Tag Archive | Little Free Library

Circus World Museum in Baraboo – 60 Years of Circus Fun!

8-25-13  and  5-27-17

Baraboo and Delavan are both cities with a strong heritage in the circus. Circus World Museum is one of many historic landmarks in Wisconsin that combines fun with learning for their visitors.  Circus World opened in 1959.

The first time I visited there was in the summer of 1980 with my brother and cousins. My grandfather Norm Braton took us there. Here are a couple pictures from then. My brother Lee is standing in front of the Lee Brothers Circus Wagon, he is on the right. I am on the right side of the truck. I’m 14 here.

Their many friendly volunteers are always standing by to answer your questions.  Our favorite volunteer is John Vick.  He remembered us from our first visit in 2013,  we were happy to see him again!

There is a wagon on display outside of the building under a canopy to see.

2013 – We arrived at 9:30. Today was a rare day with free admission, and the crowd was large.  It was almost the end of the summer season. 


We made a return trip in 2017 on May 27 for Military Service Appreciation Day (Memorial Day Weekend) so it was another free visit! This time, it was not real crowded since attendance was limited to veterans and current military people and their families.

 This was the museum’s schedule that day.

Here is a map of the grounds.

Since today was a special day honoring Military personnel, there was also a ceremony honoring them. It was held in the Hippodrome at 9:30 AM.

See the program here.


After the ceremony, we looked around the grounds until it was time to see the circus performance at 11 AM.   Enjoy the Circus Sideshow, people of different abilities need to make a living too so many joined the circus if they had trouble earning getting a job in a traditional career.

Your admission includes most of the day’s activities but not all. Stop by the ticket elephant to get tickets for elephant rides ($10), face painting, pony ride and the carousel!

There are circus performances only in the summer. In  2013 it took place in the Hippodrome.  In 2017 the show took place in the much larger Big Top Circus Tent. Video recording is not allowed, only photos. Here are a few.

This year the show had a 70’s theme, complete with disco moves at the beginning of the show.

Kelly and Margaret


Steve Copeland and Ryan Combs are the funniest clowns. They replaced Roger whom we saw in 2013. They have their own website so you can keep track of their whereabouts.  More about them later 🙂

2013 Performance

Circus World Museum elephant

Roger the Clown was so funny!

Ringmaster and Roger the Clown

After the performance, there was an encore to the show indoors, the Wheel of Destiny.  See it here!

We had lunch at the Cookhouse Grill near the Hippodrome. They serve up favorites like corn dogs, burgers and more!

We then went to the W.W. Deppe Circus Wagon Pavillion for the circus wagon tour.  Our tour guide was John Goodall.  Take the tour with us!

He had a great deal of information to share and welcomed questions from everyone. There were so many beautiful wagons!  They have a REAL Wells Fargo stagecoach.

Wells Fargo Stagecoach

We close with the Gavioli Band Organ from 1905.

Gavioli Band Wagon

We enjoyed quite a good time viewing all of the indoor exhibits. These are in the main building.

There is even a costume rack to get a great selfie.

This exhibit is amazing!  This coach is Cinderella’s Carriage from about 1923. The lanterns are so pretty!

There is even a Band Organ you can make play music for 50 cents. I did just that, take a listen!

On June 5th, some of these performers came to Madison to do a show at the top of State Street.  Our favorite clowns Steve and Ryan came too. In fact, they saw our camera mounted on a bike helmet and made it part of the show. What a thrill! See the video too!

There is so much to see and do here, we will be back again.   Fun for all ages! Don’t forget to get a souvenir at the gift shop 🙂   I got a hat!


Circus World also has a big celebration in July, involving the whole community of Baraboo. Since there no longer is a Circus Train that goes to Milwaukee, since 2012 there has been a Big Top Circus Parade on the Square in July.  We went in  2017 and had a wonderful time!

Your donations and your memberships are very much appreciated!

31st Annual Morel Mushroom Festival in Muscoda




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.

Tame big ones Morel Kids

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.

Morel benchwalking 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 🙂

Pink Spot small

Katy Grimm text sm

The festival also had a small car show and helicopter rides.  Even chainsaw wood carving demos.

Chainsaw Carvingcar show


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.

Victoria Riverside ParkFreeLibrary

Here is the gazebo from across the river in winter. Beautiful!


Victoria Riverside Park Gazebo framed

I hope you enjoyed your visit, we sure did!

History is Kept Alive in Cedarburg

5-13-13 and 6-23-13

This was our first time in Cedarburg together, my first in about 17 years. It’s in Ozaukee county, 20 miles north of Milwaukee. We arrived at 8:45 AM and our first stop was Covered Bridge Park.  This is the last covered bridge of this design in Wisconsin, crossing Cedar Creek.

Covered Bridge 2

Last Covered Bridge sign_2645Al and Laurie Text

After the park we went to their Washington Ave. Historic District. Over 200 buildings in Cedarburg have been preserved and restored, bustling with many interesting businesses.

The city used to have a train called the Interurban that took workers to Milwaukee. The train is long gone, but the original train depot is still there. There was a Little Free Library designed to look like the depot. The train track corridor is now the Interurban Trail for bikes and pedestrians. It’s 30 miles long.

Frametext Interurban DepotLittle Library depotIMG_2766Riding the Interurban

Interurban bridgeWashington Ave Historic District sign

Cedarburg Historyclock

Two impressive structures are side-by-side on Columbia  Road. First is  Landmark Feed, Seed and Supply, first a grist mill constructed in 1855. It’s 5 stories high and towers above Cedar Creek.

Grist Mill


Next to it is The Pagoda Fine Jewelry store.


Here is some interesting history on the mills and Cedar Creek.

First 100 Years

Mills on the CreekOrigins of Cedar Creek

The nearby Fire Department and Municipal Building are also in historic structures.

Fire Dept cropIMG_7672

We continue down Washington Ave to the Cedar Creek Settlement.. It’s a group of historic industrial buildings that now house about 30 shops including three restaurants.


We had lunch at the Anvil Pub and Grille there. It is the former blacksmith shop, and anvils were scattered throughout the restaurant.  Our food was delicious!  A stone hearth oven cooks the food now instead of softening iron for blacksmiths. They had historic pictures of when it was a working blacksmith shop.

Anvil BarStone Hearth Oven

Blacksmith pic

We had a great visit here, this summary barely scratches to surface of our 5 1/2 hour visit.  I encourage you to come if you can, the shopping is fantastic!  I leave you with this mural I found painted on a wall.