We had gorgeous sunny skies over Prairie du Chien this morning – a perfect early autumn day! Everyone met at the St. Feriole Island Park gazebo overlooking the Mississippi River for a great walk through the historic park. Did you know the whole city of Prairie du Chien was once on this island? Now it’s the site of several beautiful historic structures. We walked through the gardens around Villa Louis, a Victorian Era home, and toured their beautiful sculpture garden. We also walked down the Trail of Trees, which has one red or white oak tree planted for every president who has ever visited Prairie du Chien – 22 in all!
We also got to tour the villa itself, which is full of beautiful historical artifacts. Samantha Mattern from the Wisconsin Historical Society played the 100-year-old piano for us! It was so interesting to see the old wood-fired stove and the ice house outside. After our tour, we headed back to the Villa Louis Visitors Center for some snacks donated by Sunrise Orchards and Zinkle's Piggy Wiggly.
St. Feriole Island is such a unique and interesting historic site. I’m so grateful to the Prairie du Chien Chamber of Commerce for hosting us and to the Department of Tourism for all their help in organizing this walk. We’ll see you in Fond du Lac next month for our 70th Walk with Walker!