News: Hatfield Parade Preparations (23 & 30 May 1974)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Thompson, Schoengarth, Radcliffe

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 5/23/1974 & 5/30/1974

Hatfield Prepares for Big Bridge Parade (23 & 30 May 1974)

The two new bridges and a historical marker designating the longest canal still in daily use in Wisconsin will be dedicated Sunday afternoon, May 16, at Hatfield, a year round resort community located south of Neillsville on Lake Arbutus.

A dedication is being planned for the dedication day with cooperation from the Hatfield, Black River Falls and Neillsville Chambers of Commerce, Clark and Jackson County historical groups, and other community and area organizations.

The larger bride, spanning the Black River, has won national recognition from several sources for its architectural beauty.

The federal highway administration, which sponsors annual (it stated: to be continued on page 8; and I never found that page, so could not finish the above, but read on).

Next Week:

Hatfield has successful dedication day - Parade draws thousands

For a first time event, Hatfield proclaimed its parade and community celebration a success this past weekend.

Approximately 50 different floats, bands and entries took part in the parade which began on time around 1:00 p.m., Sunday. A crowd estimated at near ten thousand stretched from the Arnold Creek staging area of the parade down several miles of the route to its termination on the east side of the Black River.

The parade and community events centered on the dedication of two new bridges in the small community, located approximately ten miles south of Neillsville, and the unveiling of an historical plaque from the Wisconsin Historical Society which records the fact that the Hatfield canal is the longest still in use in the state.

The larger bridge spanning the Black River, recently won national recognition from several sources including the federal highway administration which awarded the structure the top national prize for a bridge in harmony with its environment.

The small bridge was the site of the historical society marker dedication. Several speakers were present including local officials: Vernon Thompson, U. S. Congressman from Wisconsin’s third district; Judge Lowell D. Schoengarth of Neillsville who served the area as circuit judge; and keynote speaker john Radcliffe, director of the Wisconsin highway safety committee.

The dam and canal at Hatfield were constructed in 1907 and 1908 by the J. G. White Company of New York, considered then to be the largest contractor in the world, with approximately 700 men engaged in the $1.5 million dollar project.

The dam created formed Lake Arbutus which to this day is a popular tourist and camping area in west central Wisconsin. The canal was created to allow impounded water to flow three miles south of the dam and back into the river from an elevated channel, through a hydroelectric plant.

Power from the plant was first used to light homes and operate street cars in the communities of La Crosse and Winona and was managed by the La Crosse Power Company which later sold its interest to the Mississippi Valley Power Company and then to its present owners, Northern States Power.

In conjunction with the event at Hatfield was the annual Winnebago Indian Pow-wow held six miles south of Hatfield. Several groups of Winnebagos were in attendance at the Hatfield dedication day and participated in floats and program ceremonies.

The event was co-sponsored by the Hatfield Chamber of Commerce, aided by units of Neillsville and Black River Falls, the Wisconsin Indianhead and Black River Country associations, several historical societies including those from Jackson and Clark Counties, and various community organizations from the surrounding area.



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