Quirky or Unexpected Spots in Kenosha
What unique/historical/roadside sites does Kenosha, Wisconsin have? What are some fun facts? The largest mammoth was discovered here. We are home to the oldest continuously operating lunch car diner. You could win a trivia competition about Kenosha if you memorize this info:
- Kenosha is home to a castle full of cheese, New Glarus beer (only sold in Wisconsin), “cheesehead” souvenirs, and many more treats. Stop by Mars Cheese Castle next time you visit!
- The oldest operating velodrome in the U.S. is in Kenosha. The Washington Park Velodrome opened in 1927 and it’s the only track in the state. The 333-meter track has 28 degree banked corners that make for some exciting bicycle races!
- Winter Dance Party fans will be excited to hear that Kenosha now has a sculpture to commemorate the second stop on the Winter Dance Party Tour (Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper, and Dion and the Belmonts). The concert took place in the building across the street from the sculpture’s location.
- For a taste of New York City … view a Miniature Statue of Liberty inside the Kenosha History Center. This statue was first installed in 1950 in Civic Center Park. It was a gift to the city by local Boy Scout troops to mark Kenosha’s 100th anniversary as an incorporated city.
- For a taste of Paris … Kenosha has its very own Wallace Fountain! The public, drinking water sources are primarily found in Paris, France. There are possibly more than 150 Wallace Fountains located outside of Paris with up to 10 of them in the United States. It’s an art piece here.
- The oldest continuously operating lunch car diner in the U.S. is in Kenosha – Franks' Diner. It’s been here since 1926! “Order What You Want … Eat What You Get!”
- As you enjoy Eichelman Park and Beach, you may wonder what the artillery piece is all about. The Model M1898 7-inch Siege Howitzer was manufactured by Watervliet Arsenal in 1900 and was placed in the park in 1920. Typically used for "indirect fire" (shelling an unseen target), it weighs 3,650 lbs. Only thirty were ever built for the U.S. Army. Several were used for emergency coast defense in the Spanish-American war, though there was little opportunity for their use.
- Beach glass can be found on our beaches – and on the side of the Kady B. Faulkner building at the historic lakefront property Kemper Center! There is an outdoor mosaic which was made from items found on a nearby beach. The artwork depicts the making of altar bread and wine as the building was used for the growing bakery business operated by the Sisters of St. Mary at the all-girls school.
- Actor, writer, director, and producer Orson Welles is just one of many celebrities from Kenosha. A plaque sits in front of his birthplace in the Library Park Historic District.
- Two mammoths were discovered in Kenosha. The discovery of the Schaefer Mammoth helped prove that Native Americans were in North America 1,500 years earlier than previously thought. The Hebior Mammoth is the most complete and largest woolly mammoth ever excavated. These two local mammoth sites are two of the three oldest archaeological sites in the Western Hemisphere. Their story is told at the Kenosha Public Museum.
- You can visit “Mary’s Sugar Shack” during select events at Hawthorn Hollow Nature Sanctuary and Arboretum. Hawthorn Hollow offers traditional maple syrup tapping and cooking on-site; this building is used for the cooking and bottling process of their syrup.
- The 1962 Rambler American that was seen in the 3rd Rock from the Sun television show is now owned by the Kenosha History Center. It’s currently on loan to another museum.
- Kenosha is the global headquarters for Jockey International, Inc. There are two stores here.
- Inventor Christopher Latham Sholes – who spent part of his life in Kenosha – invented the QWERTY keyboard that is still used today. He’s also thought to be one of the inventors of the first typewriter in this country.
- Kenosha had an All-American Girls Professional Baseball League team. The Kenosha Comets played at two different locations in Kenosha, including historic Simmons Field.
- A labyrinth can be found at Wolfenbuttel Park. The Peace Tree Labyrinth is a 6 circuit, 900 square foot permanent meditational labyrinth facing Lake Michigan. It was constructed in 2011 by the five Girl Scouts of (now retired) Troop #7193 and gifted to the City of Kenosha.
You never know what you’ll find as you sightsee in the Kenosha Area. From city streets to country roads, there are miles and miles to explore!