A memorial to Baraboo-born survivors of a World War I battle is headed to Lower Ochsner Park.
Baraboo High School history teacher Steve Argo and the Baraboo 21 Club have worked for three years to create a memorial to the locals who survived the sinking of the SS Tuscania in 1918. On Tuesday, the Baraboo Common Council voted unanimously to allow the memorial to be placed at Lower Ochsner Park.
Parks Director Mike Hardy said putting the memorial across the Baraboo River from the Sauk County Historical Society’s headquarters seems fitting. “It’s a very visible site, it’s right across the river from the History Center,” he said.
The memorial originally was ticketed for Mary Rountree Evans Park, but the project’s boosters decided that site was too far out of the way. The high school’s new lobby also was considered, but the Baraboo 21 Club opted for a riverside location that’s easy to reach.
The Parks Commission approved the Lower Ochsner site April 9.
The memorial is being designed by Baraboo artist Homer Daehn. It will feature a bronze relief depicting the sinking, as well as a listing of the local survivors. It’ll be dedicated on Veterans Day in November.
The Tuscania was torpedoed by a German U-boat on Feb. 5, 1918. The attack claimed 215 American lives. With help from seaside villagers, 21 Baraboo soldiers survived the attack, returned to town and became community leaders.
Common Council members asked Tuesday whether the memorial would be protected from the elements by a roof and lit at night. Project supporter Patricia Kelly said the memorial will be built to withstand weather, and efforts are under way to include lighting.
“It’s still being worked on,” she said. “Homer is looking into a good way to light it so it will look lovely in the evening, too.”