Wisconsin Historical Society restores Tommy Bartlett Show boat

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV)-- The Wisconsin Historical Society unveiled a hidden Wisconsin Dells treasure that they will work to restore: the old Tommy Bartlett Show boat that famously pulled the pyramid of water skiers in the late 1950s.

The Tommy Bartlett Show boat.

The wooden-hulled correct craft debonnaire was custom built for the show. The powerful engine was Milwaukee-made, and had the power to pull many skiers at once - putting on show-stopping performances for the next 20 years.

The society's curator, Joe Kapler, says the show is something many Wisconsinites grew up with.

"Wisconsinites that have those wonderful warm memories of Wisconsin Dells vacations, and you think of the dramatic water ski shows. This is the tool that made the water ski act happen,” Kapler said.

The historical society said the first step is getting the boat. Now they will begin the restoration process, and it will eventually be displayed at a museum.