The Don Q Inn is a hotel located in Dodgeville, Wisconsin and also proudly presented in the Weird Wisconsin book. Other places I’ve visited in Weird Wisconsin include House on the Rock and the Pink Elephant. There are so many more places that I’d like to visit that are featured in this book.
Besides the themed hotel rooms and fantasy suites, the Don Q Inn is known for the very large Boeing C-97 attraction located conveniently on the front lawn. According the the website: “the plane flew to its present location adjacent to the hotel. Farah Fawcett signed the fuselage after filming a TV commercial there long ago.”
In case you can’t read that whole picture:
“Our plane is a Boeing C-97, built in 1952.
It was used during the Korean Ware to transport troops and could seat up to 150 people.
Our plane was also used to transport cargo, handling up to 95,000 pounds.
The plane empty weights 90,000 pounds, is 110 feet 4 inches in length and has a wing span of 141 feet 6 inches.
The fuel tanks hold 6800 gallons of fuel.
This plan was used to haul cargo to disaster areas such as Biafria and Bangledash.
Due to uneconomical circumstances (burning 600 gallons of fuel per hour) the government decided to scrap all planes and Don Quinn was ablet o purchase this plane at a reasonable price.
The plane has 4 Pratt & Whitney 4360 Cubim CM. engines, each with 28 cylinders, 56 spark plugs, and 3500 horsepower per engine. The spark plugs are made of platinum at a cost of #100.00 per plug.
The plane cruised at 300 miles her hour at 25,000 Feet.
This plane spent 10,068 hours in the air.
The commercial version of this plane was a luxury Strato-cruiser, seating 50-80 peple, and was considered the “Cadillac” of planes in its day.
This plane was used to film two Mercury Cougar Car commercials in 1975, featuring Farrah Fawcett. Her autograph appears on teh lower fuselage.
Our plane was purchased in 1977 from a bankrupt company in Long Beach, CA. and flown into Dodgeville on october 16, 1977. It landed on the 2800 foot runway adjacent to the Inn.
The pilot, ____ Schmidt, landed the plane with the wheels three feet over each side of the runway creating a large cloud of dust upon touch down. The plane was put into reverse and the brakes pushed to the maximum.”
Located way off in the middle of nowhere in Wisconsin, my friend and I drove to a little city called New Glarus. Also known as America’s Little Switzerland and home to, my favorite, New Glarus Brewery. New Glarus was established as a Swiss Colony in 1845 and incorporated as a Village in 1901. So pardon the title of this post as I actually visited a village and not a city.
The best part about this little village is how many cows there are. They must’ve done a public art event at one point otherwise the village likes cows. Besides the cows, I really loved the strasse street signs above all the American ones. I felt like I was back in Switzerland once again!
Also, AT&T does not have good service in this area of Wisconsin. Actually, there was like no service. I had my GPS on when I left Spring Green, but the service cut out and I ended up going the wrong way and having to backtrack. This was further south from Taliesin location and the roads were all winding. Also, there was a detour which took much too long. We arrived a little later than we wanted to. My Google Maps search gave me the address to a different part of the Brewery where they offer the “hard hat” tours. We found the correct address (only about a mile away) and we still had enough time to tour the Brewery and sample some of our favorite beers. Check out the champagne style beers in the last photo; these made it worth it.
The weekend following the Fourth of July celebrations my friend, Amanda, and I traveled all the way to south-western Wisconsin to a little city known as Spring Green. Spring Green is home to a famous architect and also home to a very eclectic collector. This is the photographic journey of Taliesin.
The weekend following the Fourth of July celebrations my friend and I traveled all the way to south-western Wisconsin to a little city known as Spring Green. Spring Green is home to a famous architect . Our Sunday began meeting at the Taliesin Visitor Center. We chose the two hour Highlights Tours which allowed us to walk through the school and through the house. There is also a four hour long estate tour also that encompasses the entire estate (bring your walking shoes!). If you were looking for photos of the furniture and layout of the buildings, you will be disappointed reading any further. The Taliesin Preservation does not allow photographs to be taken inside any the buildings.
Our tour begins arriving at Hillside, which is the architecture school on the grounds. There were students working while we were there and the main classroom has the most amazing natural lighting – all thanks to Frank Lloyd Wright’s design. The ceiling jutted out at an angle allowing window placements that faced the north. Wright believed that the best natural lighting occurred when windows were facing north.
The first class of students that Wright invited to Taliesin was during the depression era. They were told to come to Spring Green with eight hundred dollars and a tuxedo. The tuxedo was for formal Sunday evening social events to mingle. It seems that the students “tested” all of his designs and constructed additions to the Taliesin buildings while Wright oversaw the work. Once the students graduated, Wright offered them a piece of the large Asian vase in the photo below. As soon as the piece lost it’s oriental glory, Wright stopped this practice.
The buildings created sort of an L shape with this bridge in-between them. The school and dorms on one end and the kitchen, dining hall and theatre on the other end. These below are of the theatre. In the third photo you can see the asian themed wall partition and some of the pink velour covered seats which reside in the theatre. The drapes on the stage were a beautiful abstract piece that incorporated different highlights of Taliesin.
This is the entrance into the theatre. The ceilings even outside are quite short. Wright was a shorter man so all his designs are appropriate height for himself. Most of the entrances on the inside of the buildings had a low ceiling. But, once you walk a little further into the room, the ceilings are raised higher. Wright designed this to open up the rooms, but also to invite people into the home by architectural design. If you can see the edge of the window in the photo below, it is two glass panes that connect at the corner of the building. This allows the person, while inside, to have an unobstructed view of the landscape surrounding them. It is two piece of glass sitting next to each other – no silicon or caulk – and, yes, bugs get in and out as easily as the winter chill.
This little windmill is designed to be on top of the hill when most of his designs are built into the side of the hills. It is called the Romeo and Juliet Windmill. This is the oldest Wright building in Wisconsin as it was constructed in 1986 and has only had minor restoration repairs on the shingles. †I didn’t get to see it up close, but†Wright described it as:
“This windmill, towering above surrounding trees, is the combination of a working principle and artistic expression. Vertical metal straps are anchored in a deep stone foundation as the roots of a tree in the ground. The wooden superstructure, bolted to these rods, makes the whole structure as impregnable as a barrel. Romeo, the prow, faces in the direction of strong winds; while the observation tower, Juliet, clings safely alongside. This early engineering-architecture has long outlived the doubting valley residents who, after each storm, would come to their doors to see if the tower were still standing. It is — after sixty years — upright, slender and graceful as the day it was built.”
It was beautiful landscape surrounding his designs. The next photographs are of the house and garden.
It was very hard for me to stay with the group. I should’ve done the four hour estate tour. It was beautiful landscape surrounding his designs and I wanted to take photographs of everything.
Wright believed in encompassing nature into all his designs and this house definitely extended itself into the garden.
I would love to have my bedroom with a view of the rolling hills of Wisconsin (as long as winter never comes). But back to the garden again. I’m talking trellises, limestone stairs, fountains, statues and just all around gorgeousness.
I would love to have my bedroom with a view of the rolling hills of Wisconsin (as long as winter never comes). But back to the garden again. I’m talking trellises, limestone stairs, fountains, statues and just all around gorgeousness. When can I move in?
I did a guest post about Frank Lloyd Wright and the Taliesin Preservation over at Museum Road Trip. All my extra photos will be up tomorrow.
These are the highlights from Racine’s Fourth of July Parade.
These are the photographs I took last week at the Wind Point Lighthouse.
The decay is slow, but this building has been near Highway 38 since I can remember.
I’ve seen this Pink Elephant many times from the interstate, but have never stopped to take a picture with this roadside attraction in DeForest, Wisconsin. I put this on my to-do birthday list this year and now I’ve completed it!
House on the Rock is one of the most interesting places I’ve ever been to in my life. Alex Jordan started carving a house into Deer Rock Shelter which overlooks Wyoming Valley in Spring Green, Wisconsin. He started charging admission to curious onlookers and that funded the building of a new addition to the house each year. The house in amazing and so are the collections. I’ve crossed this of my birthday to-do list.
The Eco-Justice Center is located in Racine, Wisconsin and is a green, sustainable living 15 acre site run by sisters and staff. This past weekend I attended their Fall Festival.