Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau

Parsons Indian Trading Post & Museum

Parsons Indian Trading Post & Museum

Parsons Indian Trading Post & Museum

Parsons Indian Trading Post & Museum Map
Address:
370 Wisconsin Dells PkwyWisconsin Dells 53965
Phone:
(608) 254-8533
(866) 281-8704
Open:
Year-round
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Phone:
(608) 254-8533
 
Phone:
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Overview
Parsons offers everything from souvenir items to sterling silver jewelry and authentic Native American Museum collectables.
 
Convention Overview
Parsons offers everything from souvenir items to sterling silver jewelry and authentic Native American Museum collectables.
     
     
    Parsons Indian Trading Post & Museum Videos
     
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    Parsons Indian Trading Post & Museum
     
    Parsons Indian Trading Post & Museum Stories
    2008-10-10Im sarh Im happy to go to wisconsion dells parsons indian trading post Ilike to buy animals skulls like wild boars well thats my little story I can relate thanks.
    -sarhlargo,f.l

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    Parsons Indian Trading Post & Museum Articles
    Time Capsules2010-04-01Landmarks in their own right, these legendary destinations and perennial favorites stand out in their appeal across generations.Read More
    Time Capsules
    2010-04-01

    When you've been around as a Wisconsin Dells tourism town for 150+ years, it's inevitable that some attractions will be viewed as more "flashes from the past" than nods to the future. Good thing residents of the Dells have found those "flashes" to be worthy of preservation and visitors have found them to be worthy of continued patronage, because some of these are the last of their kind.

    Circus World - Wisconsin Dells Museums

     


    We'll start a short drive out of town in a quaint little community known as Baraboo. There you'll find a national historic landmark -- Circus World. The Ringling Bros. Circus was founded in Baraboo in 1884 by five Ringling brothers and, naturally, they named their property in Baraboo "Ringlingville." This compound along the Baraboo River served as the winter quarters for the troupe. The buildings date from 1897 and, while they are the largest surviving group of original circus structures in North America, the museum's collection of circus artifacts may just be the largest in the world. It includes more than 210 original wagons and an exceptional collection of thousands of circus ads and posters. You can't miss the Buffalo Bill Wild West poster which measures nine feet high by 70 feet long. During the warm weather months, take in a performance in the Hippodrome, see live animals and daydream about what it must have been like to be a circus performer all those decades ago.

    Mid-Continent Railway Museum - Wisconsin Dells Museums

     


    For the next stop, it's the Mid-Continent Railway Museum in the town of North Freedom. Stroll museum exhibits of steam locomotives that date back to the 1880s and then hop aboard a restored steel coach for a 50-minute ride through the countryside.

    Lost Canyon Tours - Wisconsin Dells Museums

     


    As long as we're on the subject of transportation, let's add to the itinerary a horse-drawn wagon ride at Lost Canyon Tours, located on the south shore of Lake Delton, back in the Dells. This mile-long tour gets you so close to cliff-walled gorges that it's a wonder the large Percheron horses don't get spooked. According to the guides, who really live the part, the deeper recesses of Lost Canyon have not felt the touch of the sun in more than 50,000 years.

    Parsons Indian Trading Post & Museum - Wisconsin Dells Museums

     


    Then it's on to Parsons Indian Trading Post & Museum. This business was opened in 1885 by Glenn Parsons, an honorary chief of four Native American tribes and a local river boat captain. Today it stands as one of the world's largest purveyors of Native American gifts and artifacts. Beaded moccasins, satchels, ceremonial capes and bold jewelry are inspired in both their design and technique. Parsons features the work of tribes from the United States, Canada, Mexico and Central America.

    H.H. Bennett Studio - Wisconsin Dells Museums

     


    No historic tour is complete without a visit to the H.H. Bennett Studio, believed to be the oldest business in the Dells. Here, you'll see haunting images of Native American tribespeople and loggers, even Bennett's family. It was Bennett's other-worldly photos of the river and bluffs that helped turn Wisconsin Dells into a bustling tourism town.

    Big Sky Twin Drive-In Theater - Wisconsin Dells Drive-In Movies

     


    Last stop is the Big Sky Twin Drive-In Theater with its two big screens, each featuring a first-run double feature. Before the show starts, make a dash for the snack bar for some hot buttered popcorn, icy cold soda and sticky cotton candy. Now that'll take baby boomers back.

     

     

    View Article
    DIY History Tour2014-01-25Read More
    DIY History Tour
    2014-01-25

    From its earliest days as a fascinating tourism discovery some 150 years ago to its modern-day cache as The Waterpark Capital of the World!®, Wisconsin Dells has been largely powered by the ingenuity and work ethic of local families. Even today the majority of businesses in the Dells are owned by people who grew up in town, and that goes for most of the waterparks. So you’ll have to forgive the locals when they get a little superlative-happy. Let’s just say they earned it.

    Rather than delivering a dry history lesson following that preamble (this is vacation, not school, after all), get a real feel for the community with this rundown of inventions, rituals, firsts and quirks. It even makes for a handy DIY history tour of major landmarks.

    Just don’t be surprised if you find yourself uttering phrases like “Who knew?” and “Is that really true?” It happens all the time.
     



    Inventions
     

    The indoor waterpark 


    The Polynesian Resort was the first property in the nation to introduce the indoor waterpark concept; that was back in 1989. It started with a sketch on a napkin after local business partners attended a waterpark convention in Texas. No kidding – the blueprint for the first indoor waterpark was actually hand-drawn on a napkin.

    Today, the Dells has more indoor and outdoor waterparks per capita than anywhere else on the planet.

    Noah’s Ark Waterpark is the largest outdoor waterpark in the country, sprawling over 70 acres.

    The Wilderness Resort is the largest indoor/outdoor waterpark resort in the country.


    Stop-action photography


    Landscape photographer H.H. Bennett is credited with this feat, as evidenced by his 1886 “Leaping the Chasm at Stand Rock” photo of his son Ashley frozen in mid-air (the story goes that Mrs. Bennett was not aware this was going on). He also made Wisconsin Dells famous with his hauntingly beautiful images of the Wisconsin River and bluffs when he had them placed in train stations between Chicago and points north. His original studio still stands today on the main avenue and is a state historic site.



    Rituals


    Scenic river tour - Take a boat tour of the Upper or Lower Dells or both. Learn the names given to the more unusually shaped rock formations. The Upper Dells tour offered by Dells Boat Tours® includes a shore landing at mystic Witches Gulch and Stand Rock where you see the famous dog leap (recreating the leap of H.H. Bennett’s son – see “Inventions” above). Other scenic river tour choices include the world-famous Ducks (see Only in the Dells below) and water-skimming jet boats.

    Tommy Bartlett Show - This is one of the last professional water ski shows of its kind in the country. It’s staged Memorial Day through Labor Day on Lake Delton.


    Only in the Dells


    World’s largest fleet of WWII land-to-water vehicles. Known as DUCKS (military shorthand), this amphibious vehicle’s finest moment was D-Day, June 4, 1944, when more than 2,000 were put into service to deliver troops to the rough shores of Normandy, France. In 1946, a man by the name of Melvin Flath brought the first DUCKs to Wisconsin Dells and set up a tour company. Take a ride on both the Original Wisconsin Ducks® and Dells Army Ducks.  

    All 15 species of cranes. The International Crane Foundation is the only place in the world where you can see all 15 species of cranes, including the most endangered of all, the Whooping Crane.

    Largest collection of restored circus wagons. Circus World's collection of artifacts is the largest in the world and includes over 210 original wagons displayed at what was once the winter quarters of the Ringling Bros. Circus circa 1900.
     

    Vacation Firsts


    World’s first all-wooden looping roller coaster. The Hades 360° opened in 2013 at Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Parks. As if the loop wasn’t enough, the tracks also plunge underground, taking riders into complete darkness.

    America’s first trap-door looping waterslide. That would be Scorpion’s Tail at Noah’s Ark Waterpark. For the country’s only indoor versions of the looping waterslide, head over to the Kalahari Resort Waterparks, where they literally had to raise the roof to make room for the slides. Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort jumped on the bandwagon, adding their own outdoor versions in 2012.


    Kitschy Purchases


    Minnetonka moccasins. This fashion footwear is now found in chi-chi stores from coast to coast, but it’s been a staple in the Dells for generations. Grab a pair, or two, at Winnebago Fine Goods & Gift Shop, Aunt Jenny's Got-It-All Store, and Parson’s Indian Trading Post.

    Old timey photo. Three studios downtown let you pretend you’ve taken a step back in time: Capone's Original Old Time Picture Studio, Old Abe's Old Time Portraits, and Prof. Porter's Old Time Portraits.
     

    Quirky Fun


    MIR space station. This 43-foot-long piece of Russian space hardware is on display at the Tommy Bartlett Exploratory – Interactive Science Center. It was acquired from a Moscow museum in need of cash. It’s the only MIR exhibit in the world that you can step inside.

    A house on a rock. Built atop a chimney of rock, The House on the Rock is a complex of rooms all chock-a-block with mind-boggling collections including the world’s largest carousel. It was built in the 1940s by eccentric architect and overly zealous collector Alex Jordan and is located just a short drive from the Dells.

    Believe-it-or-not oddities. Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum is an “odditorium” of interactive galleries that pay tribute to the odd and strange. Shrunken heads, anyone?  
     

    Foodie Temptations


    Monk’s burgers. The owner of Monk’s employed “aroma marketing” – venting the smell of burgers and fried onions onto the sidewalk – to lure in hungry tourists when he opened the downtown joint in 1947. It still works today.

    Fudge. For sweet tooths, there is the double joy of watching fudge being made andthen eating it. Confectionary shops line the downtown, which has a boardwalk feel to it.

    Fried cheese curds. It’s Wisconsin, say no more. A staple on the appetizer menu of most restaurants in town.

    Microbrews. Ditto to above statement, it being Moosejaw Pizza & Dells Brewing Co., Port Huron Brewing Company and Sprecher’s Restaurant & Pub of Wisconsin Dells are a fine trio of establishments to try.

    Brandy and Wine. Wollersheim Winery, established in the 1840s by a Hungarian nobleman who went on to be known as the founder of the California wine industry, offered its first batch of all-Wisconsin brandy last year and it sold out immediately. Must be because it’s the key ingredient in the state’s most popular mixer, the Old Fashioned.  Wollersheim has national wine awards to its name too. There’s also Fawn Creek Winery with a vineyard carved out of a pine grove.  

    Supper Clubs. In Wisconsin it often means a cocktail at the bar, relish tray to start the meal, homemade rolls and breads, a great entrée (usually a steak or seafood), and irresistible dessert, all served by talented wait staff. Great examples here include the Del-Bar, House of Embers and Ishnala Supper Club which is open seasonally on Mirror Lake.


     

    Frank Lloyd Wright Connection


    Two restaurants. The Del-Bar and Field’s at the Wilderness, both fine dining establishments, were designed by a protégé of the master, with the Del-Bar being classic Prairie-style and Field’s offering a more contemporary interpretation.

    Seth Peterson Cottage. Built in 1958, this tiny 880 square foot cottage on a bluff overlooking Mirror Lake was the first Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home in the country to be available for public overnight rental. Sadly, FLW died before it was completed and Seth Peterson, the home’s commissioner and a fan of Wright’s from an early age on, never lived in the cottage due to an untimely death at age 24.


    Monikers


    Waterpark Capital of the World!® With waterparks in all shapes and sizes and more than 200 waterslides, no other destination comes close to Wisconsin Dells status in this category.

    Spring Break Capital of the Midwest. The indoor waterparks provide a feel of the tropics for family spring-breakers.

    Mini-Golf and Go-Kart Capital of Wisconsin. These could be in the “Rituals” category too, with both activities offered outside and inside.
     

    Haunted


    Showboat Saloon. This 100-year-old establishment in downtown Dells has long been purported to be haunted by the ghost of a past resident named Molly who liked to open and close doors and fiddle with appliances on the second floor so much that the owners stopped renting out the upstairs apartment. 

    Leroy Gates Some in the community say the ghost of lumber rafter turned riverboat captain Leroy Gates, R.IP. 1895, haunts the waters of the Wisconsin River to this day.  It was back in 1856 that he took out an ad declaring he had purchased a boat for the purpose of touring occult caves of the Dells – a premonition of things to come perhaps? 

    Belle Boyd Famous Confederate spy Belle Boyd died during a visit to the Dells – she was in town to present a dramatic narrative of her spying adventures when she suffered a heart attack. She’s buried in the Wisconsin Dells Spring Hill Cemetery, where her ghost is said to wander the graveyard.


    Small Town, Big Tourism


     

    • 19.5 square miles. Yes, that’s all it is.
    • 5,600 permanent residents. And that’s including both the city of Wisconsin Dells and the village of Lake Delton (locals fondly refer to the combo as “the Dells”).
    • Nearly 10,000 Number of hotel rooms and other overnight lodging options, more than any other destination in Wisconsin.
    • Four million. The number of estimated visitors each year.
       
    View Article
    ‘Tis the Season: Best Places to Spend Christmas2014-11-13Wisconsin Dells specializes in the fine art of fa-la-la-ing and ho-ho-ho-ing.Read More
    ‘Tis the Season: Best Places to Spend Christmas
    2014-11-13

    ‘Tis the Season: Best Places to Spend Christmas

    Wisconsin Dells specializes in the fine art of fa-la-la-ing and ho-ho-ho-ing.

    Meaning, the local business owners here revel in the opportunity to each December transform the Dells into holiday cheer central. Looking for holiday travel ideas? The list below is a good starting point. Now break out that Christmas sweater!

     

    Indoor Snowfall, Life-size Gingerbread House Great Wolf Lodge gets the gold star for its indoor Snowland®. Snow machines create real snowflakes, how cool is that! Plus there’s a life-size gingerbread house you can reserve for breakfast, lunch or dinner; it seats up to six.
     


    Disney Musical, Overnight Stay The new Palace Theater is staging the beloved Disney musical, “Mary Poppins,” through January 3. There’s just something about getting dressed up for a dinner theater production that says holiday to us.Spend the night at the Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort right across the street and save on tickets. For little boys and girls who have been extra good, the resort will even arrange for “elves” to make special deliveries. 



    Waterslides and Snow Slides Mt. Olympus Hotel Rome brings you the winter versionof the waterslide with free tickets to Christmas Mountain Village Ski, Snowboard & Tube for overnight guests of their resort. Plus you’ll get free passes to all the indoor fun at Mt. Olympus Theme Park & Water Park. That should keep everyone plenty busy and plenty happy.
     



    Busy Elves Chula Vista Resort clearly loves the holiday season, as evidenced by their line-up of December activities, including photo ops with Santa and Mrs. Claus, wagon rides, crafts, sing-alongs, holiday movies, story time, even an elf tuck-in.
     



    The Big Day Enjoy a scrumptious holiday buffet at Kalahari Resorts & Conventions when you stay December 24-25. Then head to the waterpark for some festive family fun. Hmmm, do you still need to wait an hour before you swim?  Might be difficult to enforce given all the incredible slides and rides here.


    Five Ways to Add to the Holiday Fun

    Sleigh Ride There’s nothing that says “classic holiday” quite like a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the snow at Red Ridge Ranch Riding Stable. Woodside Ranch in nearby Mauston also offers wagon and sleigh rides, plus snow tubing, sledding and cross-country skiing for day visitors.

    Train Ride For an experience that says “Christmas past,” hop aboard the 20th annual Santa Express, a train ride with the Jolly Old Elf himself aboard a historic train at the Mid-Continent Railway Museum in North Freedom. There are departure times throughout the day on November 29 and 30. Oh, and you’re guaranteed to be toasty warm because they use the century-old tradition of steam heating or coal-fired stove heating on the train. Come to think of it, isn’t that what they use at the North Pole too?

    New Pair of Slipper Moccasins What’s the holiday season without a new pair of snuggly slippers. Pick up your favorite moccasin-style slip-ons at Winnebago Fine Goods & Gift Shop, Aunt Jenny’s Got-It-All Store, and Parson’s Indian Trading Post.

    Create Your Own Holiday Treasure Paint It! Pottery Shop in downtown Dells is for all ages and all artistic abilities, plus they have specials all December-long. Create an ornament or chip ‘n dip tray that is uniquely yours.  

    Christmas Candy Sweet tooths unite! There’s something called the “Tower of Temptation” at Swiss Maid Fudge that seems tailor made for gifting or enjoying with those who made it to your “nice” list. The trio includes turtles, fudge and cashew crunch. The chocolate crème de menthe fudge at Goody Goody Gum Drop sounds goody goody good to us. Maybe pick up some champagne truffles while you’re there to tuck away for New Year’s Eve.

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    Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau

    701 Superior Street, PO Box 390
    Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965-0390
    (800) 223-3557
    (608) 254-4293 (Fax)
     

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