Tag Archive | covered bridge

Wild Rose-Village of Roses


Welcome to Wild Rose Sign

Wild Rose Service Organizations

Wild Rose is  a small Village of 725 in Waushara County.  We arrived a little early for the roses, but not too early to learn of the fascinating history of this community. Pick up traveler information any time in the little cabin on Main Street.

Waushara County Chamber of Commerce Info cabin

The population is higher in the summer since many people have cabins in the area and enjoy the peace and quiet here. It wasn’t always that way though.  In the late 19th and early 20th century, the atmosphere here was more like the Wild West. Residents are still talking about the famous “Bank Robbery of 1905”.  We didn’t know about this until we stopped and talked to the locals at this friendly BP gas station in town, Lauritzens Sports Shop is inside.

Lauritzens in Wild Rose

They told us of a grave site located behind a fence located just outside of Oak Hill Cemetery in a wooded area. The fence was open and we went in.

1905 Wild Rose Bank Robber grave Site location

Wild Rose 1905 Bank robber gravesite

Patsy Bank Robber Gravestone in Wild Rose

Location is here of AA on Sewer Lagoon Road.

Wild Rose Bank robber Gravesite location

I found out the Wild Rose Historical Society staged a re-enactment of the robbery in 1905 on the 100th Anniversary of the event in 2005.  A DVD was made and you can get it at Jamie’s Photo and Video in Waupaca. Order a copy for $15 here.

Wild Rose 1905 Bank Robbery DVD Jamie's Photo and Video

To learn more about Wild Rose’s history, stop at the Wild Rose Historical Society Museum. It consists of 8 buildings total.  The one behind the sign is the Elisha Stewart House.

Wild Rose Historical Society Museum sign

The Elisha Stewart House in Wild Rose

Wild Rose Museum Buildings

Pioneer Hall was formerly the Bank

Wild Rose as you can see has preserved it’s history quite well, down to the noon whistle on top of the Village Hall building.

Wild Rose Village Hall

The Old Mercantile building.  You can see where the dentist had his office in a room upstairs!

Wild Rose Mercantile Building

Studio 455 Photography.

Studio 455 Photography

There are many businesses downtown for shopping and dining. The Vintage Garden Café has has an antique store.  The property however is up for sale.

Viltage Garden Cafe in Wild Rose

Slugger’s Sports Bar is quite a draw during Packer and other games. Enjoy their Friday Night Fish fry.


Wild Rose is one of only two towns we have encountered with a vintage Pagoda-style gas station buildings. The only other one we have seen is in Cedarburg. This one is called the Pumphouse On the Mill and is now a restaurant. It was built in 1928.

Pumphouse on the Mill former Wadham's Gas Station 1928

The one in Cedarburg.

Cedarburg Pagoda Gas station building

When you enter town is Roseville, where you can play mini-golf, shop at their gift shop or get some ice cream.  We HAD to pose by the BIG strawberry ice cream cone.

Roseville in Wild Rose

There is also lodging downtown in Wild Rose. The Wild Rose Hotel Bar also has a restaurant, located on the banks of the millpond. Love the vintage sign by the entrance. It was also the site of the first original hotel in Wild Rose.

Wild Rose Hotel Bar

Bar Entrace sign at Wild Rose Hotel Bar

Across the street you can stay at Blader’s Dakota Inn.

Blader's Inn Wild Rose Hotel

We finished our visit with a stop at beautiful Springwater Volunteer Covered Bridge Park. The bridge was built by volunteers in 1997. The peaceful Pine River flows over the rocks, creating an idyllic scene any time of the year.  It is on Rustic Road 117.  Take a look!

Volunteer Covered Bridge in Wild Rose

Covered Bridge Park in Wild Rose

We learned a lot today in Wild Rose and enjoyed to peaceful scenery they wish all visitors and residents to enjoy.

Wild rose abandoned barn

Verona – Hometown U.S.A.

10-9-14 /10-19-17

Verona sign

Verona‘s nickname was coined in 1966 since it was chosen by a detachment of men fighting in Vietnam as “the perfect example of Hometown, U.S.A.” It was originally a Native American settlement, it was ceded to the US government between 1829-32. It 1844 had a mill called Badger Mill, the first in Dane county. It was named after Verona, NY by some settlers from there. It was incorporated into a city on April 18, 1978. Today Verona is a vibrant community of over 10,000 a short distance south of Madison.

What first caught our eyes on the way was this covered bridge. It is located here.

UW Turfgrass Facility in Verona

Covered Bridge in Verona

The Ice Age Trail runs through this part of Verona and you can pick it up here. The trail is essentially following the edge of the glacier boundaries when it was in Wisconsin thousands of years ago.

Ice Age Trail sign in Verona

Another trail running through Verona is the Military Ridge Trail. We stopped at the trailhead in Verona and also saw this historic marker.

Military Ridge Trailhead in Verona

Dane County Home marker


For more information about Verona we stopped at their Chamber of Commerce downtown. We learned plenty from the friendly staff there.

Verona Area Chamber of Commerce

One thing we learned was a large house near here is the oldest standing house in Verona. It was the  Josiah H. B. Matt’s home, built in 1848. The building is for sale and also needs to be moved.  It is the first brick house built in Verona, and the last remaining original building left.

Joseph H.P. Matt's home in Verona


The house was not sold or moved, thank goodness.  The latest plan is to restore the home and open it as a museum. Many funds need to be raised first before this is done. Read here the plan to make this dream come true!


The Matts House is now in the process of being restored. We attended at meeting in town about the house, presented by the Verona Historical Society. You can watch the meeting and slide show below. The picture I took is at 13:46.  It is now part of Verona’s historical archives.

This is the house now, looking good!

Downtown yielded another historic building, The Auditorium. Now its Cahoots Bar. This was once a stagecoach stop and many performances were held there, hence the nickname “Auditorium”.

The Auditorium aka Cahoots Bar in Verona


You might call this grocery store in Verona historic also, Miller & Sons Supermarket. It has been in the same spot for 112 years, it has expanded larger more than once! A real nice store with 5 generations of the same family passing the torch. They also have a 2nd store in Mt. Horeb.

Miller & Sons Supermarket in Verona

In this same block are two other stores, Hometown Pharmacy and Greg’s Card Locker.

Greg's card Locker and Hometown Pharmacy in Verona

Our other favorite businesses in Verona, besides Miller’s, is The Sow’s Ear. The Sows Ear is a combination of a café and knitters’ yarn shop.  My friends who knit love the place. It has been in Verona for 14 years. Stop in, even if you don’t knit.

The Sows Ear in VeronaThe Sow's Ear inside in Verona

The Sow's Ear Mug in Verona


We enjoyed a wonderful lunch on today’s visit at Pasqual’s Cantina, great Mexican food in a new restaurant at the north edge of town.

Pasquales in Verona

These businesses are located in the heart of downtown Verona, and so is the Hometown Junction shelter, a shelter right on the Military Ridge Trail. A Veteran’s Memorial is also here.

Hometown Junction in Verona

Veteran's Memorial in Verona

Make yourself at home in Verona, Hometown U.S.A.!

Verona Watertower and banner

Evansville-Soybean Capital and Barn Quilt City


Evansville sign

Welcome to Evansville!

Evansville downtown

This city of 5000 is located in Rock County and is a great place to visit.  Only 23 miles south of Madison,  it’s a quick getaway from the big city.   One thing that sets Evansville apart is the many barn quilts  adorning many of the buildings there.

Evansville Barn Quiltbarn quilt

Another distinctive art form Evansville is known for are windmills. They are displayed all over the downtown, made by local artists.  The large one is next to the Evansville Grove Society History Museum and visitor center. This was the former Baker Office Building.

Evansville WindmillEvansville Historic Museum

The windmill signifies Evansville’s dedication to Green Energy. It was selected as a pilot Wisconsin Energy Independent Community in 2010.

Yet another distinction of Evansville is its strong ties to the local farming community. It earned the title of “Soybean Capital of Wisconsin”  in 2007. Evansville has many beautiful historic buildings. This is the former City Hall.

Evansville Historic City Hall

This is the former Leota School for Girls, now an impressive red home.

Leota School for Girls

The Allen Funeral Home, since 1930.

Allen Funeral Home in Evansville, WI

The Eager Free Public Library.

Eager Free Public Library in Evansville WI

The former train depot, now the local VFW.

Evansville Depot

There are a great many more beautiful buildings to see.  Look here for a  walking tour you can print.

It was time for lunch, and we had a great one downtown at The Night Owl.

10-6-16 – The Night Owl had a fire overnight, it will be closed until further notice.

The Night Owl in Evansville WI

sandwich at the Nite OwlBurger at The Night Owl in Evansville WI

Our last stop in Evansville that day was Lake Leota Park.


Lake Leota Waterfall

This park is their largest,  the lake being a former millpond.  Here is a beautiful waterfall there now with a view of the rest of the lake.

I am a big fan of covered bridges, and they have one at this park.

Lake Leota Covered Bridge

We had a great visit to Evansville and hope to be back again soon.

Related Sites and Articles

* Evansville Business Info

* Barn Quilt Info

* Evansville History

* Chamber of Commerce

* Calendar of Events

* Evansville Observer Blog  Evansville History

* Mad City Mike Blog

Don’t Go Half-Way to Brodhead

Brodhead sign


Brodhead is a picturesque community in Green County with much to see.  The Sugar River Trail is here also, the southern trailhead. It’s 22 miles long, going all the way to New Glarus. We began our explorations downtown, the town has a square with gazebo and picnic tables. Its called, “Tinker’s Garden.” Here is where many festivals take place, Brodhead downtown Tinker's Garden in BrodheadTinkers Garden plaque Gazebo in Brodhead, WI Across the street in a building is a mural paying homage to the railroad and depot in Brodhead. Brodhead mural We could see the restored depot from here. Inside is the museum and an engine and caboose you could go in. Unfortunately, it was closed for the season. Maybe we can get back here in the spring when it re-opens.  The Brodhead Historical Society does good work here.Brodhead Depot


adjacent to the depot is the Veterans Memorial Park, in the center is a tall Civil War Monument.

Brodhead Civil War Memorial

After exploring downtown for a while, we headed to points just outside. Stopped by Decatur Dairy for a grilled cheese sandwich and some cheese curds. We were too late for a tour but we will go back.

Decatur Dairy in Brodhead

They even had a “cheese tree” totem pole outside, cool!

Cheese TreeAl and Laurie at Decatur Dairy in Brodhead

Speaking of tree, Brodhead also has a historic living tree called the Half-Way Tree. Indian runners used it as a marker because it was half-way between the Mississippi River and Lake Michigan.

Half-Way Tree sign

Half-Way Tree Burr Oak

It’s harvest time, and that includes APPLES!  Our next stop was nearby Ten Eyck Orchard for some locally grown apples and cider. The historic round barn with the apple barn quilt are this farm’s most distinctive features. We bought some Empire apples, delicious!

Ten Eyck Orchard Round Barn

Ten Eyck Barn Quilt


Al and Laurie at Ten Eyck Orchard

It was time to head back north towards Madison. On the way, we walked a bit on the Sugar River trail to see the famous Clarence covered bridge replica, completed in 1984.

Clarence covered Bridge in Brodhead

Come all the way to Brodhead, it’s well worth the visit!