"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 :)
We were on our way to Algoma, and our Garmin led us through Rosendale in Fon du Lac county.. Be VERY careful with your speed, cops are known for pulling you over and giving tickets if you are as little as 1 mph over limit. We had no problems.
What really made us stop was the view on our left, Sisson’s Peony Gardens. The structures in the garden were constructed between 1928-30. Wilbur Sisson retired in Rosendale in 1918 and began to build this beautiful sanctuary which began to attract people from miles around. Its now listed as a Wisconsin Historic Site. The peonies were not in bloom by the time we saw it, but maybe next year. In early June the town celebrates “Peony Sunday”
A view of the gardens behind the windmill.
In the far back is a beautiful gazebo.
We plan on coming back here next year, hopefully during their Peony Sunday festival.
We did make it back, but a little too late for the festival. There were still flowers blooming, unlike the visit last August.
It was to revisit this beautiful little hamlet of 3300 people on the Sugar River. Last time we came was Oct. 2009. Paoli was founded by Peter Mats in 1846. It soon had a lumber mill, later becoming a grist mill. Also a cheese factory and other businesses necessary to build a thriving community. Several buildings were made of local stone, still standing and in use today.
Let’s begin our walk down Paoli Road, the main street which is the center of commerce here.
Across the street on our right are many beautiful shops, some in historic buildings. On the right is the Paoli Secret Garden, which opened on June 1 of 2013. The owners JJ and Kellie were busy setting things up when we stopped by. They took the time to pose for a picture with us and show us the many delightful products they had to offer. They would love for you to stop by! If you can’t come to the store, you can buy their products from their Etsy store.
Here is a “living table”. Also a look inside their shop in the yellow building.
Next door is Paoli Road Mercantile, formerly a whey house. It is built of large multi-colored rocks that give it such a unique and beautiful appearance.
Cluck the Chicken Store. They provide for the needs of chicken owners, as well as people who love cute chicken decor.
At the end of Paoli Road is Paoli Park, a great place to eat your lunch on a warm summer day. Bicyclists stop in Paoli also for refreshment on their ride. The Badger State Trail passes through town. It has a gazebo and a garden area with an arch. Also many mature trees.
I hope you enjoyed your visit to Paoli, we sure did!
This was our first time in Muscoda (pronounced Mus – co – day), located in Grant County by the Wisconsin River. Muscoda means “Prairie of Flowers”. They earned the status, “Morel Mushroom Capitol of the World.” The village is on the Lower Wisconsin River Road.
At 10:00 am we arrived downtown at Mushroom Headquarters. They sold lots of souvenirs of the festival. I got a brown hoodie with the festival logo on it. I wish I could say we ate some, but we didn’t. They are VERY expensive.
The first thing we saw was a kid’s parade celebrating the Morel.
A lot of fun things were going on, arts and crafts vendors had lots of great items, plenty of morel gifts. Here is a $150 bench and walking sticks.
Muscoda also has a delightful cafe and gift shop called The Pink Spot. We stopped there for lunch and conversation. Owner Katy Grimm loves chatting with her customers and even posing for a picture. She would love it if you would stop by 🙂
The festival also had a small car show and helicopter rides. Even chainsaw wood carving demos.
This festival was great fun, we hope to go back next year. At the northern edge of town is a great park and campsite, Victoria Riverside Park and Campsite. Its right at the edge of the Wisconsin River for easy access to water recreation. The park also has a beautiful gazebo overlooking the river. It even has a Little Free Library just before you turn in.
Here is the gazebo from across the river in winter. Beautiful!