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
The park will be opening in May. Come for tours on Tuesdays 10-noon or Saturdays noon to 3. Or call for an appointment.
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
HISTORY BUS TOUR Coming up on Tuesday, May 21! Come and take a trip to the Driftless Environmental Center in Lansing. We will feature the Pearl Button Industry along with much more. We will also have lunch at Shep’s above the river, shopping on Historic Main St. and a stop at the hundred year old City Meat Market in New Albin. We’ll bring the coolers.
We will start at the park for coffee and donuts at 10:00 am. Then load a Lamer’s bus for Lansing. Back again by 3:30 pm. $30 Trip will be cancelled by May 14 if we do not have enough to fill the bus. Email Julie to Reserve your seat! email@example.com