Tag Archive | Shopping

The Matts House in Verona-Now The Purple Goose!


10-9-14

Al and I were in Verona, gathering photos for a blog post. We took a look at the businesses and buildings in town and discovered this. The Matts House in Verona, Wisconsin was vacant at that time and deemed an eyesore. It was one of the last historic buildings in town, built in the 1840’s. The only other building that is historic that is left is the Cahoots Bar, a former Stagecoach stop.

In my photo, you could see a sign that the house was for free to anyone who could get rid of it.  Thank goodness, nobody took up the offer.

We were shocked to see this and hoped somebody would save the house before possible demolition.


October 2016

Two years pass.  Building Rehabilitation Specialist Troy Rost persuaded the city alders to sell him the house for $1. Troy also restored the Stamm House in Middleton as well. He promised to have the house ready for occupation within two years. Read the article about this development here.  Also here.


October 19, 2017

The renovation was well underway at this point, we stopped by to take an interim picture of the house.

We attended a meeting in Verona that day called “What’s Up at the Matts House?”  Here is a video of the meeting you can also watch. It outlines the history of the house and showed some renovation photos. Troy Rost himself was the presenter.


2018

The building renovation is finished on schedule. Now, the next task is to find a tenant. The Purple Goose women’s boutique store jumped at the chance to move to this beautiful historical building. This was their building in 2017.

On October 13 of 2018, they reopened in their new building to an enthusiastic crowd. I was able to see it for myself on October 22nd. Very impressive!

This beautiful door is possibly from one of the previous businesses here, they kept it and it looks beautiful!

To the right of the register, step through the doorway for some beauty time at Makeup by Francesca. I am not skilled at all with makeup application. I will come here if I need her help!  Francesca Clemente will bring out your best features to look your best, whatever the occasion!

That’s not all, there is open space upstairs called the Brick House StudioTheresa Ann Stuesser holds many classes here.

Everyone interested in seeing the Matts House is welcome during business hours at The Purple Goose.  The citizens of Verona are grateful this beautiful building was saved for all to enjoy.  Thank you, Troy Rost, for taking charge and turning this dream into reality!

 

Wonewoc’s 20th Annual Old Fashioned Day


5-14-16 2nd Saturday in May

Wonewoc city sign

Old Fashioned Day schedule

Wonewoc is a community that celebrates simpler times with its annual Old Fashioned Day Festival.  Several blocks of Main St. are closed for many kinds of old-fashioned entertainment and activities.  We did visit Wonewoc last year, but on an ordinary day.

We got to town at 8:30. It was a cold day of around 40 and windy but that didn’t stop the fun, Wonewoc people are hearty!  The dunk tank was still there though, there were no takers. A large array of classic cars and tractors were on display.

Wonewoc Car Show

Tractors at Wonewoc Old Fashioned Day

We also enjoyed shopping at the stores downtown.  The Curiosity Shop should be one of your stops if you like antiques, collectibles and practical items. I found a durable backpack that will be used on future travels.

Curiosity Shop in Wonewoc

Curiosity Shop in Wonewoc inside

The Wonewoc Public Library had a great book sale and we got some books from there. There was also a raffle for baskets of goodies.

Wonewoc Public Library

There were a great many old-fashioned activities young and old enjoyed.  There was a bean bag toss,  Pinewood Car Derby, Kindschi Pedal Pull competition (never saw that before),  and crosscut saw competition.

Wonewoc Old fashioned Day activities

Kindschi Pedal Pulls in Logansville

Face painting by Clowns for Fun, $2.

Clowns for Fun face painting in Wonewoc

A bounce slide and house too.

Bounce Slide in Wonewoc

Enjoy the video of these activities at this wonderful festival.

The Wonewoc Bakery outdid themselves with their famous cream puffs. They sold so many that they ran out and had to make more.

Wonewoc Bakery and Old Blues Pizzeria

Wonewoc Bakery Cream Puff

Free wagon rides were given by Jenell Snyder of Horse Cartwheels, LLC. You can hire her out for one of your events too. The horse has a name, it’s Sugar and she was friendly and “talked” a lot during the ride.  here they are during the parade.

Horse cart Wheels info Wonewoc

Jenell and Sugar in Parade WM

Somebody horsing around.

Horsing around in Wonewoc

Our exciting day concluded at American Legion Post 206 for their famous post-Old Fashioned Day Chicken Supper.

American Legion Post 206 in Wonewoc Chicken supper

We had a great time and hope to return next year.

Old Fashioned Day in Wonewoc 5-14-16

Wonewoc Old Fashioned Day sign

 

 

Lodi – Home of Susie the Duck


4-29-16 / 8-8-15 and other visits

Lodi Signtree city usaByron Bickham plaque of Lodi

Duck into Downtown Lodi Collage

Lodi is a friendly city of 3,000 nestled in a valley about 1/2 hour north of Madison.  The name Lodi itself means “Peaceful Valley” so the name is apt.  Lodi is also a Tree City as of 2013. What an honor!  The Lodi Valley began to be settled as early as 1844, almost 100 years later incorporated as a city.  It was named after Lodi, Italy.  Susie the Duck is what really put Lodi on the map. Read the history of Susie here on this sign that used to be posted downtown by Spring Creek in 2006, for some reason it’s no longer there.

Susie the Duck history

Lodi Masonry Basket

This is the famous masonry basket.  On an October 2010 visit saw a couple of Susie’s kin in the basket.

Susie in Planter in Lodi

The rubber ducks you see floating down Spring Creek only happen on Susie the Duck Day, every 3rd Saturday in August. I have been to several of these festivals and had a really great time.  Spring Creek flows through the center of downtown, emptying out into the Wisconsin River.  Back in the early days of Lodi, Spring Creek once powered a flour mill, now beautiful Veterans Memorial Park.  The scene near the bridge has changed a little, this tree on the right is no longer there.

Veterans Memorial Park in Lodi

Veterans Park Bridge 2011 and 2015

The duck drop is done from this bridge. This is Emmy Fink, host of the program Discover Wisconsin.   They came to Lodi to cover Susie the Duck Day in 2013 and other fun attractions in the Lodi area. See the episode here.

Lodi has many historic homes going back to the city’s early history. This is the Daniel and Nellie Burns home on Mill Street.

Daniel and Nellie Burns House

 This MAY be the former home of Dr. Chval, but still need to confirm.

IMG_8153

 There is a stone fountain dedicated to him in Goeres Park.

Dr. Chval 1961 Fountain in Lodi

Overlooking the park is the beautiful Blessed Trinity Catholic Parish.  I was near the church when the chimes sounded at noon. I managed to record the music.

A little further down the street is the Lodi Curling Club. Read about the club’s history here. Also the Fairgrounds, complete with a historic one-room school house..

IMG_8663IMG_8665

 On Seminary Street is the John A. and Martha Robertson house. The smiley face in the window is cute!

John A. and Martha Robertson House

 Spend the night at the Victorian Dreams Bed and Breakfast.

Victorian Dreams Bed and Breakfast in Lodi

 The Frank T. and Polly Lewis House.

The Frank T. and Polly Lewis house

This beautiful house stands out, across from the Historic Hotel Lodi building on Main. See more historic Lodi and Columbia county here.

Lodi Historic House

 Across the street are a variety of art businesses in a former garage. The one I am familiar with is Gary N-Ski Photography.  He was the photographer for my brother’s wedding in 2008, great work. He also has prints for sale of pictures taken in the Lodi area. They participate in the Lodi Art Walk, between May and October.

Art Businesses in Lodi

Historic Hotel Lodi Building 2011

From here we turn back toward downtown on Main St. to see the many businesses there.  If you are here in August, you will find a self-serve Sweet Corn cart in the parking lot of Main Street Liquor, owned by the prominent Ness family. Their largest business is Ness Auto Sales and Service.  The sign inside the cart, you can get a large amount of corn too.

Main Street Liquor and Ness Corn CartScott Ness Sweet Corn for Sale in lodi

 On the right is the Kwik Trip and Fire Department. Also a gazebo with Lodi area information.

Lodi Information Center gazebo

 We now approach the main part of downtown at the intersection of Main and Portage Street (Highway 60).

Lodi Downtown at Main and Highway 60

Lodi Main Street Facing South

 Lodi Mini Mall at 105 Main on our left. The Lodi Enterprise newspaper is located here.

Lodi Mini Mall

 4-29-16

Directly across from here on the other corner is M of N Vapors, electronic cigarette shop. Some changes have occurred since I last visited in 2015. We will be back in July again for further updates.

Downtown Lodi-2016

 

On this same side is Dulvia’s Barber Shop.

Dulvia's Barbershop in Lodi

 Just up from the Mini Mall on the left is Downtown Coffee Grounds and Dale’s Place, open in 2014.

Coffee Bistro and Dale's Place in Lodi

 Next to Dale’s Place is the Spring Creek Business Center.

Spring Creek Business Center

 Next door is the La Grotta sull’acqua Wine and Spirits Lounge.

La Grotta sull'acqua Wine and Spirit's Lounge in Lodi

 Now we arrive at Spring Creek Park, relax by the water after a busy morning shopping 🙂  This is an archived photo from 2011, the corn dispensers are no longer there except for one, and it was empty. I brought my own dried corn to feed the ducks.

Spring Creek Park in Lodi

 Next is the Spring Creek Restaurant and Bar and Cottage House Primitives, a great shop for Colonial-style home decor. The City Hall is right next to it. On 4-29-16 we had dinner at the Spring Creek restaurant, great food and friendly staff! They also have a “duck cam” mounted to wall outside overlooking Spring Creek to watch for Susie on a big screen in the dining room. Great fun!

Lodi City Hall 2003Spring Creek Restaurant and Cottage House Primitives in Lodi

Spring Creek Restaurant and Bar

Spring Creek Restaurant Dining Room and logo

  Across from the Spring Creek Restaurant is Village Creek Quilting Fabrics & Home Decor, LLC.

Village Creek Quilting Fabrics and Home Decor

 We come to these buildings as we stay right, Sunfall on Main, an antique store.

Surfall on Main

 We now come near the end of South Main.  The former Bushnell’s Jewelery, closed November 2013, three months after my 2013 visit.  Next is Hamre Gunderson Funeral Home.  Also the former Weber Bakery, both closings due to the owners passing away. very sad about both.

Former Bushnell's Jewlery - Hamre Funeral Home- former Weber Bakery-Lloyd's and American Legion

Across from the funeral home is Nancy’s Floral and Gifts. The Lodi Enterprise Newspaper used to be here.  They kept the beautiful stained glass window.

Nancy's Floral and Gifts in Lodi

Nancy's Floral and Gifts for Lodi Enterprise

Tools of Freedom Nancy's Floral Stained Glass Window

 We then come to Lloyds Lower Level bar and the Lodi American Legion-Post 216.

American Legion Lodi year

It looks like they have a brat fry going on across the street, let’s get some lunch! They also served hot dogs, chips, a soda too.  $5 for a meal, the chips and soda included.  They don’t do this every Saturday, I got lucky!

American Legion Brat Fry in Lodi

The brats are made at Lodi Sausage Company and Meat Market, and it was delicious!

Lodi Sausage Company and Meat Market in Lodi

 After lunch, I was given a tour of the American Legion building which was recently renovated.  Beautiful work both inside out.  The front hall is large and can be rented out to host YOUR event, including use of the kitchen.  They are also now participating in the Lodi Art Walk event as well.

Contact Post Commander Eugene W. Neumaier by email at lodipost216@gmail.com for the details.  You can also call 370-3577 or 608-592-5290.  This fine organization is ready to assist any way they can. Find them on Facebook too to see their latest events. Thanks very much for the great tour, it was fun!

American Legion Collage emblem

Be sure to see the Veterans Memorial at Veterans Memorial Park.

Veterans Memorial in LodiVeterans Memorial Plaque in Lodi

 Near the end of South Main, next to the American Legion is the Jolivette Memorial Home, owned by the Lodi Valley Historical Society. They are open 10-1 on Saturdays May to November.  I finally was able to be here for a tour when the museum was open!

  On the grounds is the historic Palmer Tree, been here since around the time Lodi was settled. It’s a Bur Oak.  It was officially dedicated on Arbor Day in 1997.

Jolivette House and schoolbell in Lodi

Palmer Tree and Plaque

On the grounds is also a school bell inside the little shelter above.

Lodi Grade School Bell and Plaque in Lodi

 We are now approaching the end of South Main, this is the view looking north. The remaining businesses at the top of the street…

Bushnell FordVern’s AppliancesPrairie Valley Resale Store, a non-profit helping those in need. We have been there and had a fun treasure hunt!

Downtown Lodi-South Main looking North 2011

 Schultz Insurance Services, the “house” at the top of the street.

Schultz Insurance Services in Lodi

 Other businesses just outside of downtown.

Three Bats in the Belfry, a great antique and gift shop.

Three Bats in the Belfry store in Lodi

 A major business is Lodi Canning.

Lodi Canning Company

 Lodi also offers camping at Smokey Hollow Campground.  They take a big part in the Susie the Duck Day parade and festivities.  Especially the parade! Here is their HUGE driving shopping cart, quite unique!

Smokey Hollow Campground Shopping Cart in Lodi

Piggly Wiggly Grocery Store

Piggly Wiggly Grocery Store in Lodi

Koltes Do-It Center hardware store and lumber

Koltes Do-It Center in Lodi

Lodi is a  great place to visit. Great shopping and beauty all year around and most of all, friendly people who say “Hi” back when you do.  Nearby is the Merrimac Ferry or Gibraltar Rock to add more fun to your day trip.

Merrimac Ferry

Gibraltar Rock

Wisconsin Dells – Part 2 – Attractions and More!


1-15-15 , 8-6-16 and other visits

Wisconsin Dells sign

We are fortunate living within 50 miles of this great area of Wisconsin with so much fun and beauty.  Here I am going to touch on other parts of the Dells,  Broadway being the main focus of our first excursion.   We have been to some of the attractions and hope to get to more of them when summer comes back around.

Our first trip together to the Dells was the Dells Boat Tour.  We enjoyed this trip on 6-30-02.  This is one of the oldest attractions and most popular. It’s two parts, Upper and Lower Dells. You can choose just one or do both in a day. We did both and sure had a lot of fun! This view is where you begin the upper Dells tour. We did the tours again on 6-17-15.

Upper Dells boatlanding

 The Lower Dells, this is Kilbourn Dam.

Lower Dells view and Kilbourne Dam

At the top of the landing you get a great view of the boats below.

Lower Dells Boat Landing in the Dells

The boat tours and many other attractions are located on the Wisconsin Dells Parkway.  This is one of the Wisconsin Ducks, another tour venue, this time on an amphibious vehicle enabling it to traverse both water and land.  There is also an Army Duck tour.  We have not taken those tours yet. You can take a selfie by an Army Duck on the Parkway.

Wisconsin Dells Parkway

Army Duck selfie at Dells

Also on the parkway is Paul Bunyan’s Cook Shanty and recently added, the Lumberjack Show. We ate there once (yum!) but not yet seen the new show. The food was great! Open spring through fall.

Paul Bunyan in the Dells

We enjoyed a great lunch at Sprecher’s on 6-17-15 before out Lower Dells boat ride.

Sprecher's in the Wisconsin Dells

 Also on the Parkway is Mt. Olympus Water and Theme Park. This is quite a big theme park. Complete with a Trojan Horse.  They also have a hotel too.

Mt. Olympus Water and Theme Park in Dells

Top Secret is a thrill-based attraction.

Top Secret at the Dells

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In 2012 we enjoyed a long-time music venue since the 1970’s, The Wisconsin Opry.  If you like Classic Country music with a bit of gospel, you will enjoy coming here. We plan on returning this summer.  Before the show, you enjoy a turkey dinner.

Wisconsin Opry Sign back at Dells

Wisconsin Opry in Dells

Wisconsin Opry Ensemble at Dells

 There is more to see here than the Wisconsin Opry though.  There is also Cindy’s Café (we’ve eaten there), also an antique and craft store. You will have a great time here! The Dickinson Family welcomes you!

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Not far from the Opry is one of the  Ho-Chunk Gaming resorts. We don’t gamble, we go there to have a great meal, also entertainment! Something for everyone there, including a hotel. They often have live music performances as well. Summer of 2016 we went back to watch Wasira Ho-Chunk dancing for one hour. It was a free show it was great! Enjoy an excerpt here.

Ho-Chunk Casino in the Dells

Inside Ho-Chunk Casino

Inside Ho-Chunk 2

wasira-poster-at-ho-chunk-summer-2016

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 There are many themed hotels in the Dells to give your overnight stay a special touch.  Our favorite one on 223 Wisconsin Ave, the Parkway Motel with a train theme. You can stay in the 1966 Soo Line Caboose ($85 per night, $105 weekends), or the main hotel.

Antoni Wolan (owner) passed away on June 20, 2015.  We are not sure if the stand or motel will be re-opening.

Parkway Motel in the Dells

Soo Line Caboose hotel room in Dells

 Take a look inside, very nice!

Inside Soo Caboose in Dells

Spring through fall, you can also get a Vienna Hot Dog and other great food at their Raildog stand, served from a historic 1956 caboose. We plan on coming back in the spring for a great lunch here!

Parkway Motel and Raildog in Dells

Listen in on their low power radio station, it may not be on the air any more.

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You can even get married  Las Vegas-style at the Dells Bells Wedding Chapel. Located across from the Amtrak station.

Dells Bells Wedding Chapel

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On our visit in January, we went bowling and had pizza for lunch at Knuckleheads Bowling and Indoor Amusement Park. We sure had fun and the pizza was delicious!

Knuckleheads at the Dells

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If shopping is your thing, there is plenty to be had here.   On Broadway is plenty of shopping, though some stores are closed in the winter. Another store near Broadway is Aunt Jenny’s Got It All Store.

Aunt Jenny's Got It All Store in Dells

 If you like the name-brand stores, stop by Tanger Outlets mall.

Tanger Outlets Mall in Dells

 We hope you enjoyed this brief overview of the Wisconsin Dells.  There is much to see and do here. Wave goodbye to the Sinclair dinosaur in Lake Delton as you leave Tanger Outlets at this nearby Citgo Dino Stop. View more Dinos around the country here.

Citgo Dino Goodbye in Dells

Hot Website Links

Wisdells.com

Explore Downtown Dells

Dells.com

Chamber of Commerce

Wisconsindells.com

Dells Country Historical Society

Parkway Motel and Raildog

Ho-Chunk Gaming – All Locations

Wisconsin Dells – 7 Blocks on Broadway


6-20-12 and 1-15-15 and 6-3-15 and many more

Wisconsin Dells sign

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.

Fort Dells marker at Wisconsin Dells

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.

Amtrak  and Canadian Pacific Train bridge in Wisconsin Dells

Wisconsin Dells Bridge plaque

 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.

Wisconsin Dells Amtrak Depot

 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.

Wisconsin Dells MarkerStanton Peter Helland plaque

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.

Broadway Ave in WI Dells

Showboat Saloon in the Dells

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.

 Other businesses on that side are Vintage Photos, Wisconsin Dells Fudge, Professor Porter’s Old Time Portraits and Haunted Mansion. We had a saloon picture taken at Old Time Portraits in Nov. 2008. That was fun!

Broadway 100 block businesses

Old Time Photo 11-15-08 in Wisconsin Dells

 Wizard Quest was on the other side of the street on this block.

Wizard Quest at Wisconsin Dells

 In the summer you can stop at this booth for all the boat tour information and tickets. There are several booths available on Broadway. Next to it is Dairy Queen, Ripley’s Believe it Or Not,  The Candy Connection,  and Yuval Wear clothing.  Across from here is Swiss Maid Fudge.  This ends the 100 block.

Dells Boat Tour ticket booth

End of 100 Block of Broadway at Wisconsin Dells

Swiss Maid Fudge in Wisconsin Dells

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Broadway – 200 Block

We cross River Rd. and the first place is Nig’s Bar,  Souvenir City, Uptown Trading Post, the H.H. Bennett Studio and History Center, and Old Abe’s Old Time Portraits. Coincidentally, our visit on January 15 also happened to be H.H. Bennett’s birthday too! We visited the studio on June 14, 2015 to celebrate the 150th Anniversary.

Broadway 200 Block Businesses in Wisconsin Dells

H.H. Bennett and Old Time Pictures

H.H. Bennett Museum in the Dells

The Bennett studio is the actual one he worked out of, and we saw two historical plaques on the courtyard gate.

 H.H. Bennett Plaque at WI DellsOliver and Jean Dyer Reese plaque in the Dells

 Rounding out the block on this side is Cheese Cake Heaven®, open seasonally.

 Cheesecake Heaven in Dells

 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.

Buy clothes at Alpha Beta Karma next to Macs. Left of this store is another clothing store called Too Cute. Next in line is Wisconsin Dairyland Fudge, here since 1962.  Next is Scent-Sations. More great food at Monk’s Bar and Grill,  serving the Dells since 1947.

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.

Finishing up this block is the Dells Fudge Company, Animaland for toys and games.  Last is the High Rock Cafe.  This block is the most dense for businesses on this historic street.

Right side of 200 Block of Broadway  in Dells

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 Broadway – 300 Block

300 Block of Broadway in the Dells left side

We cross Oak Street to see what’s here, still plenty of places to see.  This is the left side, beginning with Wally World Arcade, a popular place since opening in 1998. It houses the Dells only antique carousel. Next is Elements Skateboard Shop, then the Dells Discount Outlet.  Rounding out this side is Book World, Wisconsin Dells Realty, Subway, Paintball Target Shooting and Best Bargain. A new Great Harvest Bread Co. recently opened here on the end cap of this row.

Great Harvest bread Co. in the Dells

On the right side we have Native Sun Resortwear and Gifts, Shirts R-Us (closed) and KDC Traders.  On the left is the historic Stroud Bank,  now The Wild Fun Zone.

300 Block of Broadway Right side in Dells

Stroud Bank plaque in the Dells

Wild Fun Zone Stroud bank in Wisconsin Dells on Broadway

Stroud Bank building on Broadway

This block concludes with Colotlán Mexican Restaurant and The Frozen Bear Frosty Treats.

The Frozen Bear on Broadway

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Broadway  – 400 Block

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.

A Dells Visitor Center is next to Unique. This side of the block concludes with Eagle Wings Sportswear, Dells Mining Company and Famous Dave’s BBQ. The right side is even more interesting.  We begin with Chalet Lanes and Lounge and the Bavarian Village with German Glockenspiel.  Let’s watch it tell the Pied Piper story!

Left side

400 Block of Broadway in Dells left side

It was so interesting inside, so much candy and treats!

Goody Goody Gumdrop store inside on Broadway

Right side

Chalet Building in Wisconsin Dells on Broadway

400 Block of Broadway Bavarian Village on Broadway in Dells right side

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Broadway – 500 Block

 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.

500 Block of Broadway left side in Dells

The first is a BMO Harris Bank on the left corner, then an Italian restaurant called Carvelli Pizza and Pasta House.

500 Block of Broadway Carvelli

Next is Affordable Leather and More, Cutting Edge Fitness,  Paint It! Pottery Shop and Clothing Company for women’s clothes. The last business on this side of the street is a women’s boutique called Flirts.

500 Block of Broadway-Flirts

On the right side is Fitzgerald’s Motel.

500 Block of Broadway Fitzgerald's Motel

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Broadway- 600 Block

On the right side of this block is the Colonial Motel.

600 Block on Broadway Colonial Motel

This house on the left is Screnock & Field Law Office.

600 Block of Broadway Screnock & Field Law Office in Dells

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Broadway – 700 Block

On our left is the Roadhouse Saloon. And the Starlite Motel.

700 Block of Broadway Roadhouse Saloon

700 Block of Broadway Starlite Motel in Dells

We reach another historic site on this block in Bowman Park.  This is the Dells Country Historical Museum.

700 Block of Broadway Dells Country Historical Museum

The yellow metal lion in front of the Bowman House is itself historical and has a plaque.  it is possibly over 200 years old.

Dixon Lion Plaque at Bowman House in Dells

700 Block of Broadway Dixon Lion

It was a nice day to explore this famous street in the Dells and see all it has to offer. We will be back soon!

Sun Prairie – Groundhog Capital of the World!


Sun Prairie Sign

Sun Prairie is a growing city of over 30,000 just northeast of Madison.  The history of how it got its name is quite interesting. In 1837, President Martin Van Buren commissioned a party of 45 men to build a capitol building for the territory of Wisconsin. They left from Milwaukee on May 26, 1837.  They traveled many days in the rain to scout out the area near Madison. On June 9,  they  emerged at the end of a prairie and the sun came out for the first time at that moment. They carved the words “Sun Prairie” into a tree and the name stuck.  We were able to find the site of where that famous tree was. Take Highway 19 out-of-town about two miles, heading toward Marshall. On Skala Road to the left, the tree was located between the railroad tracks and 19. A farm is here.

Skala Road in Sun Prairie Tree site

Charles Bird was the first settler.  Bird Street in the city was named after him.The town of Sun Prairie was created on Feb 2, 1846 (Groundhog Day!). The city, which grew out of the town, was incorporated in 1858.

Some of the city’s historical buildings remain and their downtown is quite active with many festivals throughout the year. Let’s explore the local history.  A good place to begin is the Sun Prairie Historical Museum. They have displays that change yearly and seasonally, and with an appointment you can make use of the research room with a docent who can help you find historical information. The museum was built on the site of the home of the first settler, Charles Bird. A street is named after him.

Sun Prairie Historical Museum

 The museum also has received historical records from the Town of Burke, a town that being dissolved by 2026.  We live in Burke.  The first Burke Town Hall strangely enough, is in Sun Prairie, still in use. It is behind McGovern’s Club and Restaurant.

Former Burke Town Hall in Sun Prairie

 McGovern’s itself has been a mainstay of Sun Prairie since 1935.  Visitors can stay at the hotel for a night or an extended stay.

McGovern's in Sun Prairie

The  Adam and Mary Smith House was built between 1856-1860. It is located at Smith’s Crossing homes community on the outskirts of Sun Prairie.

Adam and Mary Smith House in Sun PrairieSmith House plaque

 Sun Prairie also has the distinction of being the first city in Wisconsin to implement free rural mail delivery, you will find the marker at the Post Office.

Rural Mail marker in Sun Prairie

 

 Downtown you will find the former City Hall building.

City Hall 1895 in Sun Prairie

 

Across on the left you will find Ski’s Saloon, open from  2011 to 2016.  In the fall of 2016 it has new owners Cory and Abby Barr reopening it as The Barr House.  The building was a tobacco shed originally.

July 10, 2018-The Barr House building exploded, possible natural gas. The building is now gone.

Ski's Saloon in Sun Prairie

 Across the street is a row of buildings, including the former hardware store on the left.  There now is Atlantis Taverna, a great Greek restaurant. Also Sun City Cyclery and Skates. Al bought a pair of ice skates here too. Emery Art is on the right.

Downtown Historic Sun Prairie Buildings

 

We now come upon Cannery Square, the heart of downtown and the current site of Jimmy the Groundhog’s annual prognostication on Feb 2nd.  We have attended many of these since 2002. This used to be where the factories in Sun Prairie were in the 19th and early 20th centuries were.  Renovation was complete in 2004 and it’s now a mixed living and retail center. In the square proudly stands a wood carving of Jimmy. You can see it on the right side of this picture of the square. Many festivals now take place here, this is the annual Fall Festival in October.

Jimmy Sculpture in Sun PrairieCannery Square in Sun Prairie

 

Jimmy the Groundhog in Sun Prairie

 

Famous artist Georgia O’Keeffe was also born in Sun Prairie and a marker can be found on Main St. across Cannery Square. The city has a festival every year to celebrate her contributions to the world of art.

Georgia O'Keeffe marker in Sun Prairie

 

The performing arts also have a strong foothold here.  The Sun Prairie Civic Theater puts on four performances each year. This is “The Barn”, where the stage parts and props are stored. They always need more people to come join the fun!

The Barn for Community Theater in Sun Prairie

 We have enjoyed many great meals at the Market Street Diner on the square. Carl’s Cakes is another business inside of this one, a fine partnership!

Market Street Diner and Carl's Cakes in Sun Prairie

Just opened Fall 2013 is The Nitty Gritty, located in the nearby historic Fuhremann Canning Factory, built in 1900. it was a place for farmers to sell their produce.  Now it is mixed retail. The Nitty Gritty is on the right.

Fuhremann Cannery Building in Sun Prairie

Fuhremann Canning Factory plaque

The Dr. Charles D. Crosse House is another museum in town. They also are a part of many of the city’s festivals throughout the year. He was the city’s doctor early in the city’s history and helped establish the first high school. He later served as a state legislator also.

Dr. Crosse House in Sun PrairieCrosse House plaque

 No longer in use is the Chase Grain Elevator, an interesting structure.

Chase Grain Elevator 1922

At Angell Park is a mural with all the important landmarks in Sun Prairie.  Angell Park is also home to Angell Park Speedway, for Midget Car Racing. The annual Sweet Corn Festival is also here.

Angell Park Mural in Sun Prairie

Freshly steamed corn

On the left side of the mural is the historic water tower on Columbus St., built in 1899.

Sun Prairie Water Tower

 On Windsor Street  is the beautiful Birkinbine House.

Birkinbine House on 305 Windsor in Sun Prairie

 This concludes our visit to the historic downtown Sun Prairie. It is expanding way beyond this area, with many businesses on the edges of the city in all directions. It’s called Prairie Lakes and is still growing.  Sun Prairie is your destination for fun events and shopping. To learn more, stop at the Chamber of Commerce downtown on Main, next to the Historical Museum.

 

Port Washington – Wisconsin Harbor Town


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Port Washington signCircle Tour sign

 Port Washington  is a charming harbor community of 11,500 on the shores of Lake Michigan, about 30 miles north of Milwaukee. Al was here when he was a teen, but I had never been there before.  Port Washington also is part of the Lake Michigan Circle Tour, something we hope to do someday. We had already been to several cities on the tour:  Chicago, Milwaukee, Green Bay, Sheboygan, Manitowoc, and  Sturgeon Bay. It was time for lunch, and we saw a Brat(wurst) Fry in a parking lot.  We stopped and got a couple. Brat Fry Shopko ExpressBrat Fry Brat Fry Port Washington

 

This Brat Fry was put on by the Port Gridiron Club. They were delicious! Thanks guys for a great lunch 🙂

Lunch done, we headed to the 1860 Light Station and Museum on St. Mary’s Hill.  The view offered a beautiful view of Lake Michigan, looking blue as the ocean.

1860 Light Station Port Washington

 

View from St. Mary's Hill

 

We also took a look at St. Mary’s Church, a beautiful church that overlooks the city’s historic downtown.

St. Mary's Church in Port Washington

 

We went down the hill to see downtown and the Breakwater Light House. You can see the church overlooking downtown.

Port Washington downtown

As we walked toward the Marina, we saw this historic marker.

Wisconsin Chair Co. Fire marker

 

A view of the Marina, with the control building in view. There are many Fishing Charters for hire. In fact, we saw a boat full of fishermen heading out into the lake.

Port Washington Marina

 

Port Washington Fishing

Afternoon or a cloudy day is the best time to see the light house so the sun hits the west side of it.  It contrasted with the blue sky perfectly!

Breakwall Light House

Selfie time!

Greetings From Port Washington

There were many interesting businesses downtown. A Duluth Trading Company. It is in the former Smith Brothers Fish Shanty building. The sign was left up as it is an iconic part of the historic building.  The other other brick and mortar store is in Mt. Horeb.

Duluth Trading Company and Smith Fish Shanty

Also Vines to Cellar Winery.

Vines to Cellar Winery PW

 

To look sharp lakeside, Anchor Menswear has great clothes.

Anchor Menswear

Victor’s Pier Street Shanty Restaurant.

Victor's Pier Street Shanty

Dockside Deli, near marker we saw.

Dockside Deli

 

Our last stop was Bernie’s Fine Meats, great meats made on site. Brats and sausages for the grill!  Friendly staff there, they will happy slice meat to order 🙂   Also a selection of wine and beer. We got a pound of summer sausage to bring home, yum!

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Bernie's Fine Meats inside

 

We enjoyed our visit to Port Washington and the quaint Marine atmosphere made us feel right at home.

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