11-6-11 and 8-12-15
Our first trip to Montello, WI was not a complete view, so we returned August 2015 for updates and to see it on a sunny day. This town is famous for its granite waterfalls, formerly a quarry in the 19th century. The granite in Montello has been proven to be especially durable over time. Near the falls is a small parking lot with some historical signs. The one in the middle has been repainted. Here is the early history of the community and the city clock.
Also this beautiful piece of artwork by the signs. Painted by Pamela (C.J.) Sell. The frame by Tom Stickler. Visit her website here and buy her artwork too!
There is another small waterfall close to the street, maintained by the Montello Lions Club. This was their first community project in Montello. The falls were dedicated June 25, 1966. Learn more from the Montello Historic Preservation Society.
The falls in action.
The west side of the larger falls on our 2011 visit.
Here is the same view in 2015, a large bird alighted atop the cross on the chapel. It turns out it was an Osprey.
Pieces of the quarry equipment are still around in this area.
The front of the falls as seen from Daggett Memorial Park, this historical marker posts are made from the Montello granite. Along the path are several benches for viewing the falls. Enjoy video of both sides of the falls.
We were prepared for this trip, bring a tripod if you want a real good selfie in front of the falls.
After exploring the falls in 2011 we had lunch in town at Jeff’s River’s Edge restaurant. We had a good view of the Fox River through the window there. On our return visit in 2015 we went to Drews Lakeside Bar and Grill. Kory Drew and Marci greet you like family when you walk in the door. Such a warm and inviting place to relax. The food tasted great after a morning of exploring beautiful Montello.
Drews is on the edge of Buffalo Lake, they are on the high side so you have to walk down a long flight of stairs first to get to the pier below. The view is worth it though. You can see the Montello water tower from here. We also saw the lake from a view across from here in the morning.
We also visited the dam on the other side of the lake at Krakow Park. It was restored after the floods of 2208, which also damaged the dam. A fine job was done, and it now is a great place for people to fish or just enjoy viewing the water.
You can hear the power of the water rushing over the dam. There is a two-sided sign there.
Let’s see some of the other fine businesses in Montello.
Shirley’s Old Time Barber Shop is across from the River’s Edge.
This view has changed a bit. You are seeing the back of More Healthy Foods and Café outdoor patio.
And the front of More Healthy Foods.
The beautiful Montello Movie Theatre used to be the Opera House, built around 1878. Read about it’s history here.
Granite Falls Supper Club for night dining. The front was being repainted when we came back in 2015 by Kel’s Painting.
B & B’s Country Store for old-fashioned treats.
On our right is Fox Antiques and Nostalgic Gifts. We stopped inside, what a lot of great items here for the home, including furniture.
Historic Vaughn Hall, built in 1912. On the right side is a mural too.
Fairbanks Emporium, it is no longer here in this spot, this building is now undergoing renovation. We believe it moved just outside of downtown, across from the courthouse. There was no identifiable sign on the new building naming the business that I could find.
2011 view from Vaughn Hall looking towards the falls.
And in 2015.
While we are at this end of the street, we took a look at the Courthouse.
The Courthouse is on a hill, and just around the hill from here is the historic Charles Samuel Richter House. He was the president of the Montello Granite Company.
From here you can see the huge historic Cottonwood tree, between 200 and 300 years old. It towers over the landscape. Beautiful! There is a place you can pull over your vehicle to get out and take a closer look. It is Wisconsin’s largest tree.
We had a great visit in Montello, a very family-friendly community. Be sure to go to Observatory Hill nearby for a great view of the countyside from above.
Famous Naturalist John Muir grew up near Montello, and you can also visit John Muir Memorial Park to learn more about him. Also watch this video.
Ennis Lake. The Ice Age Trail goes through this park also.
- What Are the Different Uses for Granite Gravel? (marymao.wordpress.com)
- Chamber of Commerce
- White Lake Beach Resort
- The Bayview resort
- Fish-n-Fun Fest in May