The Boscobel Hotel
Located in the heart of downtown Boscobel is the Boscobel Hotel. Built in 1863 and originally known as the Central House, this three-story native limestone landmark is now listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places. The hotel etched its mark in world history in 1898 when two Christian traveling salesmen shared a room and conceived the idea of a Christian travelers’ association. That meeting led to the formation of the world-famous Gideon Society, which has since placed millions of Gideon Bibles in lodging facilities throughout the world. Here is a brief history of the Central House / Boscobel Hotel.
1005 Wisconsin Avenue
Hours: Daily 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Phone: 608-375-4714 or 608-485-0346
The Old Rock School
The Old Rock School is an excellent example of turn-of-the century Romanesque revival. The building was saved from demolition through a concerted effort to preserve the city’s rich architectural heritage and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today it is home to grades K-1 and complements a rich variety of educational opportunities for area youngsters.
207 Buchanan Street
Hours: Open during School Hours
Museum – The Boscobel Depot
Since the construction of the “old depot” in 1857, the Boscobel Depot was the “heartbeat of the area.” It served as the marshaling point of over 2000 young enlisted men of the Union Army, and again in subsequent years of WWI and WWII. It also served the area with food and industrial goods, as well as travel-through station. Included among notable people entering the city were the two traveling salesmen, Samuel E. Hill and John H. Nicholson, who began the writings of the Gideon Bible, as well as John Blaine who left the city for a 3-term governorship of Wisconsin and later adversary for President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
The Boscobel Depot has recently been restored and will again serve the community as a very functional building with the conversion of its interior into a “Turn-of-the Century Railroad” and “Early Rural America walk-through museum.”
The Boscobel Chamber of Commerce has established a tourist information center in the front office of the building.
Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., Mon., Tues, Thurs, Fri.
The Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) Hall
A meeting hall for veterans of the Grand Army of the Republic was established after the war and it still stands today. It is considered by experts to be the only remaining G.A.R. Hall in Wisconsin, possibly in the Midwest. The Hall received State & National Registers of Historic Places designation on December 27, 2007.
The GAR Civil War Museum is filled with mementos of the Civil War era. Pictures, old drums, flags, and even volumes of history from local veterans can be see at the hall.
102 Mary Street
Hours: Open during community festivals or by appointment