Mineral Point Museum Night
Swing in to summer by engaging in Mineral Point history at several locations participating in the second annual Museum Night.
Just before the Summer Solstice, from 5 to 8 p.m. June 18 the Mineral Point Chamber of Commerce, Mineral Point Historical Society, the Mineral Point Railroad Society, Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts and the Wisconsin Odd Fellows and Rebekahs Museum will be open and offering free admission where applicable. In compliance with Iowa County guidelines surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, safety and sanitation precautions will be taken at each site, and visitors will be asked to maintain 6 feet of social distance and wear masks around other members of the public.
The Mineral Point Chamber of Commerce relocated last year to 145 High St., the former home of Hook & Ladder Company #1, the city’s first fire department formed in 1898. Come meet Executive Director Gaile Schwickrath is this impeccably restored building in the heart of downtown, view the historic fire ladder wagon and clay miner figurines that are on display, and pick up information on local businesses and things to do in Mineral Point this summer. For more information, call (608) 987-3201 or see www.mineralpoint.com or Facebook.
The Mineral Point Historical Society manages the Gundry House and Orchard Lawn at 234 Madison St. While the Gundry House will not be open for tours, you’re invited to bring a picnic to enjoy at a safe distance from others on the lawn while listening to live music performed by Scott Stieber and Don Myers on the porch. Scott and Don play a fun mix of rock, blues and Americana tunes, both covers and self-penned. Board members will be on hand to answer questions about the history of the Gundry House. For more information, see mineralpointhistory.org or Facebook.
The Mineral Point Railroad Society manages the restored 1856 Railroad Depot Museum at 11 Commerce St. Take advantage of this evening opportunity to walk through the oldest depot in Wisconsin (built in 1856), which was reopened to the public in 2004 after significant restoration. Inside the museum are many exhibits including a 1915-era scale model of the area around the depot including a turntable and two enginehouses (upstairs) and a telegrapher’s office (downstairs). For more information, call (608) 987-2695 or see www.mprs.org.
Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts, 18 Shake Rag St., invites visitors to tour its collection of nine historic and reproduction buildings and take home a make-your-own-fairy-house-kit to build a house to contribute to this summer’s Aug. 1 Tour of Fairy Homes. Staff and volunteers will be on hand to answer questions about the buildings representing Mineral Point architecture from the 1830s through 1940s that today host arts and crafts workshops, events, site rentals, and guest lodging. Aspiring fairy house architects can pick up pre-drilled wooden foundations and a bag you can fill to your heart’s content with bits and baubles from our fairy house stash. The number of people entering each building will be capped at 10, and the fairy house fixings -- including glue guns you can borrow if you don’t have your own -- will be set up outside weather permitting or in the spacious Lind Pavilion. For more information, call (608) 987-3292 or see www.shakeragalley.org.
The Wisconsin Odd Fellows and Rebekahs Museum, 112 Front St., in May 2019 marked the 200th anniversary of the International Order of Odd Fellows in the United States, and the 184th anniversary of the IOOF in Mineral Point. The museum will be open for all to view items of the organization’s storied past and learn about the Odd Fellows and Rebekahs’ involvement in issues today.
While the Mineral Point Library Archives, Mineral Point Opera House and Pendarvis are not participating in this year’s event, you can enjoy their virtual offerings on their Facebook pages and at mineralpointlibraryarchives.wordpress.com, mineralpointoperahouse.org and www.pendarvis.wisconsinhistory.org, respectively.