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attractions & oddities

resources

 

1

Behn's Game Farm

 

location:  Aniwa
amateur animal attraction

Wilbur makes the rounds past the Big Cat cages.
     

     
Two kitties consider the stranger with the camera for a dinner guest.

Wilbert Behn, the 80-something-year-old Lion Tamer of the Northwoods, still has a menagerie of animals at his farm, where for years he held shows for whoever happened to stop by.  Although retired, he has held onto one lion and one tiger to keep as pets.

2008 UPDATE:  Wilbur and his wife no longer live on the game farm.  The whereabouts of the big cats are unknown.  Hopefully Wilbur didn't just set them free along the Plover River.

  W18921 State Highway 52
Aniwa, WI  54408
(715) 449-2971

Roadside America
1. www.roadsideamerica.com
2. 1999 Update
3. Tips

Roadside Noise
www.roadnoise.com

Rake Magazine
article "Wild Kingdom >> Wisconsin Cat Man" or (here)

Twine Tour
www.twinetour.com

Thom.org
www.thom.org

book:
"Oddball Wisconsin"
by Jerome Pohlen
Chicago Review Press, Inc. (2001)
page 2

buy it at Amazon.com
buy it at Barnes & Noble.com

book:
"Midwest Marvels"
by Eric Dregni
UofM Press (2006)
pages 343 - 345
buy it at Amazon.com
buy it at Barnes & Noble.com

book:
"Roadside America"
by Mike Wilkins & Ken Smith & Doug Kirby
Fireside / Simon & Schuster (2nd ed., 1992)
page 27
buy it at Amazon.com
buy it at Barnes & Noble.com

 

2

World's Biggest Badger

Giant Squirrel & Log

 

location:  Birnamwood
record holder

     

Come for the Giant Badger.  Stay for the strippers!

The badger now has a protective wood fence between it and the roadway.  Once it loomed over a building on the property, but it has since been partially buried at the edge of the parking lot. The log is used as a garage, and it's a good guess that the broken branch is actually a chimney.

  Badger Country Exotic Dancers
N 11004 Route 45
Birnamwood, WI  54414

Roadside America
1. www.roadsideamerica.com
2. www.roadsideamerica.com

World's Largest Things
www.worldslargestthings.com

Roadside Architecture
www.agilitynut.com

World's Largest Roadside Attractions
www.wlra.us

Flickr photo by myklroventine
www.flickr.com

book:
"Weird Wisconsin"
by Linda S. Godfrey & Richard D. Hendricks
Barnes & Noble Books (2005)

pages 78 - 79
buy it at Barnes & Noble.com

book:
"Oddball Wisconsin"
by Jerome Pohlen
Chicago Review Press, Inc. (2001)
page 5

buy it at Amazon.com
buy it at Barnes & Noble.com

book:
"Roadside America"
by Mike Wilkins & Ken Smith & Doug Kirby
Fireside / Simon & Schuster (2nd ed., 1992)
page 266
buy it at Amazon.com
buy it at Barnes & Noble.com

book:
"Fill'er Up: The Glory Days of Wisconsin Gas Stations"
by James Draeger, Mark Speltz
Wisconsin Historical Society (2008)
page 21
buy it at Amazon.com
buy it at Barnes & Noble.com

 

3

Big Chicken Sign

 

location:  Birnamwood
roadside oddity

This large fiberglass chook sits atop a sign on Highway 45 in the middle of Birnamwood.

  Chet & Emil's Broasted Chicken
388 Main St.
Birnamwood, WI  54414

Roadside Architecture
www.agilitynut.com

Flickr photo by myklroventine
www.flickr.com

book:
"Oddball Wisconsin"
by Jerome Pohlen
Chicago Review Press, Inc. (2001)
page 3

buy it at Amazon.com
buy it at Barnes & Noble.com

book:
"Strange Wisconsin"
by Linda S. Godfrey
Trails Books (2007)
page 2
buy it at Amazon.com
buy it at Barnes & Noble.com

 

4

Large Field of Old Cars

 

location:  northeast of Shawano
vintage auto coagulation

photo courtesy of Tail Winds website

"I passed a huge collection of rusting old cars (at least dozens--if not hundreds). In the collection I was able to identify a 1961 Chevrolet Corvair (I had one) and a 1948 Buick (my mother had one that I learned to drive with). It was truly amazing. I asked a person getting mail from the mailbox whether this was a personal collection of cars. They responded in the affirmative."
- section from the Tail Winds website

  Somewhere northeast of Shawano Lake.  Anyone have more specific directions?

Tail Winds
www.tailwinds.org

 

5

Large Lumberjack Sign
in front of Kat A Lena's Lumberjack Restaurant

 

location:  Tigerton
roadside oddity

He once faced the road with his upside-down hand and pixie-like feet when this lot belonged to Kat-A-Lena's Lumberjack Restaurant.  It is now home to Rocks For Fun Cafe (see below), and the lumberjack is no more.

  was at:  N4410 US Highway 45
Tigerton, WI  54486
(715) 535-2008

 

6

Marion A-Maze-ment Park

 

location:  Marion (Waupaca County)
roadside attraction

"Rather than going with a corn maze, we decided a wood maze would be better. You can come out and enjoy our maze seven months out of the year...Quite simply the best maze in the midwest. Wisconsin's very own challenging fun-filled maze with over 2 miles to explore! Our maze is made of Arsenic-free wood, so it's safe for even the littlest of tots. Marion A-Maze-ment park is fun for all ages, whether you are 4 years old or 94 years old. Since we love confusing you, we change our maze pattern every 1st and 3rd Thursday."
- section from the Official Site

photo courtesy of official site

  111 Industrial Drive
Marion, WI  54950  MapQuest
(715) 754-MAZE or (866) 754-MAZE

                

hours:
April thru September

Official Site
www.marionamazementpark.com

 

7

Doc's Harley Davidson

 

location:  Bonduel
business with character / museum

photo courtesy of official site
      
photo courtesy of official site

      


Doc's knows how to get a customer's attention.  Not only is it a showroom for what may be the most popular and recognizable American-made product in existence, but they have created an atmosphere of entertainment that should keep everyone in the family happy.  For example:  the Classic Car & Cycle Museum, a replica 1938 Standard Filling Station, 2 "Dukes of Hazzard" cars above the showroom roof, a pirate ship, a Siberian wooly mammoth tusk, a zoo, a bed & breakfast complete with lighthouse, and elaborate customer appreciation parties.


  W 2709 St. Hwy 29
Bonduel, WI
  54107
(715) 758-9080

                     

hours:
(Mon & Thurs)  9am - 5pm  /  (Tues & Wed)  9am - 6pm
(Fridays)  9am - 8pm  /  (Saturdays)  9am - 4pm
(Sundays) 10am- 3pm

Official Site
www.docshd.com

Journal Sentinel Online
article "Hogs are just part of the fun" or (here)

 

 

8

Rocks For Fun Cafe

 

location:  Tigerton
restaurant with character

This is a novelty-rock-themed eating establishment, where you may dine in view of the multitude of comically-decorated stones as well as purchase them after dessert.

  (north of town across from Fairview Motel)
N4410 US Highway 45
Tigerton, WI  54486
(715) 535-2008

Official Site
www.rocksforfun.com

Hunt for Gems
huntforgems.com/cafe.html

 

 

 

sighting  /  phenomenon  /  morbid curiosity

resources

 

 

"Bigfoot in the Pickle Patch"
(1975-1983)

 
bigfoot
location:  Shawano

"Just then large snowflakes began to fall during a sudden squall. As Tom squinted, he could see brown shaggy hair hanging over the face, covering all the creature's facial features. He quickly pulled up his gun and aimed at it but could not fire. Strangely, a voice told him, 'Don't shoot.' This startled him."
- section from The W-Files report

recommended prescription:
take with 1 grain of salt

The W-Files
www.w-files.com

 

2

Shawano UFO Sightings

 
UFO
location:  Shawano

"As it grew closer I realized the object was too large to be a plane. In addition it had no flashing lights or landing lights. It was very long in length, possibly 200' to 500' feet. It had a row of what appeared to be windows yellow orange in color, with several lights in the front and rear the same color."
- section from UFO Wisconsin 11-16-99 report

UFO Wisconsin
www.ufowisconsin.com

 

3

Chicken Alley

 
    haunted road
location:  Seymour (Outagamie County)

      


A short road with ghostly chickens, unexplained voices, haunted trees & phantom snowmobiles.

  Take Highway 55 north from Seymour for almost 4 miles.  Turn left onto Shady Road, then right onto Chicken Alley.  Follow road as it goes around a curve.

Unexplained Research
www.unexplainedresearch.com

Wisconsin Paranormal Investigation Team (WIX)
www.hauntedwi.com

Gather
www.gather.com

book:
"The Wisconsin Road Guide to Haunted Locations"
by Chad Lewis and Terry Fisk
Research Publishing Co. (2004)
pages 182 - 184

buy it at
Barnes & Noble.com

book:
"Weird Hauntings"
compiled by Joanne Austin
Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. (2006)

page 66
buy it at Amazon.com
buy it at Barnes & Noble.com

book:
"Strange Wisconsin"
by Linda S. Godfrey
Trails Books (2007)
page 133
buy it at
Amazon.com
buy it at
Barnes & Noble.com

 

4

Gresham UFO Sightings

 
UFO
location:  Gresham

"...you can clearly see flashing red, green, white lights, flashing very quickly, like a cop car."
- section from UFO Wisconsin 02-20-00 report

UFO Wisconsin
www.ufowisconsin.com

 

5

Two Couples Shine a Bigfoot  (1981)

 
bigfoot
location:  Shawano

"The driver then put on his brights and now we saw a huge figure standing there which then just casually turned to it's left and started to walk."
- section from BFRO incident report

  In the "Mooseyard" (north of Shawano Lake around Highway H)

BFRO (Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization)
www.bfro.net

 

6

Stranded Motorists Spot UFO  (2001)

 
UFO
location:  Green Valley

"As her and her sister got out a second one came from nowhere. They had to be only a hundred ft above our heads. Not to mention they must have been 150-200ft each."
- section from UFO Wisconsin report

UFO Wisconsin
www.ufowisconsin.com

 

7

Bright Rays Coming out of Triangular Object  (1976)

 
UFO
location:  Marion (Waupaca County)

"They reported that at one point the object was pointed up and at another time pointed down."
- section from UFO Wisconsin report

UFO Wisconsin
(mistakenly listed in Grant County)
www.ufowisconsin.com

 

8

Old Sacred Heart Rectory
now called Sacred Heart Center

 
haunted
location:  Shawano

"Was an old Rectory for a church but was them moved a few blocks away. Very strange feelings in the attic, always cold up there even in the summer. House is almost too calming when candles are lit, almost like someone hugging you from the inside. One night (The person who wrote this used to live there) there were coughing noises out in the hall, only would go away if you told them to, not out loud but in your mind. Saw people congregating in the living room very late one night. Found fingernail scratches underneath stairs after a psychic came over. When on computer in kitchen always heard someone coming in the room late at night."
- section from The Shadowlands website

  314 S Main St.
Shawano, WI  54166

The Shadowlands
www.theshadowlands.net

Wisconsin Paranormal Investigation Team (WIX)
www.hauntedwi.com

Official Site
www.sacredheartofshawano.org

 

 

 

"Ghosts of America" Haunted Location Reports
(take with a grain of salt)

 
ghosts
location:  statewide

The reports on this site are presumably fiction, using random Wisconsin place names in the stories listed there.  Even so, you might get a kick out of reading them.

"The ghost of a guy with half his head missing is rumored to have been observed on a few occasions picking flowers in the side yard of a mobile home in Bonduel"
- section from Ghosts of America website

Ghosts of America
www.ghostsofamerica.com

 

10

Bowler High School and Middle School

 
haunted
location:  Bowler

"There has been said and heard of small children running up and down the hall of the high school. The high school kids have had unexplainable experiences, with lockers opening and closing, books flying, and cries of small children."
- section from The Shadowlands website

  500 S Almon St.
Bowler, WI  54416
(715) 793-4101

The Shadowlands
www.theshadowlands.net

Wisconsin Paranormal Investigation Team (WIX)
www.hauntedwi.com

 

 

 

taste of local history

resources

 

1

Arvid Miller Memorial Library Museum
aka Stockbridge-Munsee Historical Library Museum of the Mohican Nation

 

location:  Bowler
museum

"The museum part has a collection of cultural and historical artifacts from pre-contact to the Mission school eras.  We also have the Tribes' Bible on display."
- section from the Mohican Nation Official Site


  N8510 Moh-He-Con-Nuck Rd.
Bowler, WI  54416
(715) 793-4270

                      

hours:
(Mon - Fri)  8am 4:30pm

Mohican Nation Official Site
www.mohican-nsn.gov

Travel Wisconsin
www.travelwisconsin.com

 

2

Heritage Park Museum

 

location:  Shawano
museum

"The museum complex includes the John Kast house, built 1871; one-room schoolhouse, log cabin, cheese exhibit building, a natural limestone building and reception building. Exhibits center on area history. The buildings are located on the channel between the Wolf River and beautiful Shawano Lake. A footbridge leads to Sunset Island, a beautiful spot for picnics and fishing."
- section from Travel Wisconsin website


  524 N. Franklin St.
Shawano, WI  54166
(715) 526-3323 or (715) 526-3536 or (715) 524-2139 or (715) 524-4770 or (800) 235-8528

                

hours:
June thru September  (Wed, Sat & Sun)  1:30pm 4:30pm

Explore Wisconsin
www.explorewisconsin.com

Travel Wisconsin
www.travelwisconsin.com

 

3

Gresham Railroad Depot and Museum

 

location:  Gresham
museum

"View an unique collection of railroad memorabilia at this former railroad depot including telegrapher's equipment, pictures and timetables, old fashioned railroad lanterns, freight wagons and variety of other railway equipment."
- section from Explore Wisconsin website


  1311 North Main Street
Gresham, WI  54128
(715) 787-3271 or (715) 787-3634

                    

hours:
Summer:  (Saturday afternoons)  1:30pm 4pm

Explore Wisconsin
www.explorewisconsin.com

 

More Shawano County historical attractions listed at:

Explore Wisconsin

 


updated 02-21-09    all images excluding those attributed to others are property of Wisconsinosity.com