Tag Archive | Train Depot

Marinette – Expanding Horizons


6-26-16

Marinette Water tower

Marinette is a city just across the Menominee River and Menominee, Michigan.  It has a population of nearly 11,000.   We didn’t have much research for this city, we did know that there is a historic train depot here so we went to see that.  Very interesting!

Marinette Depot

Marinette Train depot

That’s all on Marinette that we have at this time.  This video can provide a little more information.

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

Mineral Point – Clay in May


5-3-14

Mineral Point signMineral Point Water tower

It has been almost a year since our last trip to Mineral Point, and it was time to go back!  On our last visit we took a tour of historic Pendarvis and Shake Rag Alley, very exciting! This time,  we returned downtown to see what we missed.

This weekend was their first festival of the season, their big “Clay in May” event.  This festival focuses on the many pottery artists in town, it was the 5th year.  The artists give visitors a tour of their studios, behind the showroom we see in the front of the store.  Four businesses took part in this event:

1. Brewery Pottery

2. The Mulberry Pottery

3. Windy Ridge Pottery

4. Howdle Studio – Bruce Howdle

Roland Sardeson – Pottery and mason, Shake Rag Alley artist.

Howdle Studios

We took the tour of Howdle studio, what beautiful work!  Bruce Howdle was happy to show us his latest creations, including works in progress.  Private customers can even commission from him custom pieces of art.

Howdle Studio insideBruce Howdle and us

In the back room of his studio his artist friend Roland Sardeson was making beautiful works of art on his potter’s wheel as we watched. On a couple of tables he had small pieces for sale too,  I got a tea-cup.  His artist skills cover a wide scope of categories.  He has even built this Free Little Library, beautiful!

Roland Sardeson pottery

Roland Sardeson

Roland Sardeson Little Library

We had lunch at the Red Rooster Cafe again, we loved it the first time we went last June.   This time we saved room for their famous Figgy-Hobbin dessert,  brought by the Cornwall miners a long time ago.  Yum!

Red Rooster Collage

Our visit included seeing other historic buildings we missed the last time.

The Walker House

The Walker House

The Mineral Point Railroad Depot Museum  Photography of exhibits are prohibited,  admission is charged.

Mineral Point Railroad Museum

Historic Jail Alley buildings.

Parley Eaton House

Jail Alley House

Jail Alley house row

 

As always, we enjoyed our visit to Mineral Point. Each visit is different and special!

Mineral Point Dog

West Bend – Geocaching Capitol of the Midwest


4-5-14 and 8-9-15

West Bend sign

West Bend is a vibrant community of 30,000  in Washington County that is quite beautiful and is quite active in the arts and recreation. It is also the county seat.  In fact, the city proudly proclaims themselves to be “Geocaching Capitol of the Midwest”™   We have not at this point taken up that activity, so we explored some of the other fine points of the city.  Just outside of the city we found a historic marker explaining an important fact about the rivers in the area.  In 2015 Al returned to West Bend to take a look at the new marker that was put up in 2014.  This marker is dedicated to their famous West Bend Aluminum Company. Just beyond the sign is the former West Bend building, converted into River Shores Point Luxury Condominiums.

Great Divide MarkerWest Bend Aluminum Company marker WM

West Bend River Shores Condominiums WM

Our first stop upon arrival was the former train depot.  Running next to it is The Eisenbahn State Trail which is 5  1/2 miles long. We saw many people using it that morning.

West Bend Depot

On a bench at the depot there were two cute frogs 🙂

West Bend frogs

The white building to the left of the depot is the new Museum of Wisconsin Art.  All of the art inside has been created by only Wisconsin artists.

Museum of Wisconsin Art

Just across the street is the Milwaukee River that once provided power to the community.  The river bends to the west here, hence the name  “West Bend”  was given the community. It was incorporated in 1885.

West Bend in Milwaukee River

After crossing the river on a bridge (behind this view, we explored their beautiful historic downtown.

West Bend downtown

West Bend downtown 2

The go-to outdoor store is Mountain Outfitters, they have equipment for a variety of sports for all seasons.

Mountain Outfitters

Candy Man and Theater

Also on North Main is  Candyman on Main and a two-screen movie theater, dating back to 1929.

After exploring downtown we headed up the hill to 320 S. 5th Ave to visit the historic Courthouse and Jail. It is the tall spire on the right.

West Bend Courthouse on right

West Bend Historic Courthouse

This beautiful courthouse is now a museum, the Washington County Historical Society has worked hard to make this a great place to visit.  We took about 90 minutes to tour the courthouse.  If you have enough time (45 minutes), you can also tour the equally impressive Jail to the left of the Courthouse.

West Bend historic jail

Here is a marker in front of the courthouse.

Court House Square

After our tour, we looked at the former house across the street from the court house, first owned by James Kneeland. It is now The Popular Inn.

The Poplar Inn-Freeland House

Kneeland House plaque

We really enjoyed our visit to West Bend and plan on returning again to tour the jail since we ran out of time. It was time to visit Port Washington!

Hot Website Links

* West Bend Chamber of Commerce

* City of West Bend

* Downtown West Bend

* Visit West Bend – A Living Masterpiece

* Museum of Wisconsin Art

* Washington County

The Don Q Inn in Dodgeville – A Quirky Hotel


9-27-12

In Dodgeville,  we saw an airplane perched on top of a hill with a hotel across from it.  It turns out it was the famed Don Q Inn! The plane landed there a final time on 10-16-77.

Don Q Inn
3658 Hwy 23 North • Dodgeville, WI 53533
1-800-666-7848 • 608-935-2321

Don Q  Inn Boeing C-97

Don Q Inn

Not only that, the train depot of Dodgeville is also here at this site.

Dodgeville Depot

This is a unique theme hotel located near these popular attractions.

We asked permission to look inside the plane, you didn’t have to be a guest.  On the other side was a ladder to go in.  So cool! Here is a view of the cockpit.

Boeing cockpit

Boeing fusilage and us

Here are some facts about the plane.

Boeing Facts

Boeing equipment

Inside the hotel was just as interesting. We could not see any of the theme rooms but we saw the lobby. In the winter relax in a barber or dentist chair (!) around a circular fireplace.

Don Q Inn lobby

A very cool place, we hope to stay a night sometime.

Related Articles

*  The Don Q Inn Fulfills Your Creepy Fantasies

* Roadside America

* Trip Advisor Reviews

Middleton – The Good Neighbor City


Welcome to Middleton! This community of 18,000 is just west of Madison and has a lot to offer.  My husband and I spent several months exploring, it’s that big.  Let’s explore the city’s more humble beginnings.This sign is at Mendota County Park,  on the site was a fur-trading post in 1832. Harry Barnes, the town of Middleton’s first Postmaster, named it after a community in Vermont. The year was 1848 when it separated from the Town of Madison.

Mendota County park Mendota sign

Many historic buildings still stand and are still in use today.   Here you can learn about the many Landmarks in the city. The Stamm House has the proud distinction of being a way station  on the Underground Railroad.

Stamm House in Middleton Wisconsin

The Old Blacksmith Shop on 2645 Branch St.

Old Blacksmith Shop

Also on Branch St. is the Club Tavern or Ye Old Tavern,  a popular place still today.

The Club Tavern in Middleton WI

Downtown has a large number of historic buildings, housing great local businesses.   One of our favorites is The National Mustard Museum,  site of the Mustard Festival every first Saturday in August.

National Mustard Museum

Mustard Tasting

National Mustard Museum display

The former Opera House.

Opera House

Louisianne’s, Etc.  for great New Orleans’ style cuisine and sometimes live music, especially around Mardi Gras.  The Hubbard Ave Diner and Bakery also has great food.

Louisianne's Etc. in Middleton

Hubbard Avenue Diner and Bakery in Middleton

Railroad history remains in the downtown area. Here is the steam train water tower. Also the former Depot, now a visitor center and museum.

Train Water tower  Middleton Depot

The other historic Museum is in the Rowley Residence,  still owned by the family.

Rowley Residence Museum in Middleton WI

For great shopping and more dining, Greenway Station is nearby.

Greenway Station

One of the most interesting spots in Middleton is the historic Boathouse Association. It is a row of pretty little houses on the shore of Lake Mendota.

Middleton Boathouse Company plaque

Middleton Boathouse Company houses

It was impossible to get all of the boathouses in one shot, except in a boat  or on the ice in winter. Here are all the houses, taken in the winter of 2015.

Middleton Boat Houses frame

For a great getaway close to Madison, Middleton cuts the mustard!

Spooky Ridgeway


10-8-12

Ridgeway sign

We rode our bike here on the Military Ridge Trail from Mount Horeb. October is the perfect month to see Ridgeway, because of their famous ghost that scared the locals during the 1800’s and is still said to be haunting the area.  We didn’t see the ghost the day we visited, but noticed how its part of the town’s identity. It’s on their water tower. Also on their public works trucks.

6-28 750Ridgeway Public Works logo

The first business as we entered town is a gas station and convenience store, Badger Mart.

Badger Mart in Ridgeway

Downtown, the largest store there is Ayers Furniture.

6-28 743

10-8 263

We also found their historic train depot with a railroad car outside.

Ridgeway Depot

We enjoyed our visit here but still hoped to see a ghost. Ride or drive in, the countryside is quite pretty. Also, Hyde Mill is in Ridgeway if you want to go there.

Ghost display

Military Ridge Trail