TOURS DAILY YEAR 'ROUND

Brigham seems a common name in southwest Wisconsin … travelers will notice Brigham Memorial Park, Brigham Township, Brigham Road and the like. Yet, where does this name originate? In 1789, Ebenezer Brigham was born to parents David and Martha in Shrewsbury, Worcester Co., Massachusetts. In May of 1818, at the age of 29, he journeyed west by raft, canoe, houseboat, and finally on foot from Shawnee town to St. Louis. Ebenezer made his way from St. Louis by horse, to a town called Galena in what is now northern Illinois.

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Many guests come from near and far to visit Cave of the Mounds National Natural Landmark! Although most guests comment or ask questions about geology, at least once a day a guest will pay particular attention to the cave’s lighting. Electricity for lights has been in play since we first opened in May of 1940, and there was one man who became a guidepost on the style of lighting we use today. His name was Gilbert Hemsley, Jr.

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It all began in Blue Mounds, Wisconsin, roughly 25 miles west of Madison, at the Brigham Farm. Members of the Brigham family had been living on the same site for about 112 years before the cave was discovered. The land where the cave was found had been used as a dairy farm by Charles Brigham Sr, who kept purebred jersey cows. It was the first farm in Wisconsin to keep track of scientific dairy records and had been doing so for over 50 years. This meant the family had developed a very close relationship with the Department of Agriculture and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

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Did you know that Travel Green Wisconsin is a program to promote smart, environmentally friendly business practices? Cave of the Mounds National Natural Landmark is proud to be a founding member of this Wisconsin Department of Tourism program. Like other members, we care for the environment and want to do our part to keep it clean and healthy! Members work hard to make small changes that have a BIG impact to continue our progress towards greener business practices. When you visit a Travel Green Wisconsin business like Cave of the Mounds, you’ll see how its done!

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Winter is a great time to enjoy family fun outdoors in Wisconsin. A little preparation and imagination can fill winter days with lasting memories and exciting, new family traditions. Bundle up and hunt for signs of wildlife in local green spaces as near as your own backyard!  A fresh snowfall on the trails reveals – almost instantly – the abundance of life that exists even in the dead of winter in Wisconsin.

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Did you know that, in addition to stalactites, stalagmites, and other cave formations, Cave of the Mounds contains a wide variety of fossils?  That’s right, ancient creatures are preserved in the rock right beneath our feet!  Looking at these fossils can take our imaginations back to a time when Wisconsin was a totally different—and amazing—place.

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