Such activities in the area include: indoor concerts, community theater, and museums of historic nature, ethnic people, famous people and a museum for children. Museum of famous astronaut Deke Slayton, Cranberry Expo, and Brush Trophy Museum range from historic to modern. Peek at lifestyles from a bygone era at: The Hixon House, home of lumber baron, Gideon Hixon, famous author Hamlin Garland’s home and the ethnic Norwegian immigrant settlement. Interests range from down home to very sophisticated. All are located within an easy one hour drive of Justin Trails Resort. There is no rush hour traffic congestion in southwest Wisconsin. You may need to slow for a horse drawn buggy or a bicyclist on country roads.
The Deke Slayton Memorial Space and Bicycle Museum is the home of memorabilia of one of the original seven astronauts and commander of the Apollo-Soyez mission and many early, rare bicycles.
Pump House Regional Arts Center
Visit these links for more information:
SPARTA AREA MUSEUMS
Monroe County Local History Room and Research Archive
200 West Main Street, Sparta, WI 608-269-8680 FAX 608-269-8921
Hours: Monday – Friday 9-4:30
The Local History Room is located at a National Register of Historic Places in a former Masonic Temple built in 1923. The History Room tells the story of men and women who lived and worked in Monroe County. Photographs, documents, memorabilia and historic artifacts record Monroe County life in all its periods. The Monroe County Local History Room provides a regular cycle of new displays.
· Vintage costumes, military gear, antique toys and medical devices
· Carpentry tools, kitchen utensil, furs and pelts, and advertising.
The Research Room welcomes all those interested in genealogy and the history of Monroe County. Its documentary archive is the most complete source of county historical information in the area.
Research Records include:
· Census, newspapers, maps, photographs
· Published county histories and high school annuals
Deke Slayton Memorial Space & Bike Museum
608-269-0033 or toll-free 1-888-200-5302
200 West Main St. Sparta, WI 54656
Hours: Monday – Saturday 10:30 – 4:30
Admission: Adults $3.00. Groups of 25 or more call for reservation & group discount.
Deke Slayton, one of America’s original astronauts, was born in Sparta and raised in Monroe County.
Being at the forefront of space exploration, this exhibit takes you through history with many of his personal artifacts.
· Project Mercury · Astronaut Selection · Apollo Missions · Space Shuttle
Discover the History of Bicycles as they became faster, stronger, sleeker and more sophisticated; the history of bicycles parallels the growth of our nation.
Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center, www.discovercranberries.com
204 Main St., Warrens, WI 608-378-4878
Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 1-October 31
The Cranberry Discovery Center is filled with equipment, quilts, a cranberry-growing video, and knowledgeable tour guides. The Cranberry gift shop has many cranberry themed food and gift items available.
Brush Trophy Room Museum
This is a totally awesome museum to view artistic talent in painting the backgrounds, taxidermy talent in creating natural poses of animals as found in their natural habitat, and to view trophy animals from around the world shot with a bow and arrow. Admission fee.
LA CROSSE MUSEUMS
Main Street, La Crosse, WI 54601
Riverside Park at junction of Main Street on the Mississippi River Bank
Open: Memorial Day to Labor Day Daily 10-5
Riverside Museum concentrates on the importance of the Mississippi River to the area’s growth and development. Exhibits range from prehistoric artifacts to modern collections of area wildlife. One room is dedicated to the War Eagle, a riverboat which caught fire and sank in 1870. The museum is located in the Convention and Visitor Bureau building’s first floor.
The Pump House Regional Arts Center
119 King Street, La Crosse, WI 54601
Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday. 12-5; Thursday 12-7; Saturday & Sunday 10-3
The Pump House Regional Arts Center was founded in 1977, and presents visual and performing arts with a Midwest emphasis. Educational outreach is an important part of the mission. The Pump House is located in an historic water pumping station, one block from the Mississippi River on King Street.
Gertrude Salzer Gordon Children’s Museum of La Crosse
207 5th Avenue South, La Crosse, WI 546001
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10-5; Sunday 12-5 Closed major holidays
Summer Hours: June-August, 10-8 on the first and third Thursday of
Admission: $3.50/person (infants and members free)
The Children’s Museum is where children play to learn, and adults learn to play! Three floors of hands-on exhibits, birthday party/meeting rooms, multipurpose theater, gift shop and more.
UW-La Crosse Archaeology Center and Lab
UW-La Crosse Campus near 17th & State 608-785-8464
Hours: Monday-Friday 9-4:30 Closed major holidays.
This “working museum” enables visitors to view archaeologists processing artifacts from the area. Exhibits contain many important findings from recent excavations and information about the field of archaeology. Located on East Avenue, north of UW-L’s Cartwright Center. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
The Hixon House
429 North 7th Street, La Crosse, WI 608-782-1980
Hours: Memorial Day-Labor Day: 1-5
Admission: Families $12, Adults $4, Seniors $3, 12 & under $2.
The La Crosse County Historical Society’s Italianate-style residence gives an authentic glimpse into the elegant Victorian lifestyle enjoyed by lumberman-financier Gideon Hixon. The beautiful woodwork, period furnishings and charming gardens make the tour a worthwhile experience for young and old alike.
9th and Main Streets, La Crosse, WI 608-782-1980
Hours: Tuesday-Friday 10-5, Saturday & Sunday 1-5 Closed major holidays
The Swarthout Museum features a variety of permanent and changing exhibits intended to educate and enlighten both children and adults about the history of La Crosse County. The Children’s Room allows young visitors to try on clothing from the past, and to provide a hands-on experience with interesting historic machines. The museum is located inside of the La Crosse Public Library.
Our mission is to honor the land, environment and create a healing refuge for recreation, relaxation and rejuvenation for our guests. We support rural, sustainable tourism by promoting local artisans who live and create art for guests’ shopping opportunities in the hills and valleys of southwest Wisconsin also known as the Driftless region. Justin Trails was established in 1985.