This is another area with so much to see. It’s amazing how many parks are nearby. This week there is free entry to all the national parks and monuments in the nation. We went to the Effigy Mounds National Monument which sits on a bluff in Iowa across from Prairie du Chien. There are 206 known burial mounds created between 850 and 1400 years ago by American Indians. Some of the mounds are in the shape of animals, with bears being the most common. There are many miles of walking trails at this monument in addition to overlooks of the Mississippi River. The sky was flat today which made for poor picture taking.
We also went to the Villa Louis mansion and got lucky. The admission building by the parking lot had a sign that said the Villa was closed until opening day on May 1st. We walked to the Villa anyway. Then there was a gate with a sign that said the Villa was closed. We went through it anyway and ended up meeting the director and the curator. They explained the reason for late opening each year is because St. Feriole Island is prone to flooding. The director offered to show us the inside and we sure didn’t say no. You MUST see this mansion, the interior is absolutely beautiful. There has been an on going project since the mid 1990’s to find every piece of furniture, picture, and artifact that was in the house originally. Even remnants of the original wall paper were digitally reproduced (a first) and hung in a bedroom. I was allowed to take pictures but either my built-in flash is inferior or I don’t know how to use it and so the pictures are pretty terrible. The Villa Louis sits on 23 acres and there are many other historical buildings on the lovely grounds.