Welcome to The Ridge History Park!
The Ridge History Park began in 1999 with the retrieval and restoration of the “Little School” from Washington District #1 in Middle Ridge, Wisconsin. The door hinges creak, and the wooden floors still groan as a visitor enters the door of this charming, authentic nineteenth century schoolhouse. This public school is one of only two in the state of Wisconsin run by Catholic nuns. The “little school” is a treasured reminder of the days when close to 200,000 one-room schools peppered the landscape of rural America.
The next addition to the park was the newly built Visitor’s Center. This facility provides modern bathrooms, a kitchen, offices and enough space to feed and entertain about 75 park patrons. This building is the center point of our Ridge-fest, and many educational and historic events we hold throughout the year. The Visitor’s Center is also available to the public for personal events. For a suggested donation, the space would be perfect for a party, or a club meeting.
The Middle Ridge Gas Station is our latest project. It is very exciting to be able to save this historic structure from the wrecking ball of highway expansion. Though it had not been in use for more than 40 years, it was a thriving business opened by Herb Burbach in 1929 and later run by Cletus Cavadini, among others, until the mid 70’s when it was closed for good. It was moved to the new site in 2013 and placed near the school. Its restoration is in progress today. Two old gas pumps have been donated and erected, and plans to attach a replica of the original grease room, and finish the interiors are being formed. Imagine yourself stepping into this friendly little station on a busy afternoon at Middle Ridge, in about 1945. Back then there was full service with a smile. Friends might have gathered for conversation and a cold refreshment while they waited. This little gem allows us to experience it all again!
Come visit us soon at the Ridge History Park!
UTILIZE OUR SPACE FOR YOUR EVENTS!
Our Visitor’s Center is available for your events! Call for information and prices. 608-386-9013
RIDGEFEST AND CAR SHOW!
SUNDAY, JULY 28 11-4
Don’t miss this fun family day of grilled brats from the St. Joe’s Meat market, ice cream cones, polka dancing, wagon rides, bingo and silent auction, and of course tours of our one-room schoolhouse and 1920’s Mobil Station. We’ll be honoring those station attendants with a new statue and we have our steam engine painted and refurbished. Come and see all the progress at the park!
Come for tours on Tuesdays 10-noon or Saturdays noon to 3. Or call for an appointment.
SPACE AVAILABLE FOR YOUR EVENTS!
Think about using our space for your upcoming summer reunions, dinners and celebrations. We seat 70 plus and feature a kitchen, 2 bathrooms and a gathering space. For more info call Julie at 608-783-6745
FREE CONCERT AT THE PARK
Don’t miss the STAPLETONS! They will be returning for a wonderful show at the beautiful Ridge park on AUGUST 10 from noon to 3. Bring your chair and come hungry! The Ridge Park’s famous SLIDERS will be for sale.