Spring Green, WI – Part 2 – HOTR – September 2016

So when I was leaving Amana I stopped at a furniture store. Talking to a woodman working in the shop I mentioned that I was headed to Spring Green. He said you have to stop at House on the Rock. “House on the Rock?” I said. Never heard of it. He said you can’t miss the signs.

So after I had gotten done with my Taliesin tours I decided to go see the House on the Rock. 6 hours and 3,000 pictures later I still don’t know how to describe it. Life sized Jonah’s whale, check. Largest carousel in the world, which happens to have zero horses on it, check. Whole rooms with automated musical bands that are out of tune and sound ominous, check. Huge Cantilever room that juts out off the rock face and looks like it goes on forever, check.

You knew this was going to be an interesting place when you start to drive in and see these 12 foot tall clay pots on the side of the road that have lizards and dragons crawling all over them.


From what I had heard they said to schedule 3 1/2 hours to see the three sections. Section one contains the Infinity room and the original house. Section two contains the Streets of Yesterday, Heritage of Yesterday, Music of Yesterday, and the Carousel. Section three starts at the Carousel, the Organ Room, and the Doll House room. I ended up stopping after taking 4 hours to see the first two sections. I was tired and had already taken 1,400 pictures. I came back early the next day to finish Section 3 which took another 2 hours. Anyway, I’ll attempt to add the pictures in relation to the three sections.

Section 1

20160924_113215 20160924_115159 20160924_120058 20160924_120418 20160924_120555 20160924_121133 20160924_121229 20160924_121749

As you walked towards the Infinity room you heard the theme from the Godfather come from the above device.20160924_121852 20160924_122046 20160924_122336 20160924_122555 20160924_122851 20160924_123340

This house was started by Alex Jordan. He fell in love with a Chimney shaped rock in Wisconsin called Deer Shelter Rock. He went picnicking there often and eventually decided to build a house there. It became locally famous and people kept stopping by asking to see it. So he eventually started charging them 50 cents to take a look. It just expanded from there.

The first part of the house is more like a meandering trail. You go up and down, left and right, you can see where you are going but not really sure how long it’ll take for you to get there. He just ended up collecting things that he tried to figure out how to incorporate it into the house. The stained glass windows are a perfect example.

Walking between the house and the other sections you got to look down at a beautiful Japanese garden.20160924_123613 20160924_123659

Section 2 20160924_124046

For an up close and personal bathroom experience.20160924_124428 20160924_124516

My grandparents owned one of these Uncle Same piggy banks. Not sure what happened to it.20160924_124622 20160924_124751 20160924_124936

They give you as part of your admission they give you 4 tokens to put in the musical instruments and other animated devices. Below is a self playing banjo. When he made this I don’t think Deliverance had been made yet.

You can buy additional tokens for a dollar.20160924_125001

This one called The Dying Drunkard had various monsters popping out to scare the soon to be deceased.

20160924_125037 20160924_125041 20160924_125048 20160924_125053 20160924_125247 20160924_125517 20160924_125904 20160924_125958 20160924_130211 These band members are life sized.20160924_131015 20160924_131638 20160924_131803 20160924_131831

I’ve never seen so much carved Ivory. 20160924_131921 20160924_132654 20160924_132802 20160924_133459

This whale sculpture was three stories tall. 20160924_134247 20160924_134320 20160924_134734

I love Burma shave signs.20160924_134745 20160924_135027 20160924_135246 20160924_140759 20160924_140935 20160924_141339 20160924_141443 20160924_141827

20160924_141949 20160924_142027 20160924_142613 20160924_143040 20160924_143311 20160924_143538 20160924_143901 20160924_144047

9am on Day 2 to start Section 3.

20160925_093250 20160925_093711 20160925_094527 20160925_094644 20160925_094703 20160925_094716 20160925_094744

I think I’ve loved Carousel and Rocking Horses ever since reading the Rocking Horse Winner by D.H. Lawrence in grade school. It tells the story of how they can be magical things. “Take me to where the money is” as the story goes.20160925_095146 20160925_095507 20160925_095911 20160925_095950

I think this is where Steampunk originated.20160925_100134 20160925_100138 20160925_100142 20160925_100151 20160925_100442 20160925_100839 20160925_101102 20160925_101448

Pretty sure this is a Remington.20160925_103122 20160925_103410 20160925_103535 20160925_103708 20160925_103934 20160925_104018 20160925_104450 20160925_104607 20160925_104623 20160925_104645 20160925_104901 20160925_105120These figures were used to sell Baranger Diamonds. They are all animated. They have at least a hundred here.20160925_105136 20160925_110120 20160925_111339 20160925_111420 20160925_111450 20160925_111517 20160925_1115270 20160925_111605 20160925_111733 20160925_111858 20160925_111938 20160925_111952 20160925_112133 20160925_112158 20160925_112435

All the horse carousel figures he mounted on the walls since he didn’t put them on the carousel. 20160925_112810 20160925_113222 20160925_113355 20160925_114037 20160925_114212 20160925_105715 20160925_105729 20160925_105950

So uploaded about a 100 pictures of the 3,000 I took. Just to give you an example of all the stuff this guy collected.

Still don’t know what you would say it is.

The last day I went over to Mineral Point. One of the guests at the Taliesin cocktail hour mentioned that they were having a Cornish festival there to celebrate all the Welsh ancestors that came to Wisconsin. There really wasn’t anything organized. They had some museums open but not a festival in that everyone gathered at the park.

I did get to see some buildings built by the original Welsh settlers. The colony was called Pendarvis. Another religious outcast from Europe. I didn’t go on the tour.

20160925_122834 20160925_122850

The one museum I did stop by was the original Odd Fellows hall. The symbolism that this masonic temple used included the all seeing eye, the scythe, skull and crossbones, and the heart in the hand. Symbols that have multiple meanings throughout history.20160925_125811 20160925_132339 20160925_133245

What was interesting is that this is still an active lodge. I had thought all the Odd Fellows were history. I’d seen their temples throughout the US but had never seen an active lodge. The guy who showed me around said there was a house for rent up the street if I ever wanted to settle down. I told him I’d be traveling for a while.

The mantra of the Odd Fellows is to “visit the sick, relieve the distressed, bury the dead and educate the orphan.”

The other thing I recommend checking out in Spring Green is Break of Dawn for breakfast. It is a beautiful round barn that they have turned into a breakfast joint.

20160926_090206 20160926_092732

I also love the Barn Quilts you see driving down the highway.


Oh and I got to see some Amish.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *