Grant County Attractions
Bordered by the mighty Mississippi on the west and Wisconsin River on the north, Grant County's dramatic landscape of hills and valleys is unlike any other park of the state, with nooks and crannies that have a special charm.
Along Grant County's scenic routes and byways, visitors can find dozens of rural cottage industries, historic sites, museums and cultural centers open to the public. For the nature enthusiast, the county's bluff-lined streams, riverbeds, hills and valleys invite adventure, new experiences and rediscovery. The wooded Mississippi River bluffs, open water and public lands in Grant County provide ideal habitat for eagles as well as other unusual wildlife and plant species. State parks offer spectacular views of the Mississippi and Wisconsin rivers and surrounding countryside, as well as camping, fishing, hiking, boating, picnicking, swimming, nature study and Indian Burial Grounds. The State Historical Society's Stonefield Village, a living museum of an 1890's village, provides live demonstrations and hands on experiences with the past. Visit a lead mine operated by Native Americans long before the 1836 lead rush, descend into a 19th century lead mine, attend a Civil War Military Ball, watch reenactments of Civil War battles and skirmishes and visit the restored Hotel Boscobel.
So if you are tired of a fast paced, hurried routine, come visit Grant County and enjoy a unique blend of history, scenic beauty, agriculture, wonderful recreational opportunities, and small town hospitality.
Museums & Historical Sites
Fennimore Historical Railroad Museum
610 Lincoln Avenue, Fennimore
"Dinky", the narrow gauge train that carried goods and passengers between Fennimore and Woodman from 1878 to 1926, is preserved here along with other memorabilia of Fennimore's railroading past. In addition, the museum offers rides on an operational 15" gauge railroad complete with scale model buildings and equipment that complete the miniature layout. Open daily, Memorial Day through Labor Day 10am -4pm; weekends only in September and October.
Fennimore Doll and Toy Museum
1140 Lincoln Avenue, Fennimore
Dolls from around the world, dating from 1810 to the present day, and toys from Walt Disney, Ertl, Fisher Price and more are featured in this museum's whimsical and historic collection. The museum also exhibits visiting collections that change on a regular basis. The museum and gift shop are open daily, Memorial Day through Mid-December, 10am - 4pm.
405 E. Main Street, Platteville
Ride in ore cars pulled by a 1931 mine locomotive, descend into the 1845 Bevans lead mine and visit the working head-frame where ore was hoisted and hand sorted at the Platteville Mining Museum. Relive the area's mining past in photographs, models, dioramas and artifacts. Open daily, May through October, 9am-5pm; the Changing Galleries are open November through April, Monday to Friday, 9am - 4pm.
Rollo Jamison Museum
405 E. Main Street, Platteville
Return 100 years into the past through exhibits of carriages, farm implements, tools, a tavern/general store, a kitchen and parlor, mechanical music boxes and more at the Rollo Jamison Museum. Open daily, May through October, 9am - 5pm.
Grant County Courthouse
130 W. Maple, Lancaster
Patterned after St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, the Grant County Courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Inside visitors will find G.A.R. and Civil War displays. The Courthouse is located on a unique square in downtown Lancaster, the site of the first Civil War monument in the United States.
Visit the City of Boscobel's historic buildings restored and preserved as they were in the late 1800's. The downtown restoration district features many outstanding examples of 19th Century architecture, including the Hotel Boscobel, the birthplace of the Gideon Bible Society.
120 East Maple Street, Lancaster
Browse through artifacts of the Civil War, World Wars and Grant County's early black and Indian settlements at the Cunningham Museum.
P.O. Box 125, Cassville
Cross a covered wooden bridge and visit a turn-of-the-century village with shopkeepers and craftsmen at work. A short walk away, in a 1900 farmhouse, savor the aroma of baked goods prepared in a wood-fired stove. Inside the State Agricultural Museum, also part of Stonefield, is a collection of rare historic farm machinery - both full size working machines and elaborate patent models that tell the story of Wisconsin Agriculture. Visitors can also picnic on the village green or browse the museum shop for books and souvenirs. Open daily, Memorial Day through Mid-October, 10am - 4pm.
Mitchell Roundtree Cottage
Built in 1837, the Stone Cottage has been on the Register of Historic Sties since 1972. Much of the furniture in the home is original. Open to the public.
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Parks & Nature Centers
Wyalusing State Park Nature Center
133342 County Hwy. C, Bagley
This beautiful, large state parks sits atop the Mississippi River Bluffs where visitors can view the joining of the great Wisconsin and mighty Mississippi Rivers. Indian Burial Grounds and a marker commemorating the spot where Joliet and Marquette first entered the Mississippi in 1673 are located in the park. The park also offers wonderful camping, hiking, canoeing, boating, fishing, swimming, and nature study.
Nelson Dewey State Park
County Hwy. VV, Cassville
Part of the estate of Wisconsin's first Governor, this beautiful park features a breathtaking scenic overlook of the Mississippi River, Indian Mounds, picnicking, camping, playground, bird and wildlife observation areas and hiking. Weekend and holiday tours of the Governor's home and grounds in Stonefield are available.
Oakwood Nature Park
Bronson Blvd. and County Hwy. Q, Fennimore
A new, 45-acre Nature Park features native trees and wildflowers, RV shelters, and picnic facilities and 3 1/2 miles of hiking and cross-country ski trails.
Special Things to Do
Meander the Mississippi by car or bicycle; take a self-guided tour along the East bank of the great river from Prairie du Chien to Dubuque and back along the west bank. Start anywhere on the loop then loop back where you began. On the way, cross the Mississippi on the Cassville Car Ferry. Obtain tour maps at the Ferry Dock, from the tourism center in Cassville, or any city on the loop.
Cassville Car Ferry
Hwy. 133/81, Cassville
The fun way to cross the Mississippi; the Cassville Car Ferry begins operation the first weekend in May, operates 9am-9pm Saturday and Sunday only until Memorial Day, then daily until Labor Day, and weekends only through October 31.
Lead Mines Bicycle Tour
Cassville to Potosi
608-725-5180 or 608-763-2121
Take a self-guided bicycle tour of the mining country from Cassville to St. John Mine in Potosi. Guide maps are available at all area tourism centers.
Platteville Farmers' Market
May Thru October, Saturdays 6-11 am, Fresh produce, cut flowers, perennials, baked goods, honey...everything you'd want at a market, including art. Located in City Park, one block off Main Street in downtown Platteville, Contact - Robin Timm, Phone - (608) 348-9827
Points of Interest
Lock and Dam 10
Closing Dam Road, Cassville
Observe operation of the lock and one of the dams that helped tame the upper Mississippi. Also look for majestic bald eagles that gather there. This is one of the nation's finest eagle viewing sites. The lock and power generating station keep the river ice-free, providing winter feeding opportunities and attract eagles by the score. As many as 260 eagles have been counted on a January morning along Cassville's riverfront. Many are year round residents here.
Hwy. 61, Dickeyville
This famous religious site features elaborate stone and glass mosaic sculptures.