Olin-Turville Park

1156 Olin–Turville Ct.

Water Cure/Lakeside House
Normal Hall

During the sessions of the Wisconsin Sunday School Assembly at the turn of the 19th century, the grounds resembled a tent city. Steamships and trains were scheduled for stops at the grounds and a streetcar line was eventually built to serve the camp. People came from all over the Midwest numbering as many as 15,000.

The assembly was a Chautauqua-like organization that hosted meetings where people camped on the grounds and attended religion classes, lectures and entertainment shows. After about 20 years of use by the Assembly, the city bought the land for a park in 1912

In 1919, 'Monona Park' was opened up to tourists for camping. In 1923, the Common Council renamed the park Olin Park in honor of John Olin the founder of the Madison Park and Pleasure Drive Assn. Olin fought developers who sought to build lakefront homes and managed to preserve the park.

Turville PointHenry Turvill (originally spelled without the final e), born in 1816, was a farmer in England. In 1838 he married Mary Kent. They came to Wisconsin in 1850 purchasing farmland on the shore of Lake Monona across from Madison. They built an elegant farmhouse, Lakeside, which gave its name to Lakeside Street. Shortly after arriving in Madison, two of the Turvills' young children died and were buried somewhere on the farm. Their graves are there to this day.

The Turvills' daughter, Jessie Inwood, married Reuben Gold Thwaites, one-time managing editor of the Wisconsin State Journal who was corresponding secretary of the State Historical Society from 1887 to his death in 1913. Jessie, born at Lakeside, was president of the Woman's Club and after Thwaites' death dedicated herself to World War I relief work, particularly the American Fund for French Wounded.