Washington Park in Dubuque has a lot of great history. Here are a few things of interest that you might not have known about this tristate spot.

The land that is now Dubuque was opened for settlement in 1833, and the spot we now know as Washington Park was immediately designated as a public square. (If you didn't know, Dubuque wasn't actually named Dubuque until 1837.

Washington Park became the location of our cities first church until the cornerstone of St. Raphael's Cathedral was laid in 1835. The park was also home to the first jail in Dubuque.

In 1851 the park was planted with three hundred trees and the famous gazebo came along in 1877. At one time there was even a fountain. The gazebo we see in the park today is not actually the original. It was constructed in 1974 and is just three-quarters scale of the original.

A few other events of note that have occurred in Washington Park include an appearance by the famous "Buffalo Bill" Cody and his wild west show in 1896.

In 1899, then-President William McKinley stopped through Dubuque to speak to a crowd from the park's gazebo.

You may have walked through the park a time or two and not noticed the time capsule that was buried there in 1976 during a centennial celebration.

The time capsule in Washington Park
The time capsule in Washington Park

The time capsule will be opened in 2076… so if you’re in the area (and still alive), make plans to stop back and watch.

It's a nice little park, and now you know a wee bit more about it.

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