History of the OBBG

From the Papers of the National Register of Historic Places
Courtesy of John Hardy & Melinde Lutz

Over the holidays, I had a chance to read through the impressive work presented by John Hardy and Melinde Lutz to achieve the National Register of Historic Places (NHR) recognition for Old Bradford Burial Grounds (OBBG). Their presentation is an incredible and successful effort. The Friends of OBBG (FOBBG) have begun arrangements for a plaque acknowledging John & Melinde’s achievement. As I read this History, I realized that, while some of us know why we help support OBBG, there may be many more of us that are not aware of its importance. The complete history is 13 pages in length. The Site Map referenced can be found at John Hardy’s website www.bradfordburialground.com. Below is the first of the “series”. Additional sections will appear in upcoming issues of the Tenney Times. It is my sincere hope that you will enjoy reading about the OBBG and its historical significance, that you will learn more about the TFA’s interest in OBBG, that you will be inspired by John & Melinde’s achievement, that you will understand the significance of NHR, that you try making a trip to OBBG to walk it’s grounds, that you join the FOBBG volunteers cleaning up the grounds or, if a visit is not feasible, that you will open your checkbook and give generously to our continued support of this wonderful cemetery. Enjoy!! – your Interim Editor.

Statement of Significance Summary Paragraph:

The Bradford Burial Ground is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places under Criteria A and C with Criteria Consideration D at the local level as a well-preserved, town-owned 17th, 18th and 19th century Colonial era and later burial ground containing a variety of slate, schist, limestone and marble markers. The Bradford Cemetery contains a range of gravestones that exemplify the changing views of death in American society in both iconography and materials.

The markers illustrate the work of a number of well-known regional carvers of the period including John Hartshorn, Robert Mullicken, Sr., Robert Mullicken, Jr., Joseph Marble, Benjamin Day, Theodore Warren and F.A. Brown.

The cemetery was established in 1665 by the first settlers of Bradford (1672), which became part of Haverhill in 1897, making the Bradford Burial Ground one of Haverhill’s oldest and most historically significant cemeteries. The 1.5 acre cemetery contains over 700 graves with the earliest extant readable gravestone dating to 1689 as well as unmarked graves which may be even earlier.

Significant burials include many of the town’s original settlers, war veterans, church leaders, and several individuals of note. The period of significance extends from 1665 when the cemetery was established to 1935, when the stone wall was rebuilt by the WPA.

Narrative Statement of Significance:

The first settlement of what became Bradford occurred in 1649 when a group of sixty families was organized under the leadership of Rev. Ezekiel Rogers. They had come from Yorkshire, England twelve years before, landing in Salem and settling in Rowley.

The settlement, known as Roger’s Plantation, covered the area which was to become Rowley, Georgetown, Groveland, Boxford, and Bradford.

After Rev. Rogers died on January 23, 1660, Rev. Zechariah Symmes of Charlestown became their pastor. Originally services were held in private homes or barns. John Haseltine, who was one of Rogers’ original families and built a house on Indian Hill near the Merrimack River, donated an acre of land on which to build a meetinghouse and for a burying-place provided the town build a good, sufficient five rail fence and maintain the land. On January 5, 1665 the vote of the town was passed.

The Bradford Burial Ground remained the only cemetery in the town until 1723 when the East Parish (now Groveland) Cemetery was established.

An additional half acre was added to the Bradford Cemetery at an unknown date in the 18th or 19th century; the cemetery has been 1.5 acres since at least the late 19th century.

The settlement continued to grow in the years that followed. In 1672 the name was changed to Bradford. The first meetinghouse was of log construction and was erected near the west corner of the burying ground. The earliest readable date on a headstone in the Bradford Burial Ground currently is 1689 but it is likely that there were once earlier stones that did not survive.

(US Dept. of the Interior National Park Service/National Register of Historic Places, Section 8 page 12)

History of the First American Printing Press

Courtesy of B. Tenney

As you all probably know, or perhaps you do not, when our progenitor, Thomas Tenney Sr. arrived from Rowley, Yorkshire, England (or Great Limber, Lincolnshire) to the American shores, on board were not only Rev. Ezekiel Rogers and his 20 immigrant families, but also the first wooden printing press in British North America.

The press was purchased by Rev. Joseph Glover in England (he had already immigrated to America and returned to Britain to transport the press) and transported to America on the same ship, John of London, on which our Thomas Tenney Sr. arrived.  Rev. Glover also convinced Stephen Daye, a mechanic, and his son to come to America and be the printers. The wooden printing press eventually went to Harvard where it was the only source of early printing in America until 1659, when Harvard acquired a second press.

The Glover press printed English America’s first book, its first periodical literature, its first best-sellers including Michael Wigglesworth’s fervent poem about the Last Judgment called “Day of Doom” (four editions, starting in 1662) and Mary Rowlandson’s 1662 captivity narrative as well as the Bay Psalm Book and Commencement broadsheets, a speller, a catechism, and 10 almanacs.

So began the first flowering of American literature coming out of this Harvard press. Rumor has it that this same Harvard press is located at the Vermont Historical Society’s museum in Montpelier.

For more information see:

Harvard’s First Impressions

www.vermonthistory.org

Related websites (Vermont Historical Society)

  1. westoncat.pdf A Vermont Collector’s Story Harold Goddard Rugg’s Legacy at the Vermont Historical Society by Jaqueline Calder; Bookplate of Harold Rugg. Printed and engraved by J. W. Jameson, 1933.
  2. VermontsStoneChambers4.pdf —Spring 1979, Vol. 47, No. 2. The PROCEEDINGS of the VERMONT HISTORICAL SOCIETY. In This Issue Contributors and Editor’s Comment: Vermont’s Stone Chambers and the Nature of History
  3. LewisRobinsonEntrepreneur.pdf —October 1962, Vol. XXX, No. 4. The PROCEEDINGS of the VERMONT HISTORICAL SOCIETY, MONTPELIER. Lewis Robinson-Entrepreneur by George R. Dalphin and Marcus A. McCorison.
  4. Erekson.pdf The Joseph Smith Memorial Monument and Royalton’s “Mormon Affair”: Religion, Community, Memory, and Politics in Progressive Vermont.
  5. Harold Goddard Rugg — (Museum/Harold Goddard Rugg) …Prose: A Miscellany (1932). He compiled a bibliography of the works printed on the Daye Press (now known as the Dresden Press), the first printing press used in Vermont…

DNA – deoxyribonucleic acid

At our annual TFA reunion this past September, 2015 in West Virginia, there was considerable informal discussion about DNA testing and results/interpretation. I have to admit that I know next to nothing about this new technology made famous by O. J. Simpson back in 1995. I wonder what he is doing these days. Does the glove fit now?

A great website for learning is: 2015: Most bang for DNA Buck by Judy Russell. It is well worth reading.

The website is: www.legalgenealogist.com/blog/2015/02/02/2015-most-bang-for-the-dna-buck/

To quote from this article: “We’re talking here about autosomal DNA tests. Autosomal DNA testing, remember, is the kind of test that works across genders to locate relatives — cousins — from all parts of your family tree.5 That’s in contrast to YDNA testing, which only men can do and which looks at the direct paternal line.6or mitochondrial DNA testing, which looks at the direct maternal line.7 If you’re interested in YDNA or mtDNA testing, Family Tree DNA is the only game in town.

There are three major autosomal DNA tests you can take for genetic genealogy — from Family Tree DNA,  from 23andMe,  from Ancestry DNA — and even a fourth test from National Geographic called Geno 2.0 with a scientific (rather than genealogical) emphasis.”

So, my cousins, I am trying to determine if there is an interest in forming a committee to further research starting a Tenney Family DNA Project including member testing and accumulating the results to see what we can glean from it. Our first goal will be to determine how many folks are interested, then have some research/discussion on which tests and company to consider. We can move forward from there.

If you have interest in being tested, or have helpful knowledge of this testing, ideas, suggestions regarding this project, please email us at president@tenneyfamily.org and we can go from there. Also, I am sure you know more about this subject than I do, so please endeavor to share.

Cousins – Please be advised, although TFA might like to, at this time TFA is not in a position of financial sponsorship for members to be tested. We might however, try to arrange for a bulk deal, depending on how many Tenney’s are interested. Be talking to ya.

Blessings to all my cousins,
B.Tenney

Into the Wilds of Wonderful West Virginia 2015 Reunion

pic6We came from east & west, near & far to beautiful north central WV amidst the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains wilderness of Upshur County, WV. The weather was spectacular in Buckhannon as we arrived.

pic5Friday Evening Welcome Reception hosted by the Upshur County History Center. We heard a “brief” entertaining & informative presentation on the Center’s history – built in 1856, originally as a Southern Methodist Church until the Confederate SM’s fled just before the Civil War, and how the Baptists, Buckhannon & the Center were influenced by the Civil War early years. During our visit, the Center was showcasing “School Days” in the area going back to the first schools and early days of “learnin”, including schoolhouse furniture, readers and lots of photographs telling the “school day” stories of students long ago.

Saturday morning “bright & early” we’re off on the day’s adventures touring Upshur County in City of Buckhannon’s bright red ol’fashion school bus. With the “wheels of the bus a-goin’ round & round”, we headed off to Pringle Tree (hint – not potato chips). The story goes the Pringle brothers, John & Samuel, lived inside the original tree upon their arrival in 1764 fleeing from the British Army until they ran out of ammo 4 years later. While the hollowed out Sycamore tree provided shelter for the deserters, it still must have been pretty darn “cozy” for two grown men.

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Stopping at the Buckhannon Courthouse, the site of Civil War Confederate General Jenkins victorious defeat over the Union resistance in Aug 1862. Jenkin’s Calvary marched their prisoners to the courthouse for the destruction of weapons and ammo; later the courthouse was used for storage and housing of Federal Troops, suffering great damage. Across the street is the UCHS Doc Repository & Research Center, where they have a wonderful collection of “all things Tenney/Tinney”. The Museum is a wonderful “treasure trove” well worth spending a day or two perusing.

Departing Buckhannon Main Street, we headed across bridges and local points of interest to Elbon Cemetery were James Tenney & wife Thankful Shippee, along with many other family rest peacefully atop the hill, with a spectacular view!

reunion-15

newsletter-oct2015Stopping at the Sago Baptist Church, which is just down the street from the infamous Sago Mine Disaster back in 2006 – We heard the story of the horrible accident and its effect on the community and the aftermath.

We also visited Ron Hinkle Glass for a fascinating factory tour and demonstration and the Wild Life Center. Originally French Creek Game Farm back in 1923, the center “opened its door” in 1986, a type of natural wildlife park where the animals are not caged (except the skunks!) but allowed to roam in their native habitats. The “human wildlife” can take a leisurely stroll around the park observing Bison, Wolves, Bears, Otters, feathered “friends” and more. A wonderful way to spend the afternoon with our native furry & feathered friends.

Leaving the Wild Life Center, a quick stop in Centerville where we learned the story of Kesler’s Raid in Sep 1863, a story of deceit within the Union Militia that lead to the capture of the Upshur Militia under Capt. Gould’s command, 70 of his men, most of whom died at Andersonville.

After a very full day of site seeing filled with superb narratives and storytelling, our last stop was Historical French Creek Presbyterian Church for an old-fashioned “supper”. Upshur County Historical Society purchased the building and is actively restoring it to its former glory.

Sunday, following our Annual Meeting, we were off to Tallmansville to join the WV Tenney Family Reunion Org. (TFRO) gathering and hosted potluck held at the Washington District Fire House.

After much laughter and camaraderie, one last “tour” to the James & Thankful cabin. The Upshur County Historical Society has done a lot of work since 2004, the walls are up, windows are in, roof is repaired and the cabin looks great! There is still a lot of work to be done according to UCHS, but they continue to move forward as time, funds and volunteers allow.

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A very special Thank you to our hosts and helpers for your contributions in making our family gathering great! Thank you to all who attended and we hope to see you next year!

Can you help?

Help us to identify these portrait photos from an early to mid-1850’s family photo album. They are part of the Henry T.P. Tenney (son of Daniel Tenney & Charlotte Rand) and Henry’s wife Martha L.M. Mckee Tenney family. Please contact genealogist@tenneyfamily.org if you know who these photos are of.

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Recipients excel as 2015 Cowboy Keepers

Each year, as the National Day of the Cowboy approaches, members of the Board of Directors for the National Day of the Cowboy organization have the privilege of reviewing the many nominations submitted for its annual Cowboy Keeper Awards©. It is always an uplifting experience. The award is bestowed upon those who make a significant contribution to the preservation of cowboy culture and pioneer heritage. This year there were more nominations than ever, each one raising the bar for future nominees. Those selected to receive the award share, among other things, an impeccable character, a joyful work ethic, a broad range of talents and skills, a love for educating the public about cowboys, a sense of leadership, and a high degree of creativity. We are proud to name Sheila Carson, Waddie Mitchell, Ernie Sites, David Stoecklein, Bud Young, and husband wife team, Lyman & Alaire Tenney, as our 2015 Cowboy Keeper Award recipients.

Alaire & Lyman Tenney

pic1Lyman “C” Tenney, was born one of ten children on his family’s cattle ranch near Willcox, Arizona. His wife, Alaire, born in El Paso, Texas, was the daughter of Quarter Horse Association founder and AQHA Hall of Fame inductee, J.E. Browning. Together, Lyman and Alaire left a deep cowboy mark on the American Southwest and Australia.

pic2Lyman started cowboying as soon as he could climb on a horse and spent 60 years in the saddle. At 15 he left home to cowboy on his own. “I wanted to see all the ranches I could and work for ‘em all.” In Arizona, he worked ranches from Big Chino to Ashfork, all the ranches on the Verde to Clarkdale, Cottonwood to Flagstaff, Mingus Mountain to Orme Ranch, Camp Verde to Dewey, Prescott to Crown King, down the Hassayampa and up Yarnell to Wickenburg. He worked cattle from Skull Valley to Williamson Valley, Cochise, Santa Cruz, and Pima Counties, the Graham, Winchester and Galiuros Mountains, the slopes of the Rincons, Whetstones, Huachucas, and more.

He was a rodeo cowboy in the US and Australia, in saddle bronc, bareback and bull riding, and the timed events of steer roping, calf roping and team roping and a contestant the Prescott Rodeo for 22 years straight. During July 4th weekend, in 1941, he drove to Prescott to enter the rodeo. There he met 18 year-old cowgirl, Alaire Browning. The next summer, they decided to marry, and wed the day after he won the Dewey Saddle Bronc money.

Lyman went to work on the DK then the DuBois Ranch, until Alaire’s father bought the Bar HL south of Willcox. They worked the Bar HL from 1942 to 1951 when they bought the Muleshoe Ranch, selling it when drought forced them out. They moved to California, running 6,500 head of cattle in Imperial Valley. In 1963, Alaire, who was an expert cowhand, was badly injured when her horse tripped in a hole and rolled on her. She was unconscious for 77 hours. Recovery took far longer as she had to learn to walk again.

In 1966, Al Stansbury asked the Tenneys to run his ranch in Australia’s Northern Territory. Their accomplishments in Australia alone could fill volumes.

On the Woollogorang “Station,” in Australia, they managed the largest cattle operation they had ever run – 2,225 square miles, 1,650,000 acres, 10,000 head of cattle. It was 500 miles to the nearest grocery store and the closest rail point. Cattle drives to the railhead took 11 weeks. Lyman soon arranged to haul cattle by semi, shortening the drive to 18 days. One day, Lyman and son, Todd, gave a team roping demonstration at the Mount Isa Rodeo. It soon became a popular and widespread rodeo event. Lyman has since been called the “Father of Australian Team Roping,” because he introduced it to the continent.

Lyman and Alaire took part in an experimental program for Nelson Hunt, to domesticate water buffalo. Lyman helped form the CeeTeeGee Saddle Tree Company, making saddle trees for American-style roping saddles and hornless bronc riding saddles.

They staged the first roping school in Australia and helped establish the first rodeo club, started the Western Performance Horse Club and the Sierra Bonita Roping Club, trained Quarter horses and taught western riding.

In Aspley, they helped establish the Pine View Equestrian Center, became involved with the Australian Trail Horse Riders Association and helped establish the Australian National Riding Trail, said to be the longest continuous horse trail in the world.
They gave seminars and clinics teaching American style horsemanship and horse training, cutting and reining, as well as rodeo riding skills. Within a decade, they held over 100 schools in Australia and Tasmania.

They imported Quarter Horses, Appaloosas and Paints from the U.S. Lyman helped organize regional QHAs, and was a founding member of the Australian Quarter Mile Racing Association, a charter member of the National Cutting Horse Association of Australia, and organized and brought to fruition an NCHA Finals and Futurity. Alaire in turn, started the popular Ladies Cuttings in Australia. They formed the Western Australia Cutting Club.

They were a co-founders of the Paint Horse Association of Australia. Their Paint horse, Joeleo, was one of the founding sires and National Champion of the PHA of Australia; and the first horse inducted into the Australian PHA Hall of Fame.

pic3In 1971, Lyman produced the first American style rodeo in Brisbane. In 1973, at age 54, at the Roma Rodeo, he won 1st in calf roping and team roping and 2nd in steer roping, winning the All-Around Championship; the first time in Australian rodeo it was awarded to a contestant who only roped. In 1977, they formed the Albany Trail Riders Association. In 1979, Alaire was appointed head of the National Paint Horse Queen Committee, where she organized the Queen contest for the first PHAA National Show.

In 1980, they returned to Arizona. 1986 found them managing the 87 square mile DG Ranch outside Wickenburg. In 1994 they retired in Willcox, then moved back to Prescott. Lyman was inducted into the Arizona Living Pioneer Hall of Fame. Alaire, who ranched, roped cattle; team roped, and taught roping and riding right beside her husband, passed away in 2008. Lyman passed in 2009. Few, if any, men or women have cowboyed as extensively in the American Southwest as Lyman and Alaire Tenney, and no other husband and wife team has done more to proliferate the cowboy culture in Australia.

OBBG Round Up: By Barron

Summer finally arrived in New England, and now it is hot and sticky. Never thought we were going to ever see warm weather again up here in New England, where it all started.

National Historic Register

Our Angels, Cousin John Hardy and Melinde Lutz have been on the ball regarding NHR of OBBG. On June 15, the Bradford Burying Ground was accepted by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. A copy of the official letter and certificate was sent to me on July 13, 2015 and received July 17, 2015. Many thanks are sent to John and Melinde their efforts for the OBBG. A job well done my friends. Time to celebrate your efforts now. John Hardy has suggested erecting a stone on the site. The proposed stone with a National Historic Register plaque can be placed near the current bronze plaque in the front of the cemetery. Perhaps we can get the Mayor to do a little ceremony and maybe get the City to apply more funds/assistance in maintaining the grounds. Great suggestion John!

OBBG Maintenance

The good news: the hanging limb previously reported in the TT spring edition, has been removed by the City Tree Warden. Yippee! More good news is that our Angel, Erik Peterson and the City have worked out a deal, so Erik and his boys are on the job. I took a drive over this morning and it looks great. The bad news is that another tree has fallen, apparently in the last few days, and this one has taken out two headstones. I didn’t get a chance to take a picture, but it is pretty nasty. Erik is being pro-active as he has already called the City and the Tree Warden. Erik has indicated that he will try to repair the stones.

Remember the mailing effort to the City Council we executed? It was so successful. The POWER of TFA? In talking with Erik today, we thought it might be a good idea to email the City Mayor and the City Council about how pleased we, the TFA, and related OBBG families are, about the City’s efforts in maintaining our OBBG gem.
This will again be the power of the TFA keeping OBBG first and foremost in the City’s mind.

It is nice to see the City of Haverhill stepping up to care for their property, which is one of our nation’s GEMS. And, thank you so much Erik and Leslie for all you have done for OBBG and the TFA. Love you much.

E – mailbox

Hi Everyone,
Here is a photo of the tree branch that fell. It did break two stones and possibly more (we will know when the branch is removed.) The BBG looks great, Eric has been doing a great job. However we still have problems.

pic4There are a few dead trees that have to be removed before they fall. The forgotten corner is completely regrown back in. The section of the BBG near the swim club is over grown.

Because this is where the low spot is in the wall is, people have been using a different spot and now that part of the wall is falling apart. Many stones have already fallen out.

I have also seen that the wall is being invaded by weeds. I have been spraying the wall for the last few years with weed killer but have missed the last year (sorry) but that is all it takes. One missed year and they are really bad the next year. I pulled some of the weeds already but I will have to go and spray the wall before it gets worse. However, these weeds have already loosened the stones. I feel that the wall surrounding the BBG will have to be patched very soon (while it is still the top layer) or it will get much worse.

I try to do as much as I can so that Eric does not have to do it all but it is a never ending battle. I am

happy to see that the grass is growing much better in the back. I have been seeding that back area for a few years now and with Eric mowing regularly it looks great and the weeds are a bit less of a problem. We still need a group effort to cut back the brush that is always trying to reclaim the cleaned up area but if we can keep pushing it back and Eric can keep mowing we should have less and less of a problem each year. I have taken photos of each of these items (listed above) and if anyone wants me to send them in an email just let me know.

Chris

Fire Instructor, Ian Tenney, honored

On October 1, 2014, the Connecticut Fire Department Instructors Association held their annual dinner in Southington, CT.

Among the honorees for 2014 was Lieutenant Ian Tenney of the Hartford, CT Fire Department. Tenney received the Richard Pratt Sylvia Instructor of the Year Award for his work as the Program Coordinator for the Connecticut Fire Academy’s Introduction To The Fire Service (ITTFS) Program.

ITTFS provides several services for high school students interested in the Fire Service, including regular and advanced six-day, residential “Recruit Firefighter School” training programs in the summer, a Junior Counselor Program where alumni can enter a competitive selection process to return and work as assistant instructors and the annual Fire Service College Fair, the only event of its type in existence that is dedicated entirely to programs that offer degrees in Fire, EMS and Emergency Management.

pic5Tenney had the opportunity to begin his Fire Service career at a young age with the Lancaster, NH Fire Department and also got to follow in his father’s footsteps as a member of the Lancaster Ambulance Corps. The responsibility and desire to give back after these experiences has been the major motivation for his work as a Fire Service Instructor and specifically within the ITTFS Programs. He is the 2011 recipient of the CFDIA’s Harry Kelly Award and a 2006 Special Achievement Award recipient. Tenney is the son of Maggie and the late Jeffrey Tenney of Lancaster.

Peta-Anne;

Thank you for all of your great work on the Tenney Times – I always enjoy reading it and it’s obvious that you put a lot of work and feeling into it!
I’ve attached a story and photo for you – I put it together at the request of my Mom for the local paper in NH. Well, it was a request forwarded by Mom based on a rather direct ‘suggestion’ by my grandmother…

Dad, Jeffrey Tenney, was a charter member of the Lancaster, NH Ambulance Corps in 1972 and spent nearly 20 years in the organization, serving for some time as the Director. He cited some of his experiences with the 101st Airborne Div (326th Engineer BN) in Vietnam as being a big motivation to serve in EMS. We weren’t contemporaries, but the last ambulance that he worked out of (and I think actually designed and purchased) was the first one that I worked out of.

While it isn’t really talked about, service is a huge tradition in our family. Dad volunteered for Vietnam, my grandfather volunteered for WWII and my great-grandfather, after having received a waiver for WWI due to the need to support his family, actually made his way into the Navy or Navy Reserves for WWII – I recall some details regarding the fact that he was only a day or two away from the maximum upper age limit. Now that I mention it, I’m going to dig and see if I can find more details. Going back a few generations, here’s our lineage (beginning
in the greater Portland, ME area):

Percival Tenney -> Arthur Tenney -> Keith Tenney -> Jeffrey Tenney -> Ian Tenney.

Dad was born in Lancaster and with the exception of college and the Army, lived there his entire life. He liked to say that he had been born in the bowling alley. The Sportsman’s Restaurant (the lot is now home to the town skating rink) at Main & Bunker Hill Sts did indeed have bowling lanes. It had started life as the Lancaster Hospital, which at some point after 1947 (and I can attest that it was prior to 1977) moved to a new location and building a hundred yards or so from where Keith Tenney built his home after returning from WWII. Dad is buried in the Summer Street Cemetery, where Keith, Arthur and my great-grandmother Annie are also interred.

Thanks for enduring the history lesson and take care, -Ian

Mr. Tenney’s Park

In 1899, Madison, Wisconsin lawyer Daniel K. Tenney bought some land near the city’s limits and gave it to the city’s horse-and-buggy set that had organized a group to build more scenic routes – the Pleasure Drive Association, with John M. Olin president.

pic6Tenney wanted to turn the land into a park, but the city had a history of refusing to finance space for anything as frivolous as leisure. So Tenney went to John M. Olin with his vision: The Association could have his land – 14 expansive acres where Lake Mendota meets the Yahara River – but only to create a park. And only if the park would be kept as a public trust to be handed over to the city when it was ready to take care of it.

pic7Association members jumped at the chance, switching focus from rural pleasure drives to in-city pleasure switching focus from rural pleasure drives to in-city “pleasure grounds,” and in the process turned the volunteer group into the most powerful force for beautification Madison has ever known. To raise funds for the Tenney project, Olin slashed Association dues and increased membership tenfold. He also ran what was probably the city’s first direct-mail campaign to raise awareness of the need for parks and outdoor recreation. And the money poured in from hard working families eager for a spot of beauty.

pic8Olin then came up with a wildly ambitious plan to dredge the Yahara River, build a lock, raise all eight of its bridges, and build a dappled 20-acre parkway to link Lake Mendota with Lake Monona.

He lobbied the city council and the statehouse relentlessly, and talked landowners into donating their river frontage. Amazingly, he got the whole project done in less than three years’ time. In Madison, A History of the Formative Years, Historian David Mollenhoff writes that Olin’s profession was law, “but parks, beauty & order were his passion.”