4 Spots for the Historically Curious in Pepin County, WI!
For the History traveler, or just the historically curious, Pepin County along the Wisconsin Great River Road has some pretty interesting stops. From a little museum about Swedish heritage to the Little House on the Prairie. Or at least, the Little House in the Big Woods, Pepin County is where Laura Ingalls Wilder was a little girl and the location of the story that started the entire Little House series. You can visit the area she called home and plenty of other historical sites on your next Wisconsin Great River Road road trip!
1. Little House in the Big Woods
Pepin, WI is the birthplace of Laura Ingalls Wilder. A replica of the cabin Laura was born in is now a wayside stop seven miles outside of Pepin. Fans of the book series will find it’s a special place where you can envision the Ingall’s Christmas or the events that happened outside in the yard. Small, quaint, and off the beaten track, it’s worth a stop. For more, be sure to visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum right on the River Road in Pepin. Learn about Laura’s life and what Pepin was like back in the time of pioneers.
2. Old Courthouse Museum and Jail
Built almost 150 years ago the Old Courthouse Museum and Jail in Durand, WI is the only remaining wood-framed courthouse in the state of Wisconsin. The museum within tells the story of the area with exhibits on the railroad and agriculture among others, as well as a courthouse exhibit and the old jail itself. The jail has the original lattice-work iron jail cell and it’s easy to imagine it has been a crime deterrent all by itself. It was used until 1984, despite being pronounced “unfit for prisoners” by the state Division of Corrections.
3. Pepin Depot Museum
This railroad museum has been fully restored and is full of railroad memorabilia. It is one of the last surviving stations built in small towns throughout Wisconsin by the Burlington Northern Railroad. Great for railroad buffs, and the nearby park is a fun place to let the kids run off some energy too. A small local museum that gives you a bit of the history of Pepin combined with artifacts like morse telegraph and signals.
4.Stockholm Wisconsin Institute and Museum
This little museum has area history but is also used by those doing genealogy research. Come learn about the Swedish roots of this little village and some things about the river culture along the Mississippi. The museum is located in an old post office. When you’re done perusing the displays, wander outside to explore their veteran’s garden.