By Dave Fidlin


The Effigy Mounds Preserve, Starin Park Water Tower and the Armory are among some of the Whitewater sites that received attention from the city Landmarks Commission in 2015.

Patricia Blackmer, who leads the appointed body, presented a report on the group’s activities this past year at a Common Council meeting May 3. She also discussed what activities are planned this year.

In all, Blackmer said commissioners have turned their attention to 21 properties within the city that have deep roots. The Effigy Mounds Preserve was cited frequently throughout Blackmer’s report.

Commissioners have been working in tandem with the Friends of the Effigy Mounds Preserve support group, Blackmer said, in an effort to harness new recreational opportunities at and near the site and assist in outreach efforts.

Some of those outreach efforts have included talks in locales outside Whitewater. Case in point: commissioners in October gave a presentation to a group of 50 people at a Walworth County Historical Society meeting.

The Landmarks Commission also has been working with the city’s Parks and Recreation Board on natural features surrounding the mounds. Heightened efforts have been made to remove invasive species, Blackmer said, and restorative seeding has since taken place so trails and other natural amenities are improved.

The appointed body also is backing a plan to name the Starin Park Water Tower a local landmark and is undergoing a similar effort with the Armory.

May is Wisconsin Preservation Month — a fact emphasized by City Manager Cameron Clapper as he read a proclamation — and Blackmer said commissioners are paying homage to this designation with a display at the Irvin L. Young Memorial Library.

“Stop by and see it,” Blackmer said. “It’s really quite interesting. I think you’ll learn a lot about Whitewater’s history if you take a peek.”



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