Fountain City Rock Garden

John and Bertha Mehinger  |  dates unknown  |  Fountain City, WI

Rock and concrete environment  |  1933-1935

This was one of those great moments in being lost.  After I left Prairie Moon Sculpture Garden, I remembered reading in Lisa Stone’s book, “Sacred Spaces & Other Places” (my bible to midwest environments) that in Fountain City there was a sculpture garden…no address, of course.  

Fountain City is one of those picturesque towns along the bluffs of the Mississippi, just north of La Crosse.  After driving around the steep streets of the town, trying to find it to no avail, I saw a little towheaded boy on the side of the road, selling lemonade and brownies, with his mom.  It was becoming a hot summer afternoon, so of course, I stopped and had a glass.  I asked his mom if she had ever heard of the sculpture garden.  She smiled, and pointed to the hill behind her house.  It was right there, in her back yard!  Love it when that happens.  She also told me that they (Kohler?) are going to be moving it to the Prairie Moon Sculpture Park this fall and restore it.

This charming, hillside rock garden was most likely influenced by other area grottos, such as Dickeyville and the Wegner grottos.  There are several rock walls, a windmill, archway, birdhouse and other rock sculptures all along the hillside.

Fountain City is also home to another roadside attraction, The Rock in the House.

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