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Bentzin Family Gift Celebrates Watertown’s History


Luke Severson, Sign Art Studio, Account Executive (middle) reviews the Bentzin Family Town Square history project with (from left) Tony Meyers, Maas Bros., Construction Manager; Dave Zimmerman, History Committee, Member; Dan Yoder, Sign Art, President; and Mason Becker, Watertown Redevelopment Authority, Executive Director. Recently Sign Art Studio visited the Bentzin Family Town Square to take measurements and get a feel for the City and area surrounding the proposed installation.


Design work has begun on the Bentzin Family Town Square public art piece to be located on the northeast corner of the Square near the Bertram Beltz Community Plaza. The instal

ation, funded by a generous gift from the Bentzin Family, will “remember and celebrate Watertown’s unique and rich history,” said Barton Bentzin.


In late October, Sign Art Studios of Mt. Horeb was awarded the project. Recently, Luke Severson and Dan Yoder of Sign Art visited Watertown to meet with Tony Meyers, Maas Bros., Construction Manager; Dave Zimmerman, History Committee, Member; and Mason Becker, Watertown Redevelopment Authority, Executive Director.


Under the heading “Born of this River”, the structure will consist of a number of lighted panels illustrating the themes of transportation, people, industry, education, and the Rock River. “We start ‘our’ story from a time when the Winnebago and Potawatomi peoples freely roamed this land,” said Zimmerman. “Our story continues, highlighting significant developments: the building of dams to harness the power of the Rock River, the interurban trolley, breweries, brick factories, bees and bee-hive boxes, noodled geese, cigar manufacturing, the invention of the cash register, knife and blade production, furniture makers, the first kindergarten, and the Cannonball. Stories of Watertown’s first settler, Timothy Johnson, who in 1836 staked out a 1,000 acre claim along the Rock River, will join tales of other determined and hardworking immigrants who literally built this city from the trees of the forests and clay of the earth.”


Current plans are to have the structure finished and installed in Summer 2023.


Tony Meyers with Dan Yoder and Luke Severson checking out the site where the history art piece will be placed.

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