The AWS and Marker #282

We pass them by all the time without notice, unless, of course, we’re looking for them.

Marker, marker 282, Wisconsin, American Water Spaniel,Dr. F.J. Pfiefer

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We’re talking about historical markers, commemorative plaques made of metal, ceramic, stone, or wood that call attention to something of historic interest that happened at that spot or in the area. The Historical Marker Database believes there to be around 118,334 such markers in the United States, but hundreds are added weekly as they’re discovered by the organization of self-directed volunteers.

In 1988, the Wisconsin Historical Society erected Marker #282 between at the junction of Beacon Ave and Division St. New London, Wisconsin. It marks the city as the birthplace of the American Water Spaniel. The marker reads:

“Of all the breeds of dog recognized by the American Kennel Club, only five were developed in the United States and one, the American Water Spaniel, originated in Wisconsin. The development of the Water Spaniel as a purebred was due largely to the efforts of Dr. F.J. Pfiefer of New London, Wisconsin, who perfected and stan­dardized the breed and obtained official recognition by the United Kennel Club in 1920 and the American Kennel Club in 1940. The Water Spaniel is characterized by its ability not only to retrieve waterfowl but also to act as a flushing dog in upland hunting. Smaller than other retrievers, the versatile Water Spaniel stands from 15 to 18 inches at the shoulder, weighs 25 to 40 pounds and has a chocolate brown or liver-colored coat with an abundance of tight curls. In 1986, the American Water Spaniel was designated as Wisconsin’s official state dog.”

For an official list of other historical markers in Wisconsin, click here.

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