Date in History: 1960s

The replica of Fort Koshkonong out in Rock River Park in Fort Atkinson was built in the late 1960s by a group of civic-minded citizens who believed that the only town in Wisconsin to be named after a Fort should actually have one. Led by Gus Klatt and Ben Beebe, they worked with the city to secure a site and then spent a few years, weekend by weekend, searching for and collecting old utility poles.

Civic groups helped with the labor and businesses provided small machinery to dig the trench and install the poles. Work crews marched through farmers’ fields in the cold of January to cut trees from Tamarack swamps to use for the corner blockhouses.

After its completion, the Fort played host to the popular Black Hawk pageants put on by hundreds of Fort Atkinson citizens, as well as productions of Oklahoma and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Since 1994, the Fort has been the perfect site for the annual Buckskinners Rendezvous.

This historic document aired on the radio as an Historic Minute on 06/27/2005.