This is a beginner-level Wherigo cartridge that will take you on a tour of Bay Beach Park in Green Bay. This is a city park that is open to the public and free for everyone to walk around in. No purchases are required to find this cache and you can hunt for the cache year-round. Simply complete the virtual tasks you will be given when you start the game!
To undertake your adventure, you will need to download the Wherigo cartridge "Bay Beach," linked to in the "User's Web Page" link at the top of this page, and you will need a Wherigo-compatible device to play it (currently a Garmin Colorado, Garmin Oregon, or PocketPC). Start your journey at the posted coordinates.
Tips for using this cartridge.
SAVE YOUR GAME OFTEN! When you are playing this game, we recommend saving your progress frequently, such as after the completion of every task. This will help avoid frustration when your player crashes which, believe us, it will. The device manufacturers seem to still have bugs to work out.
After you start the game on your device, you will need to walk to the exact starting coordinates where you will meet Wendy (pictured). This is not hard to do but you might need to wander just a little bit. After that the game play is much more forgiving, but if something seems "missing" just wander around some more. Watch your game screen for locations, tasks, and things that you "see."
If you have not done a Wherigo cache before, see if your player has a "play anywhere" demo you can try. Otherwise, go to the Wherigo site and look for a "play anywhere" cartridge to try one out. The "egg hunt" or "whack a lackey" are both good choices to give you a feel for the game play.
Did we mention to save your game often?
The history of Bay Beach Park dates back to 1892. The park is also home to the historic Pavillion, built in 1909.
If you take the time to read this history of Bay Beach from the Green Bay Parks Department, you'll come across some interesting facts. We particularly like the mention of "swim suit rentals" -- a practice that would be hard to imagine today! Also, you'll note that carnival rides have been part of Bay Beach Park for over 100 years, and that the same family has managed the pony rides since 1931.
The Pavillion in the early 1900s
The Pavillion today
Bay Beach Park's history began in 1892 when a young entrepreneur, Mitchell Nejedlo, was attracted to the natural beauty of the area and purchased a small strip of land at the north end of what is now Irwin Avenue and began developing the land for a private beach resort which he named Bay View Beach.
He built a dance hall, bar, and a small bathhouse and planned to sell individual lots as summer cottage sites. Nejedlo had difficulty attracting visitors over the poor roads, and swampy, mosquito infested land. Back then horse and buggy were the mode of transportation and when it rained, the road turned into an impassable mud hole.
In 1902, Nejedlo teamed up with Captain John Cusick, who bought out Nejedlo in 1908. Cusick bought a steamboat and began transporting passengers from their dock just south of the Walnut Street bridge to the new dock at Bay View Beach. The boat could haul up to 400 passengers. The dock extended 570 feet into the bay and was 8 feet wide. At the end where the boat anchored, there was a covered pavilion 30 by 30 feet.
Swimming became popular at Bay View Beach and the rental of swimsuits at 10 cents apiece became a gold mine for Cusick. On a good day the bathhouse took in as much as $450.00, and even though the suits were never quite dry or free of sand, people kept wearing them anyway.
The original pavilion consisted of a center portion with two stories and two large wings on either side. In the downstairs center portion, there were dining rooms and a kitchen. The west wing served as a roller skating rink while the east wing was a dance hall.
A roller coaster was built in 1901 and torn down and replaced in 1929. It was finally dismantled in 1936 due to insurance problems.
In 1908 Cusick started park expansion by putting in the Shoot-the-Chutes. This ride was an early version of the modern log rides which first appeared at Sea Lion Park at Coney Island only a few years earlier. Twelve passengers boarded a flat-bottomed boat at the top of an approximalely 50-foot tower. The boat would whoosh down the slide, hitting the Bay with a splashy bounce, and skim across the water for several yards. After each ride, the boat would be cranked back to the top of the ramp by a winch. It cost the rider 10 cents for the thrill. Disastrous freezing and ice breakups destroyed the ride after the 2nd or 3rd season.
By 1910, Bay View Beach had become a favorite recreation spot. In 1911, Frank Murphy and Fred Rahr bought out Cusick and incorporated their park with Cusick as manager. Several rides were added including a large roller coaster and a merry-go-round. Cusick was willing to try anything to draw a crowd. His attraction included balloon ascensions, baseball games and nightly dances in the pavilion.
In 1916, Cusick left Bay View Beach to work for the Indian Packing Company. With his innovative ideas gone, the park began to slip. Cusick died in 1937.
By 1919, the park's success ground to a halt. In 1920, Murphy and Rahr donated the 11.66 acres east of Irwin Avenue, including all buildings to the City with the stipulation that it be used for park and playground purposes. Shortly after, the City purchased the land west of Irwin Avenue and then formed the Park Department. They also shortened the name to Bay Beach. The City leased out the operation of the park until 1950 when the Park and Recreation Department took full control.
Swimming was still a reason to go to Bay Beach in the 1930's. A trolley ran from downtown out to the park making it easy to get there. In 1930 a new bathhouse was built but in 1933 swimming was banned due to pollution. People still swam there until 1938 when it was prohibited altogether.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt visited the park in 1934 as part of the tercentennial celebration. Thousands of people turned out to hear him speak as you can see in the photo to the right.
The east wing of the pavilion was the social center of town on dance night. Teens from all over Green Bay would twirl their beads and dance the Charleston. As many as 1,759 dance tickets have been sold in one evening, and one season at the dance hall had run as many as 170,000 couples through the turnstiles. Nickel-a-dance sessions were nightly affairs in the 30's and 40's called jitty or ginny dances.
During the mid 1940's, dances were offered two nights a week. For 15 cents teenagers could divide their time between roller skating in the west wing and dancing in the east wing. They danced to such big names as Glen Miller, shown above, Tommy Dorsey, Tony Pastor, and Tiny Hill. When Lawrence Welk came to Bay Beach in 1944, more than 1,000 people came to see him and his band. By 1972, teenage dances had phased out.
The ever popular pony rides began in 1931 by Frank VanBellinger (and continue as a family tradition now in its third generation) and by 1950 cost 9 cents a ride. In 1952 they offered horseback rides using the trails established around the Sanctuary lagoons.
Through the years more rides were purchased and today the park consists of approximately 45 acres with 16 rides, 7 shelters, a dance hall, rest rooms, picnic areas, playground, softball and volleyball areas.
Northeast Wisconsin's First Wherigo Cache