Tag Archive | Bob La Follette

Argyle – Gateway to Yellowstone Lake


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Argyle signArgyle Water Tower

Argyle is Village of 857 people nestled in Wisconsin’s Driftless Area, a hilly land untouched by glaciers. It was founded in 1844 , named after by the Duke of Argyll of Scotland.   Scottish settlers took a liking to this part of Wisconsin, the large hills probably reminded them of the Scottish Highlands.   We saw a historic marker attesting this fact not far from Argyle.

Pioneer Scottish Settlement marker

Running through the heart is the Pecatonica River. This provides a scenic backdrop upon entering town.  It is now spring thaw, and the water flowed over the spillway from the dam.  On a rock nearby is a plaque giving a brief history of Argyle.  Read here to learn more about Argyle businesses and events.

Argyle Bridge plaque

This beautiful view is not just for looks, this is a fully operational power plant, providing most of the electrical needs for the village.  They so kindly provided info to visitors like us. The red brick building was formerly a grist mill.

Argyle Power Plant info

No visit to Argyle is complete without going to the Argyle Legion Community Park, dedicated to soldiers of Argyle in 2008.

Argyle Legion Community Park

We head downtown just beyond the power plant..

Downtown Argyle WI

For enthusiasts of the fiber arts, the Argyle Fiber Mill features locally- sourced wool, within 50 miles of Argyle. They make the yarn on site.

Argyle Fiber Mill store

We also saw two murals on buildings.

Argyle Sesquicentennial mural

Argyle mural

This is historic Partridge Hall, a center for social functions in Argyle since 1878. They serve food Friday through Sunday.

Partridge HallPartridge Hall side

Liked this cute stone building housing the Argyle Dental Office. I am not sure if it is historic or not.

Argyle Dental Office

We soon come upon the former Waddington Hall, now the city Municipal building, police and Public Library. it was built in 1924, commisioned by James Seymor Waddington.

Argyle Community Center-Waddington Hall

Waddington also founded the Argyle State bank, the building now houses apartments.

Former Argyle State bank

Argyle’s most distinguished past resident was “Fighting Bob” La Follette.  He spent the second half of his childhood here. The Argyle Historic Society is in the process of restoring the site of his boyhood home, the Saxton House.  Contributions are welcome!  The Wisconsin Historic Society Museum in Madison has a display featuring this distinguished Wisconsin politician.

Saxton House in Aryle

Saxton House marker

All this exploring led us to lunch at Irma’s Kitchen, established in 1976 by Irma Collins and recommended to us by local residents.  The lunch crowd was arriving, we enjoyed the fish fry, yum!  Wish we had room for their famous pie, perhaps on our next visit.

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Irma's Kitchen Fish FryIrma Collins of Irma's Kitchen

Our last stop in Argyle was the Toy Train Barn Museum, a lot of fun!

Toy Train Barn Museum

We had a great time in Argyle, and plan on returning on June 28, 2014 for their 75 Annual Fish Fry festival. You will enjoy the friendly atmosphere in this village on the Pecatonica River.

Argyle sign back

Downtown Argyle 2

State Historical Museum in Madison


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Wisconsin State Historical Museum

The Wisconsin State Historical Museum is downtown on the Capitol Square. In the museum are four floors of great artifacts of Wisconsin’s past.

Lets start our visit on the ground floor.  The gift shop is here with many wonderful items.  At this time of year a special display is up called “Tis the Season”,  Evergleam Aluminum Christmas Trees of all sizes and colors.  Beautiful!

Evergleam Trees

Evengleam Christmas trees

2nd Floor- 1st Settlers and Native American Tribes

This floor has a great many artifacts from the Native Americans that had large settlements in Wisconsin before Europeans came.  This is a replica of a home lived in at a settlement called Aztalan, now a state historic site and park. It is in Jefferson county.

Aztalan house

French explorer Jean Nicolet may have been the first European to have seen Wisconsin in 1634.  Here is a painting by Edwin Willard Deming depicting what his arrival may have looked like.

Jean Nicolet 1634

3rd Floor – Early Wisconsin Settlement by Europeans

Life on the frontier, pioneers making Wisconsin their own. Mining of lead became a big industry. Also a large group from Cornwall, England brought their stone quarrying skills to Mineral Point, their Pendarvis settlement. That is now a historic site.  Some of the masons came to Madison and built a house for someone, still occupied to this day.

Cornish-Built House in Madison

The lumber industry was and still is a big part of Wisconsin.

Lumberjack

4th Floor- Late 19th-Early 20th Century

The rise of politics and it’s influence on the citizens of the state, as well as the women’s Suffrage Movement nearly a century ago.

Suffrage display

Governor Bob La Follette fought for the state to have fair legislation and a “transparent” government.   We recently saw his house in Madison, still occupied.

Bob LaFollette Governor in 1900

Bob LaFollette House

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We hope you enjoyed your visit,  remember to stop by the gift shop for a unique gift. It helps support the museum’s continued operation.

Madison crock