Madison developers Delaplaine and Burdick erected the three-story Lakeside Water Cure here in 1854. This unsuccessful venture closed after three years and re-opened in 1866 as a summer resort hotel. Known as the "Newport of the West," it appealed to wealthy families from St. Louis and farther south. Fire destroyed it in 1877.
The Wisconsin Sunday School Assembly purchased the 28-acre parcel in 1881 to provide families with two weeks of entertainment and inspiration. Dozens of canvas tents bordered the "streets" and a large pavilion seated 450 persons. Lectures by noted orators often attracted audiences of 3,000. Concerts by local and national bands provided evening entertainment. Lake steamers, carriages, trains and street cars brought passengers from Madison. The Monona Lake Assembly became the "Chatauqua of the West."
In 1910, after the Assembly's popularity had declined, the city purchased the land as Monona Park, renamed in Olin Park in 1922. After the acquisiton of adjacent Turville Point in 1980, it became Olin-Turville Park.
This marker is No. 37 in the Dane County Historical Society Markers Series.