Pioneer Park Historical Complex in Rhinelander


Pioneer Park Sign in Rhinelander

There is much to see in Rhinelander and this museum is a must-see if you only have one day.

The Pioneer Park Museum Complex is America’s oldest Logging Museum and was once an actual logging camp. It is only open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, closed Mondays except for open and end of the season.  During September, open Fridays and Saturdays.

Pioneer Park Historical Complex in Rhinelander WM

This is a self-guided tour, and upon arrival you are greeted by a docent and given a sheet describing each building and exhibit in order so you don’t miss anything. Page 1 and following exhibits.

Pioneer Museum Self-Guided Tour 1

Red's Sawmill  in Rhinelander

Rural School House in Rhinelander

The Civilian Conservation Corps provided jobs during the Depression in the 1930’s.  It also helped build the infrastructure of the National and State Parks throughout our country.

CCP Camp Building

The Fire Barn had a beautiful mural painted on two sides.

Fire Barn Mural in Rhinelander

Three trucks on the inside.

Fire Trucks in Barn

There was a teepee outside of the Fire Barn too. Here we are for scale.

Teepee and us in Rhinelander

Now we head to the Blacksmith Shop, very interesting! when you walk in they have a cross section of Wisconsin trees at the Nicolet National Forest on display.

Blacksmith Shop in Rhinelander museum

Trees in Niccolet National Forest in Wisconsin

Pioneer Museum Self-Guided Tour 2

Duke's Outboard Motor and Boating Museum in Rhinelander

In the main building are many treasures to be seen, some of them animated. We first see a logging camp setup for their dining room.

Logging Camp Dining Room in Rhinelander

As you can see up ahead, this is the door leading to the “captured” Hodag. Also a Hodag “roar” and a mini-sawmill model with moving figures inside. Also Hodag art.

Hodags at Rhinelander museum collage

I just heard the roar from the Hodag on the left. A docent at the museum will press a button to play  the roar.

The Model Sawmill is amazing, its 75 years old! It used to run on steam, now its electric.  Here is some information about the builder. Lets see it in action!

Model Sawmill Info at Rhinelander

This concludes Part 1 of the museum, the half on the right side of the complex.


Part 2 – The Railroad Museum

On the left side are all the railroad cars, the Rhinelander Depot and other artifacts of interest.  Click on pages to expand.

Pioneer Museum Self-Guided Tour 2Pioneer Museum Self-Guided Tour 3

First off is the Steam Hauler, which used to pull logs on a sleigh with ease. It helped cut down the cost of logging and wear and tear on horses!

Steam Hauler in Rhinelander

The Rhinelander Railroad Association has been involved here, and a fine job they have done! They also have a model railroad in the basement level of the depot. I hear the train now! This is simulated, the train is really stationary and does not give rides.

 If you want to ride a real steam train, you need to go to Laona to ride their Lumberjack Steam Train.  Its about 45 minutes west of Rhinelander.

Rhinelander Depot and #5 Engine

Number 5 Thunder Lake Locomotive in Rhinelander

The #5 Engine is still in the process of being restored.  The caboose has been completely restored by the Northwoods Woodworking Club.

Soo Caboose in Rhinelander

 We enjoyed getting the grand tour of the displays by a volunteer from RRA.  He first showed us the model railroad, filling the entire room. How impressive!

RRA Volunteer in RhinelanderModel Railroad at Rhinelander

There were many good displays on the top floor too, even a train stained glass window.

Train Stained Glass window

Depot Displays in Rhinelander

And the grand finalé, we recieved a tour of the car currently off limits to visitors, the “Thunder Lake Company Car”, or President’s Car. Our guide showed us the work still had to be done here, and the need for donations. $10,000 is the goal and there is still a LONG way to go. While you are there you can either put money in the donation box or send a check here.  Interior of car and restoration photos exclusive here.

Pioneer Park addressSave Rhinelander Railroad History

The President's Car in Rhinelander

Restoration in progress description Presidents car in Rhinelander

Thanks very much for showing us so much, you take pride in your work and it shows.  Now to wrap up our tour. here are a few more exhibits.  It was an enjoyable 2 1/2 hours of exploring and we learned a lot!

Pioneer Museum Self-Guided Tour 4

Other Exhibits at the Pioneer Museum

Near the entry take a picture with the hodag and/or a carving of Tom Skubal, a former CCC participant.

Hodag and Deacon's Seat Tom Skubal at Rhinelander

A great time to be had by people of all ages here, especially railroad enthusiasts.  Around the Corner With John McGivern was here in 2014.

Locomotive #5 and us

Rhinelander- Home of the Hodag

July 6 to 8, 2015

Rhinelander sign WMRhinelander Water Tower

Rhinelander is a city of almost 8,000 in Oneida Co. It’s also the county seat.  We have been wanting to come here for a long time, this gateway to the Northwoods of Wisconsin.  We also wanted to see the mythical creature, the Hodag.  It was “discovered” by Eugene Shepard in autumn of 1893. This is the famous picture that he used to prove it was real.  He showed the hodag at the first Oneida County fair in a dimly lit tent.  People were skeptical about this creature, but believed it just enough to run out of the tent screaming when Eugene made it move, marionette-style. The hodag is still part of Rhinelander mythos today, now turned from a scary monster to a cute mascot for the community.

hodag_capture in Rhinelander

The first place one should stop is the Chamber of Commerce, where you can take your picture with the Hodag and pick up area information. It is at 450 Kemp St. We did just that! Don’t worry, this one is tame and LOVES posing for pictures 🙂  There are many more scattered throughout town, we saw as many as we could. This is a sample, we counted about 20 but probably missed some. You can get Hodag souvenirs here too.

Hodag and us 1500x WM logo

Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce Gift Shop

Hodags downtown, such works of art!

Hodag Collage

This video is a good summary of Hodag lore.

Lets take a look at the historic downtown, it was filled with many beautiful buildings.

Historic Downtown Rhinelander sign

City Hall-1908/9

Rhinelander City Hall WM

 District Library-1898  This is an Andrew Carnegie library.

Rhinelander Library WM

The Merchants and Trust Building, the library was in a room there before the current building was built.

Merchants Trust Bank Building in Rhinelander WM

My favorite building is the Courthouse, beautiful day or night! This is the view shortly after sunrise, then 2 AM on July 8. The night is short there this time of year. The dome is Tiffany glass, VERY unusual. It glows green at night.

Rhinelander Courthouse day WM

Closeup of the glass panels within each square that makes up the dome.

Courthouse Dome closeup FB

And at night, my favorite!

Rhinelander Courthouse night WM

There are also historical markers on site.

First Rural Zoning Ordinance Marker In Rhinelander WM

Onieda County Pioneers marker in Rhinelander WM

This sounds strange, but we often make a cemetery one of our stops. We stopped at Forest Home Cemetery to see the sites of two notable people buried here. This cemetery is large and it was a challenge finding them.  The hardest one was Eugene Shepard,  the man who “found” the first Hodag in fall of 1893. For someone who is largely responsible for Rhinelander’s identity, his gravesite is very humble. Here it is, plus it’s coordinates.

Eugene S. Shepard Gravesite in Rhinelander

N45º 37.867′  W089º 23.912

The other gravesite is John W. Heisman, founder of the Heisman Trophy. His is even more humble, it’s a flat marker. This is how we found it. Look for the Donaldson large monument, it is in front of that.Donaldson monument at Forest Home Cemetery in Rhinelander

John Heissman grave and trophy in Rhinelander

N45º 37.867′   W089º 23.973


We also saw a Packer house on 224 Sutliff Ave.


Rhinelander also has two museums. The Rhinelander Historical Society Museum on 9 South Pelham St. was not open, despite the sign saying it was open when we arrived at 2 PM on a Tuesday.

Rhinelander Historical Society Museum WM

We were fortunate however to see the Rhinelander Logging Museum.  It is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day.  the museum is located at 135 South Stevens Street at Pioneer Park. See next post to read about our experience there 🙂

Pioneer Park Historical Complex in Rhinelander WM

We also had a great visit at Hodag Park, on the shores of Boom Lake. Here you will find the Hodag historical marker and several shelters and playground. There are also Hodag Water Shows in the summer.

Hodag Marker in Rhinelander

Hodag Park collage in Rhinelander

Rhinelander has many restaurants. We ate at two of them. We had a dinner and breakfast at the Friendship House on 2260 Lincoln St . They open early which was great for our busy day of exploring.  We were treated like regulars, the staff takes great pride in their work.  Our coffee cup never had the chance to get empty. Chris told us proudly he made the pies, you know we had to have a piece! Al and I shared a piece of Strawberry Cream. Selection changes daily.

Friendship House in Rhinelander

Friendship House Strawberry pie in Rhinelander

The other place is where “Around the Corner With John McGivern” visited, Joe’s Pasty Shop. We wanted a simple meal after spending Tuesday exploring all over town. The have four flavors ready-to-eat and many more you can bring home frozen ones to cook later.  Delicious! View John’s entire visit to Rhinelander last summer.

John McGivern pic at Joe's Pasty Shop

Joe's Pasty Shop in Rhinelasner

Joe's Pasty Shop Menu in Rhinelander

Joe's Pasty Shop Collagein Rhinelander

We stayed two nights at the Days Inn downtown, only a block from the courthouse which made my night photo of it a short walk away. The only drawback is there is not a free continental breakfast. It was a good excuse to go back to the Friendship House after a fine dinner there the night before.

Days Inn in Rhinelander

We didn’t get the chance to go to this, but the Hodag Country Festival held every July is probably their biggest event of the year.  In 2015 it was July 9-12. The local radio station Hodag Country 97.3 FM WHDG is your official source of information and even a webcam of the festival. They stream so you can listen anywhere, download their app too for your mobile device.  Their sister station is Hodag Legends 101.3 FM or 1240 AM WOBT.  Rhinelander’s Public Radio station is WXPR 91.7 FM.

WXPR 91.7 FM in Rhinelander

On our way out-of-town as we headed to Lac du Flambeau on July 8, we saw a caboose on the outskirts of town outside of Evergreen Acres. On our right as we headed north.

                N45º 41.535    W089º 30.457

Soo Caboose in Town of Newbold in Rhinelander

Thanks for the great time Rhinelander, we enjoyed our visit!

Keep Calm and Love Hodag selfie

Stevens Point – Gateway to the Pineries

7-6 and 8, 2015   Portage County

An introduction to the Stevens Point area.

Stevens Point sign

Stevens Point is the Portage County Seat, with a population of 26, 717 with a rich history in the logging industry in the 19th century. We stopped at Pfiffner Pioneer Park  and found out why it’s called the “Gateway to the Pineries”. there is a marker there about that, as well as a marker dedicated to George Stevens, whom the city was named after.

Pfiffner Pioneer Park sign WM

Stevens Point Gateway to the Pineries marker WM\

George Stevens Plaque in Stevens Point

There are other signs at this park describing the interesting history of Stevens Point. They even made pearls buttons!

A Point in Logging History sign in Stevens Point

Before Refrigerators sign in Stevens Point

Buttons From the River sign in Stevens Point

The Riverfront Arts Center is in this park also. You can see the Pineries and Stevens marker in this view.

Riverfront Arts Center in Stevens Point WM

The view across the Wisconsin River shows the water  tower and New Page Paper Mill company.

New Page Paper and watertower in Stevens Point

My husband lived here for one year while he went to college at the University of Wisconsin in 1980.  Former Gov. Lee Dreyfus was inaugurated here on 1-1-79. He relates his experiences here when we last visited in 2001. It’s on that rock in front of the building.

UW Stevens Point Lee Dreyfus WM

Stevens Point is also home to a rather rare and unusual water feature, The Boy With a Leaking Boot. Here it is in operation.

The Boy With The Leaky Boot in Stevens Point WM

Boy With Leaking Boot sign

Many of the early settlers in Stevens Point were Polish, and to honor that heritage, they have a statue of Casmir Pulaski.

Casmir Pulaski Statue in Stevens Point WM

At St. Peter Catholic Church, Cardinal  Karol Wojtyla from Poland came to this church during its Centennial. Two years after this visit he was elected Pope John Paul II.

St. Peter Catholic Church in Stevens Point WM

Stevens Point also has a sister city in Poland.

Stevens Point sister city in Poland

Stevens Point also pays homage to its railroad history, still very active. This is the depot with a train present.

Stevens Point Depot and train WM

Across the street is the Southside Railroad Complex, complete with steam engine and Soo caboose.

Southside Railroad Complex Marker in Stevens Point

Southside Railroad Complex WM

Southside Railroad Complex Front and Back WM

Funds are still being raised for continued renovations of the cars.  Go to to learn more. There will be an open house here on Sept. 19.

Southside Railroad Complex Open house

For those wishing to arrive in Stevens Point, the Municipal Airport is there to serve your needs.

Municipal Airport Collage in Stevens Point

Downtown is beautiful, having preserved many historic buildings still in use with many businesses. The Mathias Mitchell Public Square has been a gathering place for the community for over a century.

Public Square in Stevens Point WM

Public Square Markers Stevens Point

In the square is also a fountain, complete with a performance schedule.

Public Square Fountain and schedule in Stevens Point

Other features downtown, the former Opera House, “The Fox on Main” is currently vacant. Donations are being collected to refurbish this historic building.

The Fox on Main Opera House in Stevens Point WM

The Central Wisconsin Children’s Museum can also be found on Main.

Central Wisconsin Children's Museum

At the back of the Portage County Public Library parking lot is a marker, it was the site of the first public building in town.

Stevens Point First Public Building marker WM

All this exploring can make you hungry, and we had lunch at two top places. On July 6 we went to the Hilltop Pub and Grill on 4091 Main Street. What a beautiful building too! The food was also delicious, I had the beef brisket sandwich and Al had the Chicken Flippers from the appetizer menu. Yum!

Hilltop Pub and Grill in Stevens Point WM

Beef Brisket Sandwich and Chicken Flippers at Hilltop in Stevens Point

On July 8 we went to Al’s Diner, tucked away in a residential neighborhood on 3324 Jefferson St. We felt welcome from the moment we walked in, and left as friends with the owner Gail Guzman.  Also one of the local ladies were there and we chatted with her as well. We will be back next year on our return visit!

Al's Diner Collage in Stevens Point WM

The menu, also the place mat!

Al's Diner Menu in Stevens Point

We saw one final marker before our visit concluded, the Jordan Dam and Power Plant and marker at Jordan County Park. It is a little hard to find, is was hidden by a large bush in a circle turn-around area. It is on the right side of highway 66 as you leave town.

Jordan Dam marker in Stevens Point

Jordam dam and power Plant marker in Stevens Point WM

Jordan Dam in Stevens Point

It was a great visit to Stevens Point , we are so glad we had a chance to look around!

Amherst and Amherst Junction

7-6-15     Portage County

Amherst and neighboring Amherst Junction was settled around 1852, most settlers Yankees and English-speaking Canadians. It may have been named after the hometown of one of the settlers from Amherst, Nova Scotia.

We first stopped in Amherst Junction. The historic State Bank Building.

Downtown Amherst Junction WM

Amherst Junction State Bank Building WM

A couple of businesses, Carbo’s Junction Bar and Lake Emily Inn.

Carbo's Junction Bar and Lake Emily Inn in Amherst Junction WM

The first thing we noticed were two railroad tracks, upper and lower. A sign nearby explains the history of that.  Only freight trains use these tracks now.

Amherst Junction Dual Tracks WM

Amherst Junction Dual Level Tracks WM

The sign is on the Tomorrow River State Trail.

Tomorrow River State Trail Collage WM

We then went went to the nearby village of Amherst to see the dam and bridge.

Amherst sign and watertowerAmherst banner

Amherst Downtown

Amherst Dam WM

The bridge and even a sign describing its history.

Mill Street Bridge in Amherst WM

Mill Street Bridge History in Amherst

Sometimes vehicle trouble can happen on the road, we were hearing a loud scraping sound when the brakes were applied. We discovered Amherst had an excellent auto repair shop called T & T Automotive. We went right there and they took care of us in one hour, even though we just dropped in.  We give them a stamp of approval for their fast and excellent service.

T and T Auto in Amherst

T  and T Automotive in Amherst approved

We will be back in Amherst perhaps next year to learn more about this town. This community saved our trip and maybe our vehicle from damage.

Return to the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison – What An Amazing Place!


Henry Vilas Zoo Sign

It was time to come back to the Henry Vilas Zoo, and this time explore the ENTIRE zoo. My previous visit was on October 4, 2011 and I didn’t go through the entire zoo on that day. Also, Al was with me this time, he didn’t remember the last time he came here.

If you plan on coming, remember that its free to visit, donations are accepted though and there are donation boxes scattered throughout the zoo. Most days the zoo is open 9:30 to 5, more specifics on hours here.  Inside exhibits open at 10:00. Wear comfortable shoes, it took almost four hours to see the entire zoo in one visit. It helps to have a map with you too to check off each exhibit as you see it. Lets begin our tour!

We began at the main entrance where we find the gift shop and ice cream shop. Also two concrete lions that the kids love to take their picture with.

Vilas Zoo Gift Shop and Ice Ceam Shop


Concrete Lions at Henry Vilas Zoo

Now for a real lion, today he was sunning himself in full view, looking regal.

Lion at Vilas Zoo in Madison

 Next to the lion is the Primate House, the outdoor exhibits are also viewable from the inside.

Discovering Primates Building at Vilas

 Inside Primate House at Vilas

 After the Primate house we head along the path east and see the Anna Vilas Hall building, where many events take place.

Anna Vilas Hall at Vilas Zoo

 From the balcony of Anne Vilas Hall you could see the penguin’s home. They were not out  that morning so here they are from my 2011 visit.

Penguin Parlor at Vilas 10-4-11

Penguins at Vilas ZooPenguin Parlor plaque at Vilas


Blackfoot Penguin facts at Vilas Zoo


Our next stop was the Tropical Rain Forest Aviary, with bird, reptiles and even rodents that live in the rain forest.

Rainforest Aviary at VilasTropical Rain Forest Aviary plaque at Vilas

Inside Tropical Aviary at Vilas

McCaw at Vilas

The Capybara is here too, the largest rodent.

Capabara at Rain Forest Aviary at Vilas


Now for the new exhibit we all have been waiting for, the new Arctic Passage!

Arctic Passage Exhibit Building at Vilas

In 2011 they were fundraising, now its a reality it just opened May 23, 2015. Here is an overview of the new mega-exhibit.

Many kids were there, and they were really enjoying it. We also had lunch at the new Glacier Grill inside, which offers a view of the Polar Bears while you eat! Eating here also supports the zoo.

Glacier Grill view at Vilas

The Sea Lions were really aping the crowd, and knew how to get claps and cheers.

There are many great photo-ops to take with your kids too. Not to mention numerous animal cut-outs the can put their faces in.

Vilas Zoo kid photo ops

Orangutan Cut-out for pictures at Vilas

This is really fun, outside of the Arctic Passage exhibit is an actual Tundra Buggy, used to transport scientists across the arctic and Antarctic icy terrain. You can go inside and kids can pretend to drive it, inside it sounds like its rolling along.

Tundra Buggy exhibit at Vilas

It’s not just for scientists anymore! In Churchill, Canada you can also have a buggy tour. Cool!

Across from the Arctic Passage exhibit is the North American Prairie exhibit. In it are Prairie Dogs, Badgers and Bison.

George M. Fiat North American Prairie exhibit at Vilas

Animals at North American Prairie exhibit at Vilas

The viewing platform’s scenery has changed since 2011. on the left is 2011, on the right is 2015. Wow, what a change!

View from Prairie Platform at Vilas 2011 and 2015

Next to here is the new Jack Lussier Conservation Pavilion, also just a sign on my visit in 2011. A docent was teaching a large group of children here.

jack Lussier Conservation Pavilion at Vilas

Next is the Herpetarium, or reptile house. Outside are two tortoises and an alligator. I probably saw those same tortoises when I was a kid, or even my Mom since they live over 100 in many cases.


Discovery Center and Herpetarium  at Vilas

Alligator and Tortises at Vilas


Inside Herpetarium at Vilas

And now for the best Children’s Zoo I can remember ever seeing.

Childrens Zoo entrance at Vilas

It wasn’t this big when I was a kid.  It has a petting zoo, train ride and carousel for both kids and adults to enjoy. It’s a $1.50 to ride them each. Lets watch them in action! The carousel is customized for Madison, see the panels above with the Capitol and Bascom Hill.

Vilas Zoo Carousel

Train ride at Vilas

The animals at the petting zoo area were so funny and all vying for attention.

Petting Zoo at Vilas

There also is a large play structure for the kids here. This is a zoo in itself.

Zoo play structure

Pink Flamingos are also in this part of the zoo.

Pink Flamingos at Vilas


Also here is the Red Panda, not for petting.

Red Panda at Vilas

The last area of the zoo to see is at the east-central area, with the giraffes, hippo, tapir, plus the tiger (not seen) and lion.

GiraffesHippo and Tapir at Vilas

Lots of tables under pavilions (new) near the central building that has been there since my childhood. Access to the Children’s Zoo used to be through the central area of this building.

Vilas Zoo central area

What a great time both of us had, you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy this zoo.  Thanks also Vilas Family for bestowing this gift to Madison, your legacy begins its 2nd century!

Plaque in Vilas Zoo


Genesee Depot in the Town of Genesee

3-9-13 and 5-30-15

Genesee Depot is located in the town of Genesee in Waukesha County, Wisconsin. We are finally back after 2 1/2 years since got a great chance to tour Ten Chimneys in this community.

Ten Chimneys Sign

Stillman Smith was the first settler in the area in 1837. It was named after the train station,  Genesee Depot opened Johnston Quarry in 1842 which provided some stone that went into Madison’s State Capitol.

We first take a look at South Genesee (Saylesville) when the old Saylesville Mill still stands.

Saylesville Mill in South Genesee

Nearby across the road are a few other historic buildings and a WWI memorial on the same side as the mill.

Historic Buildings in SaylesvilleSaylesville WWI Memorial

We go to downtown Genesee Depot to see the several historical buildings there and still in use.  This is the original Town Hall, in front is a sign telling Genesee Depot’s history.

Genesee Depot SignGenesee Depot Town Hall

This is the former train depot. It was a restaurant called the Depot Café, unfortunately it closed on May 24, 2015. It was open 3 years.

Depot at Genesee Depot

 Just down a road a little is The Union House, first opened as a hotel in 1861. Now it is a fine dining restaurant.

The Union House in Genesee Depot

Many other great businesses downtown. We enjoyed a delicious lunch at Cornerstone Restaurant, and so did many other visitors to Ten Chimneys. The food and service are top-notch and we will go back when we are in the area again. They even served a mini chocolate bundt cake in their bakery case, recipe by Alfred Lunt of Ten Chimneys, yum! Some of their selections come from Sally’s Sweet Shoppe across the Street. Owner Judy Knoernschild and her friendly staff welcome you for a great dining experience!

Cornerstone Restaurant in Genesee Depot collage

Cornerstone Restaurant food Collage

  Fingers and Toes Salon.

Fingers and Toes Salon in Genesee Depot


Vina Mundi for fine wines. Tastings also available.

Vina Mundi in Genesee Depot


We enjoyed our visits to Genesee Depot, where friendly people were found everywhere we went.

Businesses in Genesee Depot


Woodstock Illinois – “True To It’s Past, Confident of It’s Future”

Woodstock, IL is in McHenry County in northern Illinois with a population of nearly 25,000 as of 2010.  It was chosen as the county seat in 1843 and was originally called Centerville, due to being in the center of the county. In 1845 the town name was changed to Woodstock after resident Joel Johnson’s hometown of Woodstock, Vermont. It became a city in 1873, and a rail line soon arrived. It is still in use today, Metra trains come through also, taking passengers to Chicago 37 miles away.

Metra Train Station in Woodstock

Prior to 1992, Woodstock was not considered to be a destination for visitors.  The movie Groundhog Day changed all of that. Since the movie’s release in 1993, people have been streaming in from all over the country (and world!) to see the city that the movie made famous. Al and I came into town to celebrate Groundhog Day in 2015 and 2017 and had the time of our lives!  All the sites in the movie are marked with a plaque for a self-guided Walking Tour any time you come to visit.  The city was re-vitalized by the movie and the money spent in town by visitors has allowed for many improvements and beautification projects to make the city a welcoming place for all.  We stay at the Super 8 when we come to visit. Book early if you are coming for Groundhog Day, we reserved our room in early November. Or you can even stay at the Royal Victorian Manor, featured in the Groundhog Day movie as the Cherry Street Inn.


Royal Victorian Manor - Cherry Street Inn  in Woodstock

There is more to Woodstock then the groundhog though.  They have preserved their beautiful historic Square and most storefronts are occupied with boutiques and restaurants.  On our most recent visit in 2017, many buildings are now outlined in LED light and the trees in the inner square have white lights on them. Very beautiful!

Woodstock Opera House at night

Woodstock Inner Square at night

Woodstock created a pdf map listing the historic buildings on or near the Square.  Here are some of them. Let’s begin at the Opera House and go counter-clockwise.

Pennsylvania Hotel - Woodstock Opera House

For great Groundhog Day souveniers and other gifts, stop at Read Between the Lynes.  They had everything!

Read Beween the Lynes bookstore in Woodstock

Read Between the Lynes Groundhog Day display

Across the street on our left is  the Phoenix Block.

Phoenix Block on Woodstock Square

At the end of this corner on 113 S. Benton is the majestic Church Block building (1899),  named after Malachi Church, a county sheriff.  In the corner is now a four-face city clock and the business Ethereal Confections Craft Chocolate and Dessert Bar.  Also Material Things.

Church Block building in Woodstock IL

Night view.

Church Block at night

We round the corner to the BMO Harris building, housed in the Primm Block. The tan building is the Murphy Block.

BMO Harris on Primm Block in Woodstock

At the end of  Benton Street (across from Ned’s Corner) are these businesses.

Benton Street on Woodstock Square

Cass Street is next on the square.

Cass Street on Woodstock Square

On this street is the former Tip Top Cafe’ in the Groundhog Day movie. Now Taqueria La Placita, we enjoyed a great dinner there 2-1-17.

Tip Top Cafe in Woodstock

At the top of Cass St. we see the Old Courthouse and Jailhouse buildings, all occupied.The Old Courthouse and Jail in Woodstock

 We enjoyed lunch at the Public House of Woodstock here, site of the Groundhog Day movie bar scene where they drink to world peace.


Bar in Groundhog Day movie in Woodstock

Across the street is the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce and Jaci’s Cookies, where we got a couple scones and a Groundhog cookie! They closed on 9-30-16.

Woodstock Chamber of Commerce and Jaci's Cookies

We are back at the top again where we started. We saw other interesting buildings, these are on Main St. just off the Square. This is the Waverly house building, built in 1900. Next to it is the store Rare Rubbish, with a vintage Elgin Watch neon sign with clock. Cool! We saw the sign at night in 2017, one side still works!

Waverly Building in Woodstock

Ray Wolf Jewelers sign in Woodstock

Elgin Watch neon sign at night

Across the street is the Woodstock Theater, on this site around 100 years.

Alpine Theater - Woodstock Theater frame

Night view.

Woodstock Theatre marquee at night

Behind the square on 227 N. Throop St. is Afterglow Creative Services, a video production and photography agency.

Afterglow Creative Services in Woodstock

Stop by the Woodstock Public Library to learn more about Woodstock and it’s proud history.

Woodstock Public Library

Go bowling at Wayne’s Lanes.

Wayne's Lanes in Woodsstock

On our way out of town, we saw the Purple Heart Memorial.


This wraps up our tour of Woodstock. Check these resources for more information about this city and McHenry County.  A great place to visit any time of the year.  We always feel welcome here, as we do when we visit my home state.  We also found this great historical marker just outside of Woodstock at a small wayside.




Hot Website Links

Visit McHenry County

McHenry County Historical Society

City of Woodstock, IL

Groundhog Days Website 

Chamber of Commerce

Woodstock Farmers Market


Tripadvisor – Best of Woodstock