Tag Archive | train

Amherst and Amherst Junction

7-6-15     Portage County

Amherst and neighboring Amherst Junction was settled around 1852, most settlers Yankees and English-speaking Canadians. It may have been named after the hometown of one of the settlers from Amherst, Nova Scotia.

We first stopped in Amherst Junction. The historic State Bank Building.

Downtown Amherst Junction WM

Amherst Junction State Bank Building WM

A couple of businesses, Carbo’s Junction Bar and Lake Emily Inn.

Carbo's Junction Bar and Lake Emily Inn in Amherst Junction WM

The first thing we noticed were two railroad tracks, upper and lower. A sign nearby explains the history of that.  Only freight trains use these tracks now.

Amherst Junction Dual Tracks WM

Amherst Junction Dual Level Tracks WM

The sign is on the Tomorrow River State Trail.

Tomorrow River State Trail Collage WM

We then went went to the nearby village of Amherst to see the dam and bridge.

Amherst sign and watertowerAmherst banner

Amherst Downtown

Amherst Dam WM

The bridge and even a sign describing its history.

Mill Street Bridge in Amherst WM

Mill Street Bridge History in Amherst

Sometimes vehicle trouble can happen on the road, we were hearing a loud scraping sound when the brakes were applied. We discovered Amherst had an excellent auto repair shop called T & T Automotive. We went right there and they took care of us in one hour, even though we just dropped in.  We give them a stamp of approval for their fast and excellent service.

T and T Auto in Amherst

T  and T Automotive in Amherst approved

We will be back in Amherst perhaps next year to learn more about this town. This community saved our trip and maybe our vehicle from damage.

Civil War Reenactment – Milton


Milton House

We attended Milton’s Civil War Reenactment and Encampment on this spring day.  We enjoyed our first visit to Milton last year and thought we would enjoy going to this festival.  It used to be in Evansville but now moved to Milton. Some tents were set up behind the Milton House where the soldiers were mustering for battle at Milton College up the street.

Civil War soldier muster in Milton

After lining up in formation, we slowly marched to the college.

Civil War soldiers march

We arrived at the college, stopping many passersby in their track who may not have known about this event 🙂  Let’s watch some of their drills.

After we enjoyed watching them practice, they posed for a picture by the Beloit College sign.

Civil War Soldiers Sepia in Milton

We marched back to the encampment at Goodrich Park where activity was picking up. Someone was even cooking over an open fire. People in period clothing read stories to the kids about life in the 1860’s, children played in period clothing also.

Encampment in Milton

Civil War Crafts and Entertainment

It was fun looking back in time, knowing the Milton House was a part of this scene then, recreated now.  We saw a lady crossing the track in period costume. You could almost imagine it was a steam train instead of a modern diesel.

Lady Crossing Railroad Track in Milton

Trees Grow in Brooklyn


Brooklyn signtree city usa

Many trees in fact, grow in Brooklyn.  The village of 1,413 is a designated Tree City since 2013. Located in both Dane and Green County, it’s a great place to visit close to Madison and Oregon.  It was named Brooklyn by settler Hiram Capwell after he succeeded in luring the railroad to lay track through his property.

We first went to Liberty Pole Hill Park, a former Civil War recruitment site.

Liberty Pole Hill Park sign

Liberty Pole Hill in Brooklyn

A historic bell can be found outside at the fire department.

Fire Alarm Bell in Brooklyn

 Edmund Andrews, a prominent businessman from New York, had the house built in 1976. It is on 100 West Main.

Edmund Andrew House in Brooklyn

Brooklyn used to be the site of the Capitol Chair factory, a stone building near the tracks behind the Edmund Andrews house. The structure still stands.

Chair Factory building in Brooklyn

Brooklyn also has an active community center.


 Downtown is the Brooklyn Jacycee Childrens Park, lots of fun for the kids!

Brooklyn Jaycee Children's Park

Not far from here is the village gazebo near the tracks.

Brooklyn Gazebo

We also discovered the former blacksmith shop nearby.

Blacksmith shop in Brooklyn

We tend to gravitate towards historic churches also. and the Brooklyn Community United Methodist Church has beautiful stained-glass windows. It was built in 1902. One of the ladies working there happened to see me admiring the church from the outside and invited me in to look around and to see the beautiful windows from inside. Thank you!

Brooklyn Community United Methodist Church

Brooklyn Methodist Church Windows

Shop at Market Place Trash & Treasures store for previously-owned items.

Market Place Trash and Treasure in Brooklyn

Relax at the Anchor Club, open since 1949!

Anchor Club in Brooklyn

For a relaxing day in the country and lots of trees, come to Brooklyn!Downtown Brooklyn

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


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


 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


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


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


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


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!