Weeres Pontoon

RICHMOND - This week on "Your Town Tuesday" we are on the Horseshoe Chain of Lakes in Richmond, home to the creator of the pontoon Ambrose Weeres. He started selling pontoons in 1952. Owner of Channel Marine and Sports John Arndt knew Weeres, and still sells the Weeres pontoon today. The legacy that Weeres created earned him a unique title, Mr. Pontoon. Arndt told us the story of how Weeres got his start.

Weeres Pontoon

"And even the time that he went into production of the pontoon there were still guys welding barrels together and making, basically rafts is what they were. But he actually came out with one with a deck, and then they started making actual pontoon barrels for them instead of using oil barrels. He started making a production with a fence, a chain link fence at first that was on them, then it went to fancier and fancier down the road. They never had chairs on the first ones. It was just an open deck pontoon and you put your own chairs on it."

Weeres Pontoon
Photo: Joshua Akkerman, WJON News

Over time the pontoon has come a long way from when Weeres started building them. Arndt says his friend was proud to have started it all.

"When he passed there were a lot of manufacturers and he said that it's amazing that this is where I started and this is where it is today, and he hadn't even seen the end of it. Now with the TriToons and the big fancy pontoons, they are almost like house boats they build them so fancy. I'm sure in today's world he couldn't believe it. He probably still looks down and goes 'Wow'."

So what about Richmond today? The town is bustling with business, and is home to a great community. One community event brings the town together.

Richmond's Music in the Park
Photo:Joshua Akkerman, WJON News
Music in the Park
Photo: Joshua Akkerman, WJON News


Music in the Park is an event that occurs every other Tuesday starting the first Tuesday after Memorial Day and running through the summer.

Richmond Parks and Recreation Director Kevin Mooney helps run the event. He says 200 - 300 people usually show up to Music in the Park and they all look forward to the different types of music.

I can't imagine it going away. If there is anybody looking for something to do on a Tuesday night, check out Richmond, we usually have music in the summertime.

"We try to keep it a variety of music to. We'll do anything from folk stuff, we've done some old time polka music in the past, rock, country, so we try to have a little bit of something for everyone."

Mooney says the community has been very supportive of the event. There are still a few weeks left in the concert season. Coming up next week is Charlie Roth, and Mooney says that Music in the park will continue next year.

Click Here for a list of the remaining acts at Richmond's Music in the Park.



While traveling around the town I found a unique business that is in Richmond.

Everyday People Studios
Photo: Joshua Akkerman, WJON News


Everyday People Studios
Photo: Joshua Akkerman, WJON News

Everyday People Studios is a self service photography studio. You can go to the studio for a professional experience, but you are the photographer.   Co-owner Krisie Barron says, "You bring your family, your kids, your camera, your pets, whatever you want to take pictures of. You get all access to our entire prop collection, our backdrops, our floor drops, and you get your own creative assistant."

Barren and co-owner Dana says the studio was started because they thought a space was needed where anybody could come to take pictures and have the experience that one would have going to a professional studio. Turns out they were right.

It's so amazing because everybody has a different vision and everybody that comes in here comes for different reasons and it's the creative expression, it's the family time.

We want you to come and have fun. We want you to create what you want to create, and capture what you want to capture.

Everyday people studios can handle a variety of photography shoots. There are four studios that can accommodate one person to 47 people. Barren says everyone has enjoyed the unique studio.

Barren says, "I think the first expression is, you can do what. You can come in and I can use all your stuff and I can have that professional experience, and I'm just me. The point is it's everyday people and it's everyday people that can come in and use this studio."