Neshotah Park Lily Pond & Rock Garden – Two Rivers WI


In an effort to beautify the area around a pond in Neshotah Park, the City of Two Rivers had rocks hauled to the park over a period of about three years. In late October 1938 50 WPA workers were transferred from other work in the city to finish the park project. A contemporary newspaper description outlined the scope of the project:
“The pond will be lined with the rocks and several elevations provided so that the water will cascade from an outlet rock cap to a pool several feet below and will then go to a lower pool several feet below this. The total drop will be about 14 feet.
From the lower pool the water will be pumped back up to the outlet rock cap and will continually circulate, thus eliminating stagnation. The bridge at the pond will remain and a walk will be constructed around the entire area. An attempt will be made to cover the rocks with an alpine growth.

Three hundred and twenty-eight loads of rock have been brought to the park from the vicinity of Jambo creek. Some of the rocks weigh several tons.”
For some reason the water circulation system did not work, and the pond became stagnant. By 1943 the pond had pond had become a breeding ground for mosquitos, and there were many complaints made to the city council. At some point the pond was filled in with sand (possibly in the late-1940s), however the rocks remained, and many children would grow up with fond memories of playing on them.

On March 23, 1952 a gale force storm caused a major washout of the bank of the East Twin River, with potentially disastrous consequences for a four-story building belonging to the Hamilton Manufacturing Company. Rock to be used for rip-rap to shore up the riverbank was urgently needed. Late in the afternoon the city began to remove the rocks for Neshotah Park for this purpose. As of 2022 several of the rocks remain scattered throughout the park, the only remnant of the WPA project.

Source notes

Two Rivers, Wisconsin, Twelfth Annual Municipal Report of the City Manager (1938), p. 28; "Lily Pond Is To Be Built," Manitowoc Herald-Times (Manitowoc, WI), 26 Oct 1938, p. 13, col. 1; "Lily Pond Seems Doomed," Manitowoc Herald-Times (Manitowoc, WI), 20 Jul 1943, p. 7, cols. 3-6; "Crews Battle to Seal River Bank at Two Rivers," Manitowoc Herald-Times (Manitowoc, WI), 24 Mar 1952, p. 1, cols. 4-7.

Project originally submitted by Alan Wambold on November 12, 2022.

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Location Info

2111 Pierce St
Two Rivers, Wisconsin 54241

Coordinates: 44.153045, -87.555385

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