The historic Octagon House Museum in Watertown, Wisconsin will be the setting of the Watertown Historical Society’s annual ice cream and homemade cake social on Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016 from 1:30-4 p.m. Civil Ware era music will be performed by the renowned First Brigade Band. The band “makes history live” by presenting period brass band music played on antique instruments. Dressed in period uniforms and gowns, the band’s musicians, color guard, and costumed ladies evoke the atmosphere of the turbulent 1860’s through their unique form of showmanship blending the sights and sounds of the period with historical anecdotes.
Attendees are invited to tour the five-story, 8,000 square-foot Octagon House, completed in 1854. Designed and constructed by the pioneer Watertown settler, John Richards, the house is one of the largest pre-Civil War family residences built in Wisconsin. Its unique features include central heating, running water and ventilating systems. The house also features a central spiral staircase which rises from the first floor to the tower room.
Occupied only by Richards’ family members, the house was given to the Watertown Historical Society in 1938 and has been open as a public museum since 1939. The museum grounds are also home to the First Kindergarten in America, a restored pioneer-era barn, a 1936 model of the Octagon House and a tour center with gift shop.
The Octagon House is located at 919 Charles St. and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tours of the house and First Kindergarten in America are conducted hourly. Tours will be held throughout the day of the social and band concert. Benches for the comfort of guests will be provided by the Watertown Park, Recreation and Forestry Department and community residents are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. Band members will have CD’s of both Confederate and Union music on sale.
The event is open to the public. For more information please call 920-261-2796 or go the Octagon House facebook page.