Watertown, Wisconsin, is a small city that straddles the line dividing Dodge and Jefferson Counties. It is on the banks of the Rock River, roughly halfway between Milwaukee and Madison. In pioneer times Watertown was settled largely by German immigrants. Margareth Meyer Schurz of Watertown is credited with founding America’s first kindergarten. Visitors staying in budget hotels in Watertown can still see the building in which that original school for young children was housed. It is called the Watertown Octagon House because of its unusual shape. The house was built in 1854 and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Excluding the balconies, the house is 50 feet across. It has eight square rooms on each floor, with triangular rooms in the corners. This restored building is on the highest hill in Watertown and provides an excellent view of the Rock River.
Riverside Park dates back to 1910. It is a pleasant place to have a picnic. Children love the aquatic center here. Brandt Quirk Park covers 167 acres and offers hiking, cross-country skiing, basketball, baseball and soccer. Just outside of Watertown is Aztalan, the mysterious remains of an ancient Indian village. There are a series of round burial mounds overlooking what was once a stockade made of mud-brick. There are two pyramids that seem to have been astral and solar calendars. Charred human remains have been found here, as well as the body of a hunchbacked woman found in an elaborate grave.
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