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Villa Louis, Prairie du Chien

(4.7/5 based on 120 reviews on the web)
The Villa Louis, also known as Dousman Mansion, is a National Historic Landmark located on St. Feriole Island, in Prairie du Chien, southwestern Wisconsin. The villa and estate are a historical museum operated by the Wisconsin Historical Society. The site has been restored to its appearance during the late 19th century, when it was the estate of the prominent H. Louis Dousman family.HistoryThe site was inhabited by American Indian tribes, especially the Mound Builders, as is evidenced by the large mound upon which later structures at the site (Fort Shelby, Fort Crawford, and the homes of Hercules and of Louis Dousman) have all stood. In 1814, the Siege of Prairie du Chien was fought in the area by American and British troops hoping to control Fort Shelby during the War of 1812. Later the land was occupied by Fort Crawford.After the Indians were removed from the area, the land was purchased by Hercules L. Dousman, who was a man of many trades: a fur trader, a lumberman, a land sculptor, and a frontier entrepreneur. In the mid-1840s, he began construction on the estate from which Villa Louis would be born. The location he chose was perfect due to its proximity to the Mississippi River.
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  • Knowledgeable tour guides start with a history lesson about the river, the natives, the battles fought here, and wealthy fur trader that built and maintained the Villa Louis mansion. The walk through ...  more »
  • Looked on trip advisor and it showed it was open. Made a special trip to the Villa and found out it was closed for the winter. Called the phone number and they dod not say it was closed for the winter...  more »
  • I toured the Villa Louis with family. I grew up in the area and recently moved back after almost 30 years away. One of the first things on my to-do list was to take a tour of the Villa Louis which is ...  more »
  • What a wonderful place to visit. We went on a behind-the-scenes tour and saw the adjacent office building and house. In addition to those, we saw the basement and attic within the house. The house is in great condition and the staff have gone to great lengths to make it as original as possible. In the attic, there were a few other pieces that weren't on display for various reasons. It was a nice bonus. On the day we toured, there was another group recreated a historical Victorian breakfast so the house smelled wonderful. It would be fun to return and participate in that breakfast. Note that photography inside is prohibited. The stairs down to the basement and attic are somewhat more difficult than the main staircase. There isn't much to see in the basement, but it was still neat.
  • If you liked Downton Abby you will enjoy the tour.
  • It is Fun and interesting , If you love museums this the place for you.
  • Amazing historic tour.
  • Cool there