Wandering Woodruffs travel blog


We began the day visiting the recreated Historic Rogers Street Fishing Village with 1886 Two Rivers Lighthouse in Two Rivers, WI ($8 total admission fee); we were the only visitors while we were there. We explored 1) the LeClair Shed, built in the 1800's that houses a commercial fishing exhibit (fish have been harvested commercially in Two Rivers for over 165 years); 2) the 1886 North Pierhead Lighthouse that guides ships and fishermen into the harbor until 1969; 3) the inside of a fishing tug; 4) a French-Canadian kitchen and parlor; 5) the Kahlenberg engine room with a working 1924 Kahlenberg engine; 6) shipwreck display with artifacts from the ROUSE SIMMONS (the Christmas tree ship), the steamer VERNON, and others off the coast; and 7) Great Lakes Coast Guard Museum with items from the pre-1915 Life-Saving station and a present-day U.S. Coast Guard Station. We then visited the Washington House, an 1850 saloon and hotel, where the ice cream sundae was first sold. We then, of course, then had to try a small sundae in the delightful ice cream parlor off the main entrance.

We drove to Manitowoc (pronounced man-i-toe-woc) which is the county seat of Manitowoc County to give Dan the opportunity to take pictures of the county courthouse. We had a late lunch at the "Courthouse Pub" around the courthouse square. The restaurant really maintains its theme with a sign in the window, "Court in Session", and the bill printed on a parking notice envelope! I enjoyed a homemade chicken salad sandwich while Dan's Swiss and Mushroom burger was one of the best he'd eaten!

We then headed to the Wisconsin Maritime Museum, located on the shores of Lake Michigan in downtown Manitowoc, which includes a tour of the U.S.S. Cobia, a submarine. Unfortunately, the last tour of the day had just departed when we arrived. So we decided to visit the museum when leaving the area after seeing that the museum had a fairly large parking lot that could accommodate our motorcoach and towed vehicle. While walking along the shoreline, we saw the S.S. Badger, a Lake Michigan car ferry, depart from Manitowoc on its 4-hour voyage to Ludington, MI.

In one of those quirky twists of fate, because we had missed the tour at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum we had time to visit West of the Lake Gardens along Lake Michigan. These incredibly beautiful gardens are owned and operated by the Ruth St. John and John Dunham West Foundation, Inc. (no public funds are used in the operation of this garden) and are offered free for the enjoyment of all who share the owners love of beauty. The self-guided tour included the Woods Gardens, the Japanese Garden, the Sunken Garden, the Pond Garden, the Rose Garden (I could hardly pull myself away from these Hybrid Tea, Floribunda, and Grandiflora roses), the Red and White Garden, the Path Garden, the Mae West Garden, the Formal Garden with its pots of succulents and Italian sculpture, and the Loop Garden. While walking through the garden, we met the head gardener/horticulturist and had an opportunity to exclaim our admiration for his work. He was very modest and even insisted that we should have seen the garden a month or so ago when the roses were at their peak color and vibrancy. What an absolute delight and treasure for Manitowoc!



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