private screened
from adjoining sites by the shrubs. The Park Corporation Board plans
dedication of the recreation area in formal ceremonies this summer.
The board and Fire Dept., Women’s Auxiliary now are considering a summer
swimming program there with a life guard on duty.
August 5, 1971 — Dorchester Park Will Be Dedicated at Mid-Month
A charcoal chicken fry, baseball game and tug-of-war will provide
entertainment highlights at the dedication of Dorchester recreational Park
to be held on Sunday, Aug. 15. Details of the program now are being
worked out by Ted Schwoch Jr., Dorchester Park Corporation secretary and
representatives of sponsoring organizations.
Dedication ceremonies are scheduled for 1:00 p.m. in the park, following
the chicken dinner, serving of which will begin at 11:30 a.m. Included will
be remarks on the inception, planning and development of the park.
Participating will be corporation officers, village officials, representatives
of sponsoring organizations, government agencies and other organizations
involved in its building. The featured speaker will dedicate the park to the
recreational use by the community and general public.
The annual old-timers baseball game will follow the dedication and also in
the afternoon there will be games and prizes for the children. A band has
been engaged to play in late afternoon and during the supper hour.
Feature of the evening will be a tug-of-war between teams comprised of
Town of Holton and Town of Mayville residents. A beer stand, hamburger
stand, and corny dog stand will be operated under the picnic shelter all
afternoon and evening. Members of the sponsoring agencies: Dorchester
Lions Club, Dorchester Fire Dept., American Legion and their auxiliaries will
man the refreshment stands. They also will provide the manpower for
other events of the day’s activities.
September 2, 1971 — Dorchester Park Dedicated To Recreational Uses
A large crowd was on hand for dedication of Dorchester Recreational Park
here Sunday, August 15. The 45-acre site of park, lake, swimming pool and
camping and picnicking facilities culminates three years of planning,
organization and work by personnel of Dorchester Park Corporation
organized to buy and develop the site on center avenue.
Joseph H. Boettcher, Colby school superintendent was master of
ceremonies for the dedicatory program; which included remarks by
representatives of the several agencies involved with planning and building
the park. Rev. Gerald Schuh prayed the invocation and Rev. F.H. Sprengler
pronounced the benediction.
Ted Schwoch Jr., project director and secretary of the park corporation
board of directors, opened the program with remarks briefly summarizing
the history of the park’s development. Speaking for the Green Thumb
which donated a labor force for the development were Archie Baumann of
Minnesota, regional director; John Kmosena, Ladysmith, state director;
Bob Roberts, Fall Creek, assistant director and Reuben Rex of Greenwood,
one of the Green Thumb workers on the project.
Other speakers included William Ludwig, Neillsville, Clark County Soil
Conservation Service Supervisor; John Ringstead, Clark County FHA
supervisor; Willis Copps, state director of FHA; Al Nelson, state director in
the bureau of aids program of the Department of Natural Resources,
Madison. Ludwig congratulated community residents with special attention
for Schwoch, for the perseverance in relentlessly pursuing the goal and
overcoming obstacles to achieve success.
State Senator Clifford Krueger of Merrill was featured speaker for
afternoon. Joe Sweda state representative for Taylor and Lincoln counties
appeared on behalf of Governor Lucey who was unable to attend and read a
letter from the governor. He also presented a flag, which had flown over
the nation’s capitol, to Schwoch, to be flown over the park.
Senator Krueger is among the several state and federal officials who gave
aid in development of the park; declared the park was an outstanding
example of soil and water conservation and outdoor recreational facilities.
He expressed admiration for community residents in their cooperative
efforts in making the park.
Boettcher delivered the dedicatory speech and presented to W.C. Pinter,
Park Corporation president, a plaque to be erected in the park. The plaque
is inscribed: Dorchester Recreational park, Dedicated August 15, 1971 -
Sponsors, Fire department, Lions Club, leach-Paulson Post American Legion.
Board of directors of Park Corporation, W.C. Pinter, president; Otto
Genrich, vice president; Ted Schwoch Jr., secretary; William Jantsch,
treasurer; Lloyd Carlson, director. Alvin Meyer and Richard Hunsader,
The lake dominates the park which also includes a 180 x 220 foot swimming
pool, a 56 x 76 foot building which houses dressing rooms and sanitary
facilities, a 30 x 60 foot open shelter for use by picnickers.
A 24-place campsite has been established, some with electrical outlets.
Water and sewer facilities are installed throughout the park. Plans are in
the making for additional recreational facilities on the site.
Serving of charcoal-broiled chicken dinner preceded the dedication
program. An old timers baseball game was played on the park diamond and
a fishing contest and games for the children were held in the afternoon.
In the evening, a tug-of-war between teams from Town of Holton and Town
of Mayville was held. The Mayville tuggers were victorious. The Derby
Town Boys provided music during the afternoon and evening.
Grand prizes were awarded during the evening. LeRoy Engel received the
boat and Tom Baker was awarded the boat motor.
In some of the old records I found this writeup by one of the young fellows
who grew up in our small hamlet of Dorchester. I decided this writeup had
to be at the conclusion of the History of The Dorchester Recreation Park
Corporation because it provides a complete start to finish analysis of the
three year undertaking of the park and lake construction.
Written by our good friend and 1964 graduate of Dor-Abby - Gerry Pecher.
Thank you Gerry for taking the time to put on paper what happened
between the years of 1967 and 1971.
September 1971 — Idle Land Finally Springs Into New Recreational Park
Ever since the small community of Dorchester was founded, there has been
an approximately 45 acre plot of land east of the village lying idle.
The question of what could be done with the land was discussed many times
but nothing materialized. In June of 1966, three prominent citizens; Alvin
Meyer, W.C. Pinter and Ted Schwoch Jr., decided they were going to do
something about it.
Discussing various ideas at a refreshment stand set up during the annual
Dorchester Days celebration, the three men originally thought an industrial
park might be the answer. But the expenses and elaborate details would be
too costly for the community. How about a recreational park? That sounded
like a superb idea since there were natural springs in the swampy area
which they thought were large enough to form a small lake.
After further discussion, this was the direction they decided to take.
The three men thought many problems would arise in trying to convince
the village to develop the area but soon found their idea being accepted by
nearly everyone. A year later, a 13-member steering committee was
formed, consisting of representatives from the Dorchester Lions Club,
Dorchester Volunteer Fire Department, Leach-Paulson Post of the American
Legion and the village board.
Through a number of informal meetings, plans were formulated and the
committee was finally ready to apply for a loan from the Farmers Home
Administration (FHA) of Clark County, headquartered in Neillsville. But in
July of 1968, any possibility of a recreational area appeared grim as the
FHA decided to discontinue loans for recreational purposes.
There was only one remaining means of achieving the loan, through the
formation of a non-profit corporation. The committee did just that.
In September of 1968, the Dorchester Park Corporation was formed and
voting memberships accepted.
Shortly after, the village received its first loan from the FHA totaling
$75,000. Excavation began in November of 1968. Soon, another loan was
received from the FHA, this one totaling $26,000. The idea of a park was
finally taking form. Ted Schwoch Jr., mayor of Dorchester and park project
director, said total cost pf the recreational area will be about $120,000.
However, he added; this does not include the numerous hours of volunteer
help from citizens in the village which money-wise could never be
Green Thumb Workers, a federally financed program to provide work for
elderly and low income persons, have also been working at the site for the
past 2 1/2 years.
Located in the recreational park is a closed shelter house which has kitchen
facilities and can be used for community functions; 24 camp sites; an open
shelter house, ball diamond; 80 picnic tables and a swimming pool which
has a sand bottom and is 10 feet deep at one end.
The approximately 15-acre lake is anywhere from five to 12 feet deep and
provides fishing for blue gills, crappies and trout. There are five natural
springs feeding the lake. The body of water is one of the headwaters pf the
Poplar River. A 16 by 40 foot box type dam is located in the southwest
corner of the park.
Schwoch said the area is 95 per cent completed. Plans are to install
playground equipment and tennis courts as well as trees and shrubbery.
Agencies assisting in the project include the Agricultural Soil and
Conservation Agency of Clark County which cost-shared the dam and dike;
Soil Conservation Service of Clark County which conducted the engineering
of the dam and landscaping at no cost; Farmers Home Administration, and
LAWCON, which is cost-sharing the picnic area through the Department of
Present officers of the park are W.C. Pinter, president; Otto Genrich, vice
president; Ted Schwoch Jr., secretary; William Jantsch, treasurer; and
Lloyd Carlson, director. Past directors have been Alvin Meyer and Richard
2011 — New Dam Required For Dorchester Park Demanded By DNR
Everything proceeded pretty well for 40 years until the original dam started
to crack, lean to the north and that brought the wrath of the State of
Wisconsin DNR who demanded a new dam be built. This was bid out in 2011
and completed approximately one year later in 2012 for a cost of about
$400,000 with a sharing of the cost between the State of Wisconsin and the
Dorchester Recreation Park Corporation. Should be good for another 40 yrs.
The Dorchester Park and Lake have been a marvelous addition to the
community and surrounding area. The park has been extremely well
maintained with new features being added over the years. For example; a
frisbee 18 basket golf course was added in 2014 and the tennis/basketball
courts were replaced in 2015.