Winter in Mineral Point

Mineral Point, in southwestern Wisconsin, is one of my favorite towns. A lead mining boom attracted early prospectors. In 1829, the population of Mineral Point was greater than Milwaukee and Chicago combined! In the 1830s, experienced miners from Cornwall arrived and settled in.

I’ve traveled to Mineral Point many times to visit Pendarvis, a state historic site that preserves the homes of several Cornish immigrants. But until recently, I’d never visited in winter.

Early stone cottages preserved at Pendarvis.

That changed in January of 2013, and again this past January. Thanks to Shake Rag Center For the Arts and the Council for Wisconsin Writers, I was granted a weeklong residency both years. The temps were cold—this year below zero, at times. But I discovered that winter is a great time to visit Mineral Point.  Here are some of the things I enjoyed:

Peace and quiet. The ambiance was perfect for contemplation and writing.

Wonderful restaurants. I spent most afternoons writing at the Gray Dog Deli, which has a great menu, very nice staff, and your choice of tables or comfy sofas.

This gray dog has watched over the building since 1867.

It’s also my tradition to visit the Red Rooster Cafe whenever I’m in town.

The Red Rooster has a long history of serving comfort food and traditional Cornish favorites.

I recommend the Figgy Hobbin.

Shake Rag Center For the Arts. A sale of hand-crafted Valentines took place while I was there.

The lively arts center has programs and classes going on year-round. Their workshop listing is diverse. Wouldn’t a class provide a great pick-me-up in the middle of a cold winter?

A yarn painting class is scheduled for late February. So cheerful!  Shake Rag Center photo.

Architecture. You can’t take a walk in Mineral Point without seeing lots of great old buildings.

I stayed in this lovely home, 219 Washington.

And I walked by this beauty, Orchard Lawn, every day.

This cottage and cabin are preserved at Shake Rag Alley.

Art.  The town is a well-known artist’s colony. Yes, some of the shops were closed—but others weren’t. (Another of my traditions is to buy a new pair of earrings whenever I start a new Chloe Ellefson mystery.  Lots and lots to choose from at the Johnston Gallery.)

The Johnston Gallery photo.

The landscape.  Mineral Point is nestled in the beautiful rolling hills of Wisconsin’s Driftless Region. If you like snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, you won’t have to go far. Check out a recent post on High Street Beat blog.

Taken by my friends Lisa and Don Hay on a recent cross county ski excursion. High Street Beat photo.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to spend two weeks in this lovely town. Huge thanks to everyone who made it possible.

Interested in a getaway of your own?  You’ll find lots of information here.  Enjoy!

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