Its also Wisconsin’s Outdoor Recreation Destination too!
Boscobel is located in Grant County, not far from Muscoda. This area was first discovered by French explorers Louis Joliet and Jacque Marquette in 1673. “Bosq” in French means “wood” and”belle” means “beautiful”. Read about the community history here, as well as Grant County. Today its a thriving community of 3000 ready to welcome visitors (including us) and new residents alike.
Turkey hunting takes place often several times a year. Contact the DNR for turkey season and licensing. Boscobel has many places for lodging, including the Sands Motel.
Our day began there by crossing the Blaine Bridge over the Wisconsin River on Highway 61.
Boscobel has many historic buildings and monuments. The first one we saw was The Rock School, a century-old school still in use today.
Next we saw the Grand Army of the Republic Hall (G.A.R.), possibly the only remaining standing G.A.R. Hall in Wisconsin, or even the Midwest. It was placed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places on 12-27-07. Members sponsor Muskets and Memories every August, one of the largest Civil War reenactment events in the Midwest. They also have artifacts inside to see when open.
In nearby Memorial Park stands a Monument dedicated to Civil War Soldiers.
Before exploring the rest of town, we had lunch at the Unique Cafe.
Original owners of the cafe opened in 1932 and has been owned by Doyle and Nancy Lewis since 1983. They are the nicest people and will serve you a great breakfast or lunch. Pies are their specialty, and we had a piece of French Silk pie, yum!
Doyle proudly showed us the Packer Room downstairs and posed for a picture with us.
Call them at 608-375-4465 if you want to reserve the room for your party.
Lunch done, we continued to explore their main street, Wisconsin Avenue.
We stopped at the historic Boscobel Hotel, also known as the Central house. This hotel is where two guests that stayed here originated the Gideon Bible. The current owners of the hotel is Charles Griesel and his wife, Dr. Jean, purchased in 2009. Their son Jim took us up to the Gideon Room, #19 on the 2nd floor. Thanks Jim! Call 608-375-4714 to schedule a tour. Currently the hotel is only a bar and restaurant, but is being renovated to be a future bed and breakfast with possibly 8 rooms available. Their goal is to be ready by 2015.
Before saying goodbye to Jim, he showed us a picture of his great-great-great uncle, who built the hotel in 1865.
Get a bakery treat at Violet Dreams Bakery.
The historic Boscobel Depot Museum is on 800 Wisconsin Ave. The track next to it is still in use, but only for freight trains since 1960.
Behind the depot is Depot Park, where a tank is on display.
Also on Wisconsin Ave is the former Sylvester Grist Mill (1866), now Wisconsin River Outings.
Boscobel has a strong scouting tradition that goes back over a century. In 1913 the Boy Scout Cabin was constructed to give scouts a central location to meet and recreate.
You can’t leave Boscobel without a picture with their large wild turkey on 1200 Elm St. The turkey is a staple of town parades.
Special thanks to The Boscobel Dial newspaper company for use of a copy the book, “Boscobel-River and Rails” book by Agatha Bender. You can buy it at the Depot Museum for $25.
We give a thumbs up to the friendly people of Boscobel. They invite you to come visit and talk turkey with them too.
- Why Are There Bibles In Hotel Rooms? (uniquedaily.com)
- Nighttime Reading: Introducing The Hotel Bible (mangosalute.com)
- Canoeing the Wisconsin Oct.31,2013 (nelsonfoxjourney.wordpress.com)
- The Hotel Where it All Began-The Gideon’s International
- Boscobel website
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – Unique Cafe