Do you know where Tommy James performed in Janesville in 1966?

"In February 1966, we found ourselves booked in another club in Janesville, Wisconsin. One day, in the middle of our first week, the club went bankrupt. When we showed up for work that night, the doors were chained and padlocked."

...Excerpt from "Me, the Mob, and the Music: One Helluva Ride with Tommy James & The Shondells"

Which club in Janesville went bankrupt?

The June 19, 2010 Janesville Gazette's "Asked & Answered" column by Catherine Idzerda asks if anybody knows what club James is referring to.

Hedberg Reference Librarians may have found the answer!

"Tedons A-Go-Go, the In Crowd Goes Where the Action Is", claims this ad found by searching the database, available under Research Tools on the library web site.

Tedons was located on Highway 51, between Janesville and Beloit.

The ad appeared on page 18 of The Janesville Daily Gazette on Friday, January 28, 1966.

Koachmen was the band's name *before* they were The Shondells, according to Tommy James' book.

We found no listing in the older city directories for Janesville and Beloit.

So...we checked our collection of older Janesville telephone books.

"Tedon's Night Club" is listed under 'Taverns' in the yellow pages of the 1965 Janesville Telephone directory:

A photograph of Tedon's has not been found.

Who was Gary Edwards, the other name in the Tedons ad?

Librarians found this article from the June 10, 1972 issue of Billboard Magazine on Googlebooks:

This article explains how Edwards was on the road for 12 years with the Koachmen and his act 'Gary Edwards & the Abominable Snowmen'. He produced records with Tommy James and Bob King. In 1972 Edwards lived in Niles, Michigan, home of the Koachmen before they became the Shondells.

If you have any information, let us know at 608-758-6581 or email us at

For more Janesville and Rock County history, visit our Local History page.

...and keep those questions coming! The more we learn from helping you, the more local history can be preserved for future generations!

posted by sb 8/15/2010

Janesville's First High School - Historic Marker Dedication July 4, 2010

Janesville's first high school opened to students in May 1859 and was located at Third (now Holmes) Street and Wisconsin in what is now Jefferson Park. A marker will be dedicated during a neighborhood ceremony at 9:30 am on Sunday, July 4 in Jefferson Park. When the 'new' high school opened in 1895, the old high school was renamed Jefferson School and served elementary grades until it was razed in 1947 to make way for the current neighborhood park.

This photo is in the book 'Art Work of Rock County' by W.H. Parish Publishing Co., copyright 1893.

View this book and more Rock County history online at Janesville's Past

This lithograph of the building appears in the 'Combination Atlas of Rock County' from 1873:

(Click image to enlarge)

Some Janesville School History:

May, 1859 High School opens - located at Third (now Holmes) and Wisconsin

1895 - 1922 Janesville High School located on High Street

1923-1955 Janesville High School located on Main Street

1955 New Janesville Senior High School opened on Randall Avenue

Main Street school became Marshall Junior High

1962 Franklin Junior High opened on Crosby Avenue

1967-1968 George S. Parker High School opened on Mineral Point Avenue

1967-1968 Janesville Senior High School renamed Joseph A. Craig High School

1971 Edison Junior High School opened on Chatham Street

1997 New Marshall Middle School opened on Pontiac Drive

The Janesville Schools Annual Report for the School Year Ending June 30, 1895, includes this description of the first Janesville High School, which opened in 1859. It describes the controversy surrounding the removal of remains from the old village cemetery prior to building the school. Click image to enlarge:

The story of the new school continues on the next page:

Learn more of Janesville's local history through Hedberg Public Library or contact the Reference Desk for assistance 608-758-6581 or

Posted 6/25/2010 by sb