Veterans Memorial Bandshell
Veterans Memorial Park Bandshell was constructed in 1935 by the City of Port after a donation from the estate of Edwin and Mary Jaehnig who left the city $20,000 to be “used for the creation of a city Park”. The City used the money to build the “Bath House” now the yacht club and the Band Shell. The Band Shell cost $4,600 and the Bath house cost $9,000. It appears that Milwaukee Cream City brick was the material used.
There is a small bronze plaque dated 1934 on the bandshell giving Edwin and Mary Jaehnig recognition for their generous donation. Edwin was born in April, 1868 in Fillmore, Town of Farmington, Washington County, WI, (not too far from Port Washington) son of Ernst and Liberta (nee Boetzek). His wife was Mary Schmit. Edwin and Mary are buried in St. Mary's Cemetery in Port Washington. Edwin was a "bookkeeper at Schmit Garage" in town. Schmit Ford Garage is still exists and is the oldest Ford dealer in Wisconsin still owned and run by the Schmit Family. They did not have children so it is assumed they left their money to the City. In 1917-18, the Jaehnig's built and lived in an historic arts and crafts style stucco home in Port Washington.
According to a memorial plaque in the Park, placed in 1985 in honor of Port Washington's 150th anniversary, an iconic American flag was painted in memory of deceased members of the Van Ells-Schanen Post #82 of the American Legion. The Legion post is located across from the Park.
In a story from the Ashland Daily Press, 7/30/1987, the idea of a flag painted in the back of the bandshell as a sesquicentennial gift to the city of Port Washington came from Dick (Aber-Gut) Berthiaume, American Legion member and former commander of Post #82. He grew up in Ashland, WI, and fondly remembered from his childhood the flag in the Mesang Bandshell located there. An Ashland resident had painted it, but proved to be too expensive to replicate by him. Derse Advertising, Milwaukee, was contacted but had difficulty finding a method to do it. Finally, Richard Yount painted the flag freehand in one week. Apparently the Derse firm was so pleased with the results, it offered to retouch the flag when needed. The flag was ready when President Reagan visited in 1987 and spoke there.
According to the City parks department, many events occur here, including Memorial Day and 4th of July services. It was also used for a speech by then-president Ronald Reagan. The Park is featured as part of the Harborwalk, and it is within walking distance of the lighthouse, North Beach, and downtown businesses.
Summer concerts performed on Sundays by the Port Washington City Band and Friday Night Flicks are free to the public.