Belleville – Small Community, Big Heart!


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Belleville Sign

 

Belleville Downtown IMG_1011

Belleville is a friendly village of 2,385 in both Dane and Green counties.  Many of the early settlers came from France and you can see the evidence of that in some of the business names.  It was a foggy day in the 40’s and created quite the atmosphere. The town was all decked out for the holidays. In historic Library Park was a gazebo decorated and had a Christmas tree inside, also many lamp poles had pretty decorations on them.

Belleville Christmas Collage

We usually have a meal in most of the places we visit and we learned of a favorite place here, the Corner Café. This time we were joined by our nephew  Joe, we had breakfast together.   Their food was delicious! I wish could eat more but we will come back on our next visit.

Corner Cafe Big Collage

 

After breakfast we came back to Library Park.  In the center is the first Village Hall building, constructed in 1894.  Also a two-sided marker that has only been there since 2011. A great synopsis of early Belleville history.

 

Library Park in Belleville

Library Park Village Hall 1894 Belleville

Belleville Marker both sides

Behind the park across the street is the former railroad depot. The former rail was removed and replaced with the Badger State Trail.

Belleville Depot and Badger State Trail

In keeping this this being a former railroad track, we also headed south of town between Belleville and Monticello and found the historic Stewart Tunnel that the train once passed through. It’s 1/4 mile long and considered one of the darkest trail tunnels in Wisconsin.  We sure look small! It is over 20 ft. high! Find it here. Park on Tunnel Rd. near the trail, it is about 1/4 walk from the road.

Stewart Tunnel in Belleville

 

Back in town, we saw another historic building, the former Park Hotel, important way station for travelers in Belleville’s early history. It is now The Dam Bar and Grill.

The Dam Bar - Historic Park Hotel  in BellevilleOther businesses downtown..

Francois Ford Sales and Service

Francois Ford in Belleville

 

Patches and Petals – The Quilter’s General Store

Originally a two-story furniture store.

Patches and Petals Quilting Store in Belleville

 

Belleville Auto Body

Belleville Auto Body

 

Main Street Salon and J & M Bar and Grill

Main Street Salon and J & M Bar and Grill

Bellville also has great parks for recreation as well. The Community Park has much to offer .  It is on the banks of Lake Bell View and a path goes alongside the lake. A bridge makes crossing easy and offers a great view of the dam.

Belleville Community Park bridge

 A couple guys are netting fish.

Belleville Dam at Community Park

 Lake Bell View, it was hard to see it due to the fog.

Lake Bell View in Belleville

On our way back downtown we saw an old railroad bridge over the Sugar River, now part of the Badger State Trail.

Old Railroad Bridge over Sugar River in Bellleviille

We had a great visit here today, and we have a few more places to tell you about.  We also sought out another marker just 7 miles west of town at Primrose Lutheran Church.  Some Norwegian settlers came to this area also.

Primrose Lutheran Church in Primrose

 

Primrose Lutheran Church marker

 

A popular business on the north side of town is the Duluth Trading Company Outlet.

Duluth Trading Company in Belleville

 A popular bed and breakfast called Cameo Rose lies just outside the village.

Cameo Rose Bed and Breakfast

 

What a great day in Belleville, a friendly community with a big heart!

We Stop for Octagon Houses and Barns!


If there is any building structure we have found interesting and unique in our travels the octagon design has topped our interest list. It was a popular design in the 1800’s and some of these buildings have become tourist attractions. here are the ones we have seen in our travels.

The Milton House

Milton House

 

Watertown Octagon House

Octagon House

 

 

An Octagon barn near Hillsboro, a common sight there.

Octagon Barn near Hillsboro

 

Another barn was seen on a trip out to Argyle.

Octagon Barn Near Argyle

 

Sometimes the octagon shape was only visible from the inside and just a portion outside. The Larson House in McFarland is an example. It had a room in that shape, three sides visible from the outside. It was the upstairs Master bedroom.

Larson House Master Octagon Bedroom windows

 

Octagon Room Larson House

Lastly, we even saw the Langworthy Octagon House during our trip to Dubuque, IA

Langworthy Octagon House

 

There are many more to see in and around Wisconsin and our neighboring states. We’ll add them here as we see them!

 

Genoa City – Gateway to Wisconsin


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Genoa City Sign

The Village of Genoa City is only 2 miles from the Illinois border in Walworth County, giving it the distinct honor of being called “The Gateway to Wisconsin.”  It was first known as Genoa Junction  and first platted in 1841. Many of the early settlers immigrated here from the Italian Alps. A small community of 2,766, we received a warm “hello” from passersby as we explored downtown before our dinner at Fitzgerald’s Genoa Junction restaurant.

Fitzgerald's Genoa Junction

Downtown Genoa City

As we  walked downtown, we saw these businesses.

Genoa City Public Library

Genoa City Public Library

The American Legion

Genoa City American Legion

This beautiful Victorian is now the Haase-Lockwood Funeral Home.  It was was built in 1899 and 1900 for $8000.  It was a private residence until 1943 when it was made into a funeral home.  The Haase family bought it in 1953 and added on in the late 1950’s.  Bruce Haase and his family were born and raised in that building and his mother still lives upstairs.  As you see it is still a funeral home and the community loves it.

Haase-Lockwood Funeral Home in Genoa City

Lost Sock Laundromat

Lost Sock Laundromat in Genoa City

The historic Citizens State Bank building, now Talmer Bank and Trust.

Talmer Bank and Trust in Genoa City

Straight to Curley Haircare

Streight to Curley Haircare in Genoa City

Next door is Keller’s Food and Spirits

Kellers Food and Spirits in Genoa City

Get groceries at Genoa City Foods.

Genoa City Foods

Speaking of food, it was time to head back to Fitzgerald’s for dinner. Stop in Genoa City, you will feel welcome here!

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