Tag Archive | autumn

The Show Must Go On In Baraboo


4-16-16, 5-27-17, 7-22-17, 12-22-17, 4-5-18 + other visits

Baraboo signBaraboo Water Tower

Lower Narrows

Baraboo Lower Narrows_10-20-12

Baraboo is the county seat of Sauk County with a population of over 12,000. A city with a rich history in the circus, the Ringling family’s influence is woven into the city’s fabric and has been for over a century. Also Delavan, where we also have visited. You can also fly into the Baraboo Airport.

Baraboo Airport

Before you come into the city proper, be sure to stop at Man Mound Park on the outskirts of town.It was a little hard to find, the coordinates are N43°29.309’W089°40.278′   Man Mound Road.  On YouTube a short video about the mound.

Man Mound and signs

 

Man Mound Park marker in BarabooIMG_4679

Legs and feet that are missing are marked with white paint on the road.

Legs and feet on man mound

There is also a small playground and a picnic bench at the park.

Man Mound park playground

 

Circus Heritage in Baraboo

Baraboo has been a special place for Al and I since we met in 1997. We scuba dived at Devil’s Lake State Park and we were married there in 1999.

There is so much to see and do here in all seasons of the year.  Summer and fall are the busiest seasons. Come in April or May or after Labor Day for smaller crowds.  However, some attractions are only open during the summer season. For example, Circus World Museum.  The circus performances are from late May to late August.  We enjoyed a visit there in late August 2013, they have a free admission day at the end of the season. We returned 5-27-17 for Military Service Appreciation Day, also free.

Circus World Museum

Ringling Brothers plaque at Circus World

Ringling Winter Quarters plaque at Circus World

Baraboo is also home to the International Crane Foundation, which we joined and visited 6-3-15.

ICF sign in Baraboo

Cudahy Visitor Center at Crane Foundation

 

Downtown Baraboo sign

As charming as these places are, you should see the historic downtown, looking much like it did when the original Ringling family were alive.  Downtown Baraboo has its own website to keep us informed of all the great happenings there all year round. The Courthouse Square and nearby has many great businesses to patronize for shopping and dining. The Courthouse is beautiful and it’s chime at 12:00 noon echoed around the square.

Baraboo Courthouse 10-20-12

This plaque is on a rock outside of the Courthouse.

Circus Plaque outside of courthouse in Baraboo

Enjoy the Baraboo Farmers Market too from May through October.

Baraboo Farmers Market

For even more fresh produce in the fall, stop by Ski-Hi Fruit Farm. The fall colors in October are beautiful too.

Ski-Hi Fruit Farm

Apple processing at Ski-Hi in BarabooBaraboo Hill fall color

Baraboo also has its own radio station that we enjoy even in Madison, WRPQ.  You can even download their app to listen to it anywhere.

WRPQ Baraboo 10-20-12

2017-The station is now known as MAX FM.

The Corner Drug‘s distinctive red front makes it easy to find on the square.

Corner Drug in Baraboo

Also on this street is the beautiful Al. Ringling Theatre which was restored and still a work in progress. We took the tour on 7-22-17, but it is not permitted to post my photos of the inside.  You are allowed to take them during the tour only for your own enjoyment.

Al Ringling Theater in Baraboo

Here is what the theatre looks like in December at night.

On the corner of the square left of here is the Little Village Café, a historic building in journalism. You can just see the AL. Ringling mansion to the left down the street.

Village Cafe in Baraboo

Village Cafe Journalism plaque in Baraboo

A block or so from the square is the AL. Ringling Mansion, a beautiful red stone building you can’t miss seeing! Also, we highly recommend taking their tour to see the inside.  It’s open daily 11-4, tours every hour on the hour, the last tour starts at 3PM.  Cost is $20 Adults
$5 for children 5-11
Free 4 & under
Group rates available.

Photos of the inside are permitted inside but not allowed to be posted on Facebook or other social media. The owners Joe and Carmen Colossa and family also live there and are working hard to transform this beautiful home into a Bed and Breakfast.   They purchased the home only in 2013, it seems longer though! The Elks Lodge used to own the mansion, but now just lease out parts of the space.

Joe also gave us an additional tour around town in the afternoon, showing us the cemetery, houses members of the Ringling family owned, and other circus lore.

AL. Ringling Mansion in Baraboo

Al Ringling Home sign

Meanwhile,  the Charles Ringling mansion already is a Bed and Breakfast, called the Ringling House. Such a cheerful yellow in the spring sunshine!

Ringling House Bed and Breakfast in Baraboo

Directly across the street from the AL. Ringling Mansion is another historic site, the first church in Baraboo, long gone.

First Church in Baraboo site

Baraboo likes visitors and offers plenty of free parking.  In this parking lot you can see a new set of mural panels painted by local citizens in 2015. Also another one across from WRPQ. Also an older one from 2013.

Baraboo Murals

Baraboo Mural

As you can imagine, Baraboo citizens have preserved a great many historic buildings and homes.  We did our own tour to see them after lunch on our April visit.  This city is one of the lucky ones, it has a Carnegie Library. We have seen those in some of the other places we have visited over the years. Visit the Baraboo Public Library to find books on Baraboo’s rich history.

Baraboo Library Carnegie

Badgerland Financial sits on the historic site where the Ringling Brothers put on their very first circus show on May 19, 1884.

First Circus Performance site in Baraboo

Ringling Brothers Circus Plaque

The Jacob Van Orden House is now the Sauk County Historical Museum, one owned by the Sauk County Historical Society.

Sauk County Historical Museum in Baraboo

The House of 7 Gables owners used to give a tour but doesn’t at the present time. They have lived they for 50 years, moved in as newlyweds. Owners Ralph and Pamela Krainik have put a lot of pride into restoring their home for the last 50 years. It was built in 1860. Read more about heir home here.

House of 7 Gables in Baraboo

The Baraboo School Administration building.

Baraboo Schhol Administration Building

All this exploring can make a person hungry, never fear though, there are a great many restaurants in Baraboo to choose from. Around the corner and to the left of the building above is the Broadway Diner. FANTASTIC food, they also are the official caterer to functions of the AL. Ringling Mansion.

Broadway Diner collage

Another favorite is the Baraboo Pizza Ranch across from Menards.

The Log Cabin Restaurant and Bakery, we have been there a couple times, they celebrate 20 years in 2016!

Log Cabin Restaurant in Baraboo

The Farm Kitchen on the outskirts of town by Devil’s Lake has been a favorite place of ours since were dating in 1997 to 1999.  We often ate there after scuba diving.  We had our wedding rehearsal dinner there. This is how it looked in 2009, it has been under new ownership since 2015.

The Farm Kitchen in Baraboo Collage 2009

Baraboo offers a wide range of shopping, including the essentials. For groceries, the Viking Express Market has a lot of variety, great store! Even a red pig for the kids to ride!

Viking Market in Baraboo

Red Pig ride at Viking Market in Baraboo

Another favorite place we like shopping is at St. Vincent de Paul‘s, or Vinnies, just down the hill on  100 South Blvd. within sight of the Broadway Diner. They also have a food pantry.  Our tour that Joe Colossa took us on included some Circus Museum train cars and the longest train car building in the USA. They are located BEHIND Vinnies.

St. Vincent de Paul Baraboo 10-15-05 341

If you are tired from walking around downtown, let someone else do the walking, er, pedaling. We spotted a rickshaw parked, make an appointment for a relaxing tour of downtown Baraboo, $20 for 20 minutes.

Wildside Tour in Baraboo

Baraboo is host to many parks, Nanny Park even has a Little Free Library that looks like a circus wagon, cute!

Baraboo Little Library

Also Devil’s Lake State Park, where we honed our scuba diving skills and got married there underwater on July 24, 1999.

Al and Laurie Kutil vows at Devil's Lake

Climb the East Bluff Trail for beautiful fall color views of the Baraboo Hills below. This was October 9, 2010. Watch the turkey vultures soar above the lake, especially in summer. Sometimes we walked around the whole lake if we had an early start.

Devils Lake Fall 2010

Enjoy Ochsner Park and Zoo near downtown. The zoo opened in 1926 and has a great many visitors.   The adjacent park is alongside the Baraboo River and has two pavilions for large groups to gather.  We found a plaque at the park by the pavilion closest to the zoo, the first home in Baraboo was built on this site.

Ochsner Park and Zoo sign

Ochsner Zoo view

Ochsner Park in Baraboo

First Permanent home in Baraboo plaque in Ochsner Park

We always have a great visit to Baraboo.  There is always something new to see here and everyone is so friendly! Our parting shot is the swiftly running river going under the Manchester Street Bridge in this park.

Fall Color Tour 2015 – Holy Hill, Richfield, Jefferson and Home!


October 2015

Due to a warm September, the colors peaked a week or so later than usual.  Our first trip was to Holy Hill Basilica on Monday, October 12. We have not been there during fall’s peak before.  It was Columbus Day so it was quite crowded when we arrived around noon. Holy Hill offers a great view anytime you go. Be sure you pick a good weather day, since they close the tower if there are high winds or other inclement weather.

We climbed up the 128 stairs to the top of the right steeple to take in the countryside colors. They were brilliant!

Holy Hill Green Steeple

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It was just as beautiful from the bottom looking up. We found an especially good view with a horse in someone’s yard.

Holy Hill and Horse

And the view from Erin, we got both points of view here!

Holy Hill from Erin

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A stand of beautiful trees to the right of this view on the road below.

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A beautiful hill we found on the way.

Colorful Hill

Earlier in the morning we went to Richfield Historic and Nature Park, just a few miles from Holy Hill.

Richfield Sign and Fall Colors

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We saw the historic Messer/Mayer Mill. They are raising funds for restoration of the mill.

Richfield Mill marker

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Other views in the park.

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Richfield Park History

Richfield Park cabins

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October 16

We were in Jefferson for a wedding photo shoot but came early to get some fall color pictures. They have some beautiful trees and views here.  This is the river from the bridge.

Rock River Fall Colors in Jefferson

The view on the right side of the bridge, Rotary Park.

Rotary Park and Bridge in Jefferson

Downtown the tree by the clock was looking especially pretty, it was barely leafing out when we visited in May.

City Clock in Jefferson

Jefferson Land Office City Clock

There are many beautiful houses in Jefferson, many of them with beautiful trees setting them off in a blaze of yellow and orange. Some had ivy too, adding a special touch.

Ivy House in Jefferson

House with Yellow Tree in Jefferson

Orange Maple in Jefferson

Historic House and trees in Jefferson

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October 21-30

Finished up the month with color at my workplace grounds and near our home.

Fall Color at Work

Our neighborhood looked especially pretty this year.  Our red maple was really showing off (the one on the left)!  A couple leaves were not so happy about the end of summer.

Our red Maple at home

Lone Green Leaf word balloon not changing color

My favorite view was at the train track that goes by our condo community. The colors were peaking the day I got a picture of the Canada Pacific train that runs from Portage to Madison. Here is some video of that train in Portage.

Fall Train CP to Portage

Quite a beautiful and long autumn this year. One for the books!

Maple Bluff-A Village Within the City of Madison


6-12-15 and other visits

Maple Bluff Signtree city usaBird City Wisconsin sign

Incorporated as a village in 1931,  Maple Bluff is a community with beautiful homes and where the home of our state Governor is located. Learn more about Maple Bluff’s early history here.  Also about activities in the village in their newsletter. It is also a certified Tree AND Bird City too!

Governor's Mansion in Maple Bluff

In Maple Bluff is also the historic home of Robert M. LaFollette, still occupied today by a private citizen.  You can see more about his life at the State Historical Museum in downtown Madison.

Bob LaFollette house in Maple Bluff

For the golfers, the Maple Bluff Country Club. They also have an on-site restaurant.

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There are many beautiful parks too in this village. here are a few of them.

 John A. Johnson Memorial Park has a gazebo and disc golf course, and a water fountain.

John A. Johnson Memorial Park Plaque

 

John A. Johnson Memorial park in Maple Bluff

Neal H. Stoddard Park

Neal H. Stoddard Park in Maple Bluff

Beach Park

Beach Park in Maple Bluff

Also Maple Bluff Marina for boats and other water craft.

Maple Bluff Marina

Maple Bluff Marina

The houses here are pretty too, I especially like this pink stucco. A few more.

Maple Bluff pink house

Maple Bluff Houses

One of my favorite reasons for coming here is the beauty of the changing seasons. This is how it earned the designation of Tree City. Here are the trees in spring.

Spring in Maple Bluff

And autumn, my favorite!

Fall in Maple Bluff

Take a break in Maple Bluff,  fun in any season!

Water Sports off Maple Bluff Marina