By Maura Keller | Photo courtesy Mineral Point
If you are looking for the quintessential historic town to visit, Mineral Point, the third-oldest city in Wisconsin, won’t disappoint. From creative artists’ studios to independent shops featuring unique finds to historic architecture gracing the buildings of Mineral Point’s downtown district, this historic town is an idyllic spot to explore. One historic site that visitors to Mineral Point thoroughly enjoy is the Pendarvis Historic Site, which includes stone buildings that were originally constructed by Cornish immigrants who settled in the area during the early 1800s. A fascinating part of the Pendarvis Historic Site is the Merry Christmas Mine Hill. Traverse along a 43-acre prairie trail that educates visitors about the mining of zinc deposits and galena on the site. So, why was the hill named after a cherished December holiday? Quite simply, the name came from the zinc deposits discovered on the hill around Christmas in 1905.
Another outdoor attraction in Mineral Point is the Cheese Country Trail. The trailhead is located here, and spans 47 miles down to Monroe. It’s popular for running, hiking, mountain biking, UTVs and snowmobiles.
The community of Mineral Point is also filled with artisans and craftspeople that offer everything from pottery to woven goods, from handcrafted wood treasures to glass artistry. Mineral Point is a major attraction for art enthusiasts because they can add a piece of pottery, glass work, painting or jewelry to their collection and talk to the artisan to learn more about the art or craft itself. That’s why many galleries and studios in the area offer classes, retreats and demonstrations to further pique the interests of visitors.
While there, you can sample European-style pub fare, scratch-made breakfast items and nationally-recognized wine produced in the region.
Plan your visit at mineralpoint.com
Get Your Toes Tappin’
Each summer visitors gravitate to Mineral Point to enjoy its many live music options.
Jammin’ On the Porch
June 10, July 8, Aug. 2, Sept. 9
Bring your favorite chair or blanket and settle in on Orchard Lawn to listen to free live music concerts by local bands. mineralpointhistory.org/events/jammin-on-the-porch
Mineral Point Blues & Roots Festival
Orchard Lawn is the ideal location for this second annual festival, hosted by the Mineral Point Historical Society. Local and regional musicians will share their musical talents to help raise funds to support the Mineral Point School Music Boosters and the Mineral Point Historical Society. Tickets can be purchased at the event or at mineralpointhistory.org.
The Mineral Point region is proud of its Cornish heritage. To fully embrace the town’s original connections to Cornwall, England, each September the town celebrates the music, food, arts and cultural traditions brought to this small Wisconsin town by immigrants in the 1800s. The annual festival, organized by the SW Wisconsin Cornish Society, gives locals and visitors alike a chance to learn more about the Cornish heritage through tours, workshops, food, music and more. cornishfest.org
Arts & Crafts Galore
Mineral Point is a haven for arts enthusiasts. Because of this, there is a wonderful array of activities, demonstrations and events put on by the many artisans who call Mineral Point home.
First Saturdays in April, June, August and December
While most galleries and shops are open throughout the day, on the first Saturdays of April, June, August and December, various shops and galleries feature extended shopping hours until 9 p.m. Gallery Nights are a wonderful way for visitors to extend their cultural experience here and find beautiful, handmade artwork and crafts.
Paint the Point
Over 40 artists will share their talents with the Mineral Point community as they capture various scenes and points of interest around Mineral Point and Dodgeville over three days in August in their works. This ninth annual show celebrates the region and offers visitors the opportunity to purchase these newly created artistic works on Aug. 13. artsmp.org/paint-the-point