The Mineral Point Historical Society (MPHS) is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the unique history of Mineral Point, located in the Driftless Area of southwest Wisconsin. Our headquarters is the beautiful 19th century Italianate mansion and grounds known as Orchard Lawn.
We offer tours of this estate, sponsor events and programs for our community throughout the year and rent our facilities for private events, especially weddings.
MPHS is an important resource for historians, genealogists and anyone interested in the past, present or future of Mineral Point and the surrounding area. Our organization accepts not one penny of local, state or federal tax money – instead we operate and thrive because of the generosity and commitment of our friends, members and volunteers.
We invite you to visit us in Mineral Point.
The Mineral Point Historical Society is Up to Something!
Sun , February 19th – Lyceum #2 ~ Badger Huts & Early Mining in Mineral Point and Surrounding Area @ 1:00 p.m.
Location is Mineral Point’s First United Methodist Church
located at 400 Doty Street, Mineral Point WI
Join us as we explore Wisconsin’s “badger holes,” or “badger huts,” as they are more aptly called. Tracey Roberts is a history professor emerita at UW-Platteville who has done considerable research on Wisconsin’s badger huts. She will share with us tales of her badger hut explorations, more about their construction and usage, and other early mining dwellings in early Wisconsin.
Sun , March 5th – A Heart of Winter ~ Gathering of Readers @ 1:00 p.m.
Location is Orchard Lawn
located at 234 Madison Street, Mineral Point WI
We will take turns reading aloud 5-minute excerpts of works by our favorite authors. Prepare a reading of prose or poetry that you’d like to share. Choose to read a 4-line poem. Or several people may prepare a dramatic reading. 5 minutes or less per reader.
It is a party, of course. So come, have fun, break up the winter tedium, and join us for a gathering at Orchard Lawn, with maybe a fire in the fireplace, a bit of food and drink, a few good books, and thou.
If interested in reading call 608.558.1937 or email Michelle @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Sun , March 26th – Lyceum #3 ~ Genealogy and DNA @ 1:00 p.m.
Location is First United Methodist Church
located at 400 Doty Street, Mineral Point WI
Mary Eberle is a biologist and former patent attorney with 30 years experience in the field of DNA research. She now owns DNA Hunters, LLC and has presented many DNA workshops and talks around the country. She initially used her scientific training to develop DNA testing for transplant patients. In her work, she finds people’s biological parents and helps people understand their DNA results.
DNA is a powerful tool for genealogy research. Whether a family mystery involves breaking through a dead end in a genealogical paper trail or determining who relatives or ancestors are, DNA might provide the key to unlock a family mystery. Ms. Eberle points out, however, that just as in any type of genealogical record, it’s important to understand what you’re looking at and where to search.
Mary’s talk will begin with an overview of the ways DNA is used for family research: the types of DNA, the best companies to use, which relatives to test, and how to interpret DNA test results, as well as how to combine individual DNA results with traditional genealogy methods. She will also provide an overview on how to use additional sites to find more relatives. Mary is trained to use genetic genealogy to help people with unknown parentage, such as adoptees, foundlings, and donor-conceived individuals. Mary Eberle will provide amazing stories of how she has helped others use DNA testing to break down genealogical barriers and find those missing relatives.
Whether you are a family genealogist trying to solve a family mystery or you are thinking about ordering a DNA test, but not sure which one, come to this presentation. If you are feeling overwhelmed now that you have your DNA results, come and learn more.
The Mineral Point Historical Society warmly welcomes you to attend this, our third lyceum of the season. The program is free. Refreshments will follow the presentation.
Sat, May 6th – Tea Party at Orchard Lawn from 2:00-3:00 p.m.
Join us for tea and conversation at the historic Gundry House with the “Ten Dollar House” actors Scott Sawa and Micah Kronlokken, who portray Bob and Edgar, the original creators of Pendarvis! Space is limited so please email email@example.com if you are interested in participating.
Sat, May 6th – Historic Open House & Historical Home Tours Ticket sales from 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Self-guided historic home tours are open from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. This year there are 16 public and private homes on the tour including the Grundry House @ Orchard Lawn and Pendarvis!
Tickets ($15) are required and can be purchased in advance at Berget Jewelers or on Saturday at Orchard Lawn and the Set in Stone building at High Street and Commerce starting at 9:30.
Please see Mineral Point Chamber of Commerce website for a full list of events for this exciting Historic Preservation Celebration Weekend!
MOVED TO SUNDAY , May 21st due to weather – Orchard Lawn Arboretum Dedication from 1:00 -4:00 p.m.
Location is Orchard Lawn
located at 234 Madison Street , Mineral Point WI
Joseph Gundry had a love of trees and plants, bringing a variety of specimens back to Gundry House following their travels abroad. Using Joseph Gundry’s plant purchase lists and other historical records the Mineral Point Historical Society is able to identify some of the original trees planted by the Gundry family. Many of the trees located on the remaining acreage of Orchard Lawn are specimens that date back well over 100 years.
On May 20th 2017, the MPHS will celebrate the beautiful, majestic trees of Orchard Lawn with an arboretum dedication event. This dedication, beginning at 1pm, marks another step in the restoration and preservation work begun on this historic property many years ago.
The Orchard Lawn Arboretum dedication will bring focus to the large number of tree species on the property, which were identified using the above-mentioned Gundry documents as well as a Vegetation Analysis Plan completed in 1987. Documents such as these are used whenever restoration work is being done on the grounds.
Each tree species on the property have been identified using Quick Response (QR) code technology. This now common technology, allows visitors to Orchard lawn an opportunity to learn more about the individual tree species, using a smart phone. Using one of a number of free apps, a visitor scanning the QR code will automatically be linked to the Missouri Botanical Garden database and their information specifically on that type of tree. This technology was made possible thanks to the generous funding by the Jeffris foundation as well as the matching restoration donations made when MPHS was fundraising for that challenge grant.
The arboretum dedication at Orchard Lawn is destined to be a fun and educational experience for all! The day’s events will highlight the importance trees play in the preservation of a historic property in addition to their ongoing benefit to a community’s landscape.
Orchard Lawn is honored to be hosting tree expert and consulting arborist, R. Bruce Allison who will speak on “Trees’ role in our history.” Mr. Allison is an internationally recognized expert in advanced technology in tree decay, detection and tree risk assessment and is the author of three books: Every Root Has an Anchor, Wisconsin’s Champion Trees and If Trees Could Talk. He is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Cooperative Reseracher at USDA Forest Products Lab.
In addition to Mr. Allisons’ presentation, Orchard Lawn will host a series of afternoon events that include:
- Self-guided arboretum tour
- Mineral Point Chamber Music
- Tree planting
- Tree inspired art projects
- 19 Century yard games
- Beverages, Wraps, and sides for sale by The Gray Dog Deli
Please join this fun and informative event as we celebrate the heritage of Mineral Point’s trees at Orchard Lawn!
WEATHER UPDATE 5.19.2017 @ 8:25AM ~ We have our eye on the weather and we know you do too! Should rain decide to visit our Arboretum Dedication as currently predicted, we will move our event to Sunday from 1-4.
We will make the call by Saturday @ 10am. Please watch for event update on Facebook, website, or call 608.558.1937.
WEATHER UPDATE ~ 9:50 a.m. Saturday, May 20th ~ Due to weather our event has been moved to Sunday, May 21st from 1-4PM. Hope to see you then!
Proud sponsors of this event:
MITCHELL TRUE VALUE HARDWARE – MINERAL POINT, WI
Orchard Lawn Historic House Tours begin on Sunday, June 4th from noon until 3PM.
We have new hours for 2017
Friday noon – 4PM
Saturday noon – 4PM
Sunday noon – 3PM
*** Tours are cancelled when we have private events @ Orchard Lawn. Please see bottom of this page for those private events dates. ***
Jammin’ on the Porch on Friday the 9th @ 6-8 PM with The Dang-its Trio!
featuring Tom Waselchuk !!!
Our first band of the season will be Jammin on the Porch at Orchard Lawn! The band was founded in 1998 playing “Honky Tonk, Western Swing, and Americana,” and has steadily evolved to include bluegrass, country swing and country blues, folk, classic and alternative country, and singer-songwriter material, including original songs. Bring your chairs, blankets, snacks, and beverages, kick back & enjoy the sounds!
Field trip to Aztalan State Park
June 8th meet at Orchard Lawn to travel as a group
The Mineral Point Historical Society is sponsoring an outing to Aztalan State Park, Thursday June 8th 2017. Participants will meet at 11am at Orchard Lawn to coordinate transportation to the park.
Mark Dudzik, a state archaeologist will be our guide. The site requires walking and climbing onto the historic mounds. For those unable to walk the entire site, the Friends of Aztalan State Park provides a shuttle service. With your paid reservation, we can arrange a shuttle to take you through the site. This requires advanced notice, so sign up early.
The state park is a National Historic Landmark and contains one of Wisconsin’s most important archaeological sites. It showcases an ancient Middle-Mississippian village that thrived between A.D. 1000 and 1300. The people who settled Aztalan built large, flat-topped pyramidal mounds and a stockade around their village. Portions of the stockade and two mounds have been reconstructed in the park
This trip is open to our members, friends, and the community. This trip is by reservation only and requires a certain number of participants for us to hold the outing. Cost is $10. Please pay prior to the event to secure your reservation. Participants will travel in their own vehicles to the site. If you require transportation assistance, please call (608) 558 1937 or (608) 987 3222. If you plan to attend and can take an extra passenger, let us know that too, so we can accommodate those without transportation.
Each vehicle requires a state park sticker, which are available for purchase at the site. Participants are invited to bring a picnic lunch and beverage for after the tour. The site has a beverage machine and a pit toilet. For more information about the park, please see http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/name/aztalan/, which includes a video and online tour of the site. For questions and to register, please call 608-558-1937 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
There also is an Aztalan Museum operated by the Lake Mills Aztalan Historical Society within two miles of the park. It consists of nineteenth century buildings and artifacts. This will not be part of the tour, but participants may visit following the tour, if they like.
Volunteer Recruitment Fair
June 10th at Orchard Lawn, 10AM-2PM
The Mineral Point Historical Society is hosting a Volunteer Recruitment Fair Saturday, June 10 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Orchard Lawn, 234 Madison Street in Mineral Point.
The purpose of the event is to bring together area nonprofit organizations and potential volunteers, in a single place. Organizations will showcase their mission, volunteer “job descriptions” and discuss prospective opportunities directly with potential volunteers. Volunteers will be able to match their availability and interests with an organization that inspires their passion for volunteerism,
The seven non-profit organizations participating in this year’s event are: Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC), Arts Mineral Point (AMP), Community Connections Free Clinic (CCFC), Folklore Village, Mineral Point Historical Society (MPHS), Seniors United Nutrition (SUN) and Shake Rag Alley.
Each organization will have a booth on the grounds of Orchard Lawn, staffed with knowledgeable representatives – available to discuss specific volunteer positions within the organization and provide a schedule or time commitment each of those positions would entail.
Many people fear volunteer opportunities will grow and become unmanageable. MPHS has asked each organization to clearly outline what is involved with their volunteer positions and assure volunteers they will not be expected to give more time than the original commitment.
A sign-up sheet will allow interested volunteers to sign up and provide contact information in areas of their interest. Volunteers and the organizations will then follow up with each other after the fair. The event is free to volunteers.
Even if this is not a good time for you to commit to volunteer work, it is still a great opportunity to visit and learn more about the many ways these organizations contribute to the quality of life in our area. Please consider what the gift of as little as four hours a month could mean to your community!
Please email mineralpointhistory@gmailcom or call 608.558.1937 if your non-profit organization is interested in recruiting new volunteers at our June 10th event!!!!!
Jammin’ on the Porch @ Orchard Lawn on Friday the 14th @ 6-8PM with Stay Tuned!
Bring your chairs, blankets, snacks, and beverages, kick back & enjoy the sounds!
DON’T FORGET TO PRE-ORDER YOUR FIXIN’S FROM OUR EXCLUSIVE “JAMMIN'” MENU
Gray Dog Deli will be accepting pre-orders for Sandwiches, Wraps, and Salads. Each sandwich or wrap includes bottled water, chips, pickle, and cookie. Each salad includes bottle water and cookie.
Sandwich choices are: Curried Chicken Salad, Black Forest Ham and Cheddar, All Natural Turkey and Cheddar.
Wraps and Salad choices are: Chicken Cranberry Walnut, Curried Chicken Salad, or Sweet Caesar Chicken Salad.
Cost is $11 and will be delivered to Orchard Lawn by 6PM. Please call 608.987.4000 to place your order before Friday, July 14th @ 3:00PM.
Tequila Point will be accepting pre-orders for Street Tacos & Burritos.
Street Tacos: 3 Chicken, pork, or ground beef Tacos, chips and salsa, brownie, iced tea or water $10
Spicy beef burrito: includes guacamole inside, chips and salsa, brownie, iced tea or water $11.
Street Tacos & Spicy beef burritos will be delivered to Orchard Lawn by 6PM. Please call 608.987.6556 to place your order before Friday, July 14th @ 3:00PM.
Jammin’ on the Porch on Friday the 11th @ 6-8PM with Home Bound!
Fossil Workshop ~ For Kids of all ages!
Sunday, August 13h @ 1-3PM @ First United Methodist Church
Join us as Jim Kostohrys explains the mysteries of fossils.
LEARN: How to identify fossils
Where to look for fossils
Bring your fossils for Jim to identify and discuss. Jim also has a collection of rocks and fossils given to him by the late Roland Sardeson. Everyone young person who attends will receive a piece of Roland’s collection!
This event is free and refreshments will follow.
Jammin’ on the Porch @ Orchard Lawn on Friday the 8th @ 6-8 with Dan Law and the Mannish Boys!
The Mannish Boys are a Madison-based Blues band who are steeped in Chicago-style Blues, including artists like Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, Otis Spann, and Little Walter. They play harmonica-driven tunes with gritty fervor and dynamic energy and perform with raw exuberance and driving rhythms that make you want to boogie.
Bring your chairs, blankets, snacks, and beverages, kick back & enjoy the sounds!
Christmas Caroling on High. December 2. Meet at 6 o’clock at the Cornish Pocket Park next to the Opera House. We will carol for about an hour. Wear Victorian-style dress, if you have it. Bring your own songbook or we will provide.
Victorian Christmas at Orchard Lawn, 1-4. Date Dec. 9 Keep posted for details!
We will be closed to the public on the following dates in 2017 for Private Events at Orchard Lawn:
May 27th, 2017
June 3rd, 2017
June 24th, 2017
July 15th, 2017
August 19th, 2017
August 26th, 2017
September 14th, 2017
September 16th, 2017
October 7th, 2017