Tenney Park Vintage Postcard Installation
On the Tenney Park Island, near the playground, you can see the permanent Tenney Park Vintage Postcard Installation. The five images were selected from 100 postcards from the early 1900’s. Tenney Park was the first park developed by the Madison Park and Pleasure Drive Association (MPPDA). Dredging began in 1900 with the park finally completed in 1916. The first design was created by O.C. Simonds and had more of a serpentine look for the lagoon with 3 small islands. It was redesigned by John Nolan in 1909 as an active recreational park.
The Vintage Postcard Installation was created by Caroline Hoffman. The postcard sculptures were made by Mike Burns. The postcards were contributed from the private collections of Frank Mooney, Pat Mooney, Ann Waidelich and Jackie Kaplan. Assistance in the creation and funding of the installation was given by Karen Crossley, Patty Prime and Lois Bergerson.
Funding for the installation came from a City of Madison Neighborhood Grant and the Tenney Lapham Neighborhood Association. Additional financial support was given by Associated Bank,, Burnie’s Rock Shop, Festival Foods, Forward Madison FC, Full Spectrum Solar, The Livingston Inn, Martha Porter Kilgour Fund, McGrath Property Group, Mendota Lake House Inn, The QTI Group, Renaissance Property Group, Reynolds Transfer & Storage, and Stone House Development.
Tenney Park was the first park developed by the Madison Park and Pleasure Drive Association (MPPDA). Dredging began in 1900 with the park finally completed in 1916.

The foot bridge connecting the Tenney Park Island with Thornton Ave was built in 1904 with $418 donated by D.K. Tenney. This postcard was postmarked 1911. Published by E.A. Bishop, Pub, Racine, Wis.
Two women and one man are enjoying an afternoon by the banks of the Tenney Park Lagoon. There is no postmark date. Published by E.A. Bishop, Racine, Wis.
The Yahara River, postmarked 1912, Publisher: The Hugh C. Leighton Co Manufacturers, Portland, ME, U.S.A.
The Yahara River lock and dam built in 1906 and replaced with more modern locks in 1959 and then updated in 2006. No postmark date. Publisher: The Hugh C Leighton Co Manufacturer, Portland Me.
A spillway carried water from Lake Mendota into the Catfish (Yahara) River. It was probably used prior to 1903. This postcard was postmarked 1907. Publisher: The Rotograph Co, NY City.
Century Celebration Installation
The Century Celebration of the Tenney Lapham neighborhood originally scheduled for September 9, 2018 was postponed due to extensive flooding of Tenney Park.  The Celebration finally happed on May 19, 2019.  Hundred of Tenney Lapham residents and friends from other neighborhoods gathered in the Tenney Park shelter to see history displays, participate in a canoe/kayak race, hear history storytellers and, of course,  eat cake. At the end of the celebration, participants walked to the newly installed Vintage Postcard Installation near the playground. After welcoming speeches, the five permanent postcard sculptures were unveiled.
A Century Celebration of Park-Place-People in Tenney-Lapham
On September 9, 2018, from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM, we will celebrate 100 years of Tenney Park and the Tenney-Lapham Neighborhood. The outdoor celebration — a family-friendly, old fashioned gathering — will take place on the Tenney Park Island near the basketball courts. (In case of rain, the party will be in the pavilion)
• Enjoy cake and ice cream (1:15)
• Savor the history of Tenney Park and the Tenney Lapham Neighborhood. Meet Mr. Tenney, Mr. Olin, Mr. Nolen and Mr. Simonds. Meet the women of the suffrage movement.
• Listen as storytellers tell history tales of Tenney Park and the Tenney-Lapham Neighborhood. (1:30-2:30)(3:30-4:30)
• Hear early 1900’s period music featuring Bill and Bobbie Malone and Tenney-Lapham’s very own Kristy Larson. These three exemplary musicians are known to many of us due to their rich contributions to the country and honky tonk scene locally and nationally (2:30-3:30).
• Audio record your story at the table of the Madison Public Library’s Living History Project
• Witness the unveiling of a new art installation of Vintage Postcards of Tenney Park. (4:30PM)
• Children’s activities throughout the afternoon
Walk, bike or bus to the Park. Overflow parking is available at Care Wisconsin, 1617 Sherman Ave. Bring a blanket and spend the afternoon. Come in costume if that suits you. Fun for all ages.
History Tales Schedule:
1:30-1:50 Architectural styles in the Tenney-Lapham Neighborhood by Judy Landsman
1:50-2:10: The Growth of the Tenney Lapham Neighborhood (1837 to 1920) by Richard Linster
2:10-2:30: Family Life in the Tenney Lapham Neighborhood (Late 1800’s to Early 1900’s) by Ann Waidelich
3:30-4:00: And Tenney Park arose with a rumble: Tales of the design, the dredge and the quarreling planners by Bill Kilgour
4:00-4:20: When bicycles reigned and we made them here-told by B.W. Park (1865-1944], a lifelong Tenney-Lapham resident by David Panofsky
The Century Celebration honors our vibrant historic neighborhood and Tenney Park and is funded, in part, by the City of Madison Neighborhood Grant Program, the Tenney-Lapham Neighborhood Association and local residents and businesses.

Many enjoyed themselves at the installation