Taking a tour of the local museums is a great way to get familiar with the unique personality and rich history of Menomonie. The museums each help to tell the story of Menomonie and make for an exciting and fun-filled day or weekend! Whether you’re a history buff or just a sight seer, Menomonie is the perfect place to fill up on arts and culture. You’ll be sure to leave feeling inspired!
When you first visit Menomonie, Wisconsin you might be pleasantly surprised. This small town has a big story to tell. After crossing the bridge over Lake Menomin, The Wilson Place Museum is one of the first historic stops on Broadway, and also one of the first buildings ever built in Menomonie. The historic Wilson Place was the home of Captain William Wilson, the founder of Menomonie and the lumber business known as Knapp, Stout & Co. Right next door, you’ll find the world-famous, Mabel Tainter Theater. This historic, Victorian masterpiece is available for tours lead by guides who have extensive knowledge of the theater, the Tainter family history and the surrounding community. The Theater also hosts many shows, comedians, and other entertainment throughout the year.
For the locomotive enthusiasts, there’s the Colfax Railroad Museum with a growing collection of railroad equipment from railroads that serviced western Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota. This depot houses the largest public display of dining car china in the country! For the literature enthusiasts, there’s the Caddie Woodlawn Historical Park, dedicated on 1970 by the Dunn County Historical Society. “Caddie Woodlawn”, a Newbery Award winner for children’s literature, was inspired by the family who lived in Menomonie.
Other museums to quench your thirst for antiquity include the The Russell J. Rassbach Heritage Museum, a museum that tells the intriguing and ever-changing stories of this area of Wisconsin—from the mound builders of a thousand years ago to Dunn County’s friendly communities of today. Within the museum there are interactive spaces for people of all ages to learn, marvel and make. Located in Wakanda Park, the facility features a museum store, auditorium, research library, and numerous exhibits with activities, era rooms, and much more. Another spot to learn about Dunn County is the Downsville Community Museum, a museum dedicated to recording, preserving and promoting the history of the community and providing educational programs and opportunities.
Menomonie is a hot spot for history that is still very present and visible today. This city strikes a perfect balance between its rich agricultural history and its progressive arts culture. From local visual art museums to nationally recognized historic landmarks, there’s no shortage of culture here. Check out the museum listings to plan your own journey back in time!