700 East Grove St. (Oconomowoc, WI.)
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Directions: From Highway 16, take E. Wisconsin Ave. into Oconomowoc. Turn right on N. Walnut St., this will evntually become N. Oakwood Ave. Turn right on E. Grove St. This will
lead directly to LaBelle Cemetery.
Oconomowoc's first cemetery was created in the early half of 1851, and sat in area off of Walnut St. (near Wisconsin Ave.).
In 1864, with the city's population growing, the Oconomowoc Cemetery Association decided that a new location for the city's cemetery needed to be found.
The decision was made to put the new cemetery along the banks of Lake Fowler, and with that, La Belle Cemetery was born.
Remains from the first cemetery, were reinterred at La Belle, and ever since that time, with it's "hilly" landscape, and unique gravestones, La Belle remains one of the most scenic cemeteries in Waukesha County.
The majority of activity at La Belle Cemetery seems to be focused around a statue of a young girl, which stands in front of a tall stone cross, overlooking Fowler Lake. The statue marks the final resting place of the Nathusius family. Activity associated with the statue includes:
Of the four people buried in the Nathusius plot, two are females. The mother, Louise Nathusius (1832-1917), and daughter, Carolina Nathusius (1865-1952). Neither one was young at the time of their deaths.The Nathusius family did have two other daughters, that did die at an early age. Anna died in 1862 (she was 2 years old), and Minnie, who died in 1886 (at 27 years old). Both were buried in Dodge County.It is rumored that the statue at LaBelle, is actually supposed to be that of Minnie.
Another theory, is that the young woman who is seen drowning herself, was not a member of the Nathusius family, but a woman called "Mary" (unknown if that was her real name).Mary killed herself by jumping off the bridge that leads into LaBelle Cemetery (from
East Grove St.), and into Fowler Lake.
...LaBelle Cemetery Entrance
The Nathusius Monument
....(:44) Brief view of the Nathusis Monument
The Nathusius monument was erected in the 1940's. It is an original sculpture done by an Italian artist, who was living in Vermont, at the time.
Today, some visitors to the Nathusius gravesite, leave pennies in the hands of the young woman who stands in mournful vigil over the Nathusius family.