"Wisconsin-Happy Festival State", by Eve Phillips. My husband and I love to travel in the state of Wisconsin where we live and get great pictures on the way. My name is Laurie Kutil and photography has become a great passion of mine since 2010. One thing I have learned in researching each town before visiting it is that, "Every town has it's story". When I do uncover those stories by connecting with local residents, our experience becomes so much richer. In turn, sharing the stories with you brings me joy :)
The name is from the Potawatomi Indian language, original spelling is “Coo-no-mo-wauk” meaning “waterfall”. The city is located on Lac la Belle. We were here to celebrate Christmas and were at a house on the shore of this lake on the other side. The view from there, you could see an island in the lake with a house on it!
Seymour is a city of almost 3,500 in Outgamie County, almost the smallest city in the country. It was incorporated in 1883. Only 2 years later, the hamburger was born at the Seymour Fair. Food vendor Charlie Nagreen flattened a meatball and placed it between two pieces of bread to make a sandwich easy to carry around. The idea stuck and you can find them everywhere.
We made our way to Depot Street where the museums is located. The Seymour Community Historical Society (1975) runs and maintains these museums and events held there. The community celebrates their famous sandwich each August with Burger Fest, complete with a parade.
The museum grounds, an assortment of rail cars are also here. Also many informative signs.
To the right of the depot.
Across is the famous “Charlie Grill”, used to cook the world’s largest hamburger.
To the left of the depot is a LARGE statue of Charlie, a great place for a selfie! We of course HAD to take one with a dramatic flourish!
On the base of the statue are a series of plaques with Charlieisms.
The corner on Depot St. also has a Veteran’s Memorial.
That about sums up our visit here, we stayed for about 1/2 hour and had to continue our trip home. We hope to come back someday for their Hamburger Fest.
We arrived in Minneapolis in pouring rain around 6 PM after leaving home about 12 hours earlier. On the way we saw Pickwick Mill and Pepin while traveling the Great River Road. Tired and hungry, we stopped for dinner at Saguaro ( Arizona/Mexican cuisine). Turns out it is one of he best Mexican restaurants in Minneapolis. We have to agree! The staff were friendly and we enjoyed our experience there.
Our dinners, we both chose the Taco Platter, but you could do a lot of mixing and matching. A great way to end our day and relax after a long day on the road.
Day 2 – 9/19
The rain was gone and we were ready for adventure! We took care of some family business first. My maternal Grandmother and her sister grew up here and we went to the Lyndale neighborhood where they lived. Saw my former great-grandparent’s house, now rented by two tenants. It was good to see it again after 15 years.
We also went to the other side of their block where my teen grandma picked up some groceries for the family. I don’t know what it was called then but now it’s Kyle’s Market, open 9 to 9 daily.
We also paid respects to my great-grandparents and great-aunt at Lakewood Cemetery along the shores of Lake Calhoun. We also discovered the Pillsbury family is buried here, we could see the tall monument from my family’s grave site. More on Pillsbury later.
On our way to our next place we saw a vintage White Castle Hamburger building, now Xcentric Goods.
We soon arrived Minnehaha Park, a popular park for over a century. It’s also the center point of the founding of Minneapolis. On location is the Princess Depot that used to bring people to the park on a train. Now, it’s a museum open seasonally.
The first settler of Minneapolis, Colonel John H. Stevens is memorialized here with his former home turned into a museum. Also a statue in front of the house.
We happened to be there when the groundskeepers were making their rounds (you can see them behind the statue). Even though the museum was not really open for visitors at 7:45 AM, they did for us since they are just nice people 🙂 Lets go in! There is a plaque just outside of the door.
That was fun, thanks for the great tour! Now we proceeded to the other great attraction of this park, Minnehaha Falls. As we got closer, you could hear the rush of water. The sunrise was illuminating the mist the falls created, beautiful!
An interesting fact, President Johnson visited the falls in 1964, they marked where he stood in concrete and you can stand there too.
There were stairs going down to the bottom of the falls, offering this view.
The park also has a large pavilion for events.
It was now almost 9, time for our next attraction. We were treated to a great skyline view on the way!
The frame around the picture tells you what was coming up next. It was time for lunch and we had it in the historic Band Box Diner. There is only one in the whole city, and world! We are lucky to have been able to eat there at all. In March 2015 the 30-year old grill stopped working and they didn’t have enough money to buy a new one. Not to worry though, the customers banded together and raised the funds to buy a NEW GRILL! We are so happy they did, this landmark restaurant is too good to close!
After lunch, time for our biggest attraction for today, Foshay Tower. The W Minneapolis Hotel is also in this building. It has the only sky deck in the Twin Cities for visitors to enjoy, the view is from 30 stories up. For adults not staying there, it’s $8 to go to the sky deck. What a wonderful view! You could see St. Paul, also the Minnesota Twin’s Target Field inside the stands.
By then it was 3:30 and we had until 5, when we went to have dinner with some relatives. A beautiful afternoon with many people there enjoying the day.
On the other side of the bridge you could see the remnants of the former flour-milling era.
Pillsbury and Gold Medal Flour factories
Along the trail are also free viewing scopes that kids really enjoy looking in.
The trail goes by Mill Ruins Park, which is still undergoing development but the first phase is what you see here.
It is also a popular wedding venue, you could see the wedding party taking photos below.
You could also see Mill City Museum from the trail, not enough time to stop there unfortunately. You could see people up there!
A Segway Tour just went by us, they made a turn and went under our part of the trail on the Stone Arch Bridge.
It was time to be on our way. We hear music from a street musician playing on his guitar as we head back.
One thing we noticed about this friendly city, photo shoots! We saw three today, there may have been more we didn’t know about. We had a great day, on Sunday we were going to see some of St. Paul before going back to Madison.
The Wisconsin Dells was founded as Kilbourn City in 1857. The name was changed in 1931. The Dells has been a vacation destination for over 150 years and you can see pictures and postcards of the early years here. The site of one of the early theme parks called Fort Dells is marked by a sign, a Walgreens is there now.
What you will see when you drive into the Dells along the Parkway and Broadway.
The population of the Dells is 2,678. Even though it is known as “The Waterpark Capital of the World”™ now, it is so much more. My own Dells experiences goes back to my childhood in the 1970’s and 80’s. Al’s family went to Jellystone Park, still going strong. History is still an important part of the Dells and is the foundation for their continued relevance in the present and future.
We are going to explore 7 blocks on what is called “The Strip”, or Broadway Rd. We start at the top of Broadway on the 100 block, just after we pass under the Amtrak (Empire Builder route) and Canadian Pacific train overpass. The CP train carries freight, but during the Christmas holidays they host a Holiday Train. On the left side attached to the concrete bridge support is this plaque. We had to carefully walk under the bridge when the road was clear of traffic to get a picture of it.
We took a look at the charming depot. It was built in 1989 after the original was damaged beyond repair in 1982. It resembles many historic depots we have seen in other towns.
Close to here, also a right turn off Broadway are two other historical markers and a very tall flagpole, the long driveway leading to them identified by a brown “historical marker” sign. The first one is a history of the Wisconsin Dells. The other marker is on a large red rock in front of the flagpole, honoring Stanton Peter Helland.
Broadway – 100 Block
This is the view of the 100 block from halfway up the hill near the railroad track. Each block has many great businesses to appeal to both visitors. and residents alike. Downtown Dells has a website of its own since there is so much to do. Since we tend to be frugal travelers, the free parking downtown from October 15-May 15 appealed to us too. The drawback of winter, not all of the businesses/attractions are open.
The first place on our right is the popular Showboat Saloon, styled to look like a river showboat. More than that, it is said that a ghost named Molly lives in this over 100-year old building in the upstairs apartment. The building owner no longer rents it out due to the ghostly disturbances.
From this side we look across the street to a wide variety of businesses, both old and new. At the right end is T-Shirt Factory. Right next to it is the new Dells Distillery (2013), then MACS-Macaroni and Cheese Shop for great meal choices. We had lunch at the Distillery on 6-14-15. Great food here.
In the tan building next to Monk’s is Xpressit. Then the popular Winnebago Gift Shop, where you can get moccasins and other apparel made by Winnebago (Ho-Chunk) Indians. They have served the Dells since 1949 in a historic 1860 building.
We are now at the halfway point of exploring this fascinating street in downtown Dells. But wait, there’s more! After crossing Elm St., continuing on the left side is the Goody Goody Gumdrop store. next is Unique, a t-shirt store.
At this point we are heading out of the heaviest shopping and attractions part of the street. There are still some places yet to see though. On the last long shopping strip on the left side are several shops.