Page 27 - 2021 Spring Green Visitor's Guide
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LONE ROCK
Welcome to Lone Rock, the coldest spot in the nation with the warmest heart. Incorporated in 1887, it is the gateway village to Richland, Iowa, and Sauk counties, covering a terrain of about one square mile and is nestled on the north side of the Wisconsin River along Highway 130 and meeting the North end of town at Highway 14. It is home to just under 900 residents. It sits on the Western edge of River Valley’s driftless terrain just inside beautiful Richland County, boasting a diverse landscape ideal for canoeing, kayaking, ATV, snowmobiling,  shing, and tubing. Spanning across the area’s majestic Wisconsin River waterways are three bridges, one being the Lone Rock Bridge, constructed in 1932, and is the oldest iron bridge still standing in the State. Lone Rock takes its name from an enormous sandstone outcrop that once stood high above the river’s edge. The ‘lone rock,’ as it was called by rafters, served as a visual landmark for ferry and riverboat commuters in the early 19th Century, who transported goods like furs and lumber, and it was also a major passageway for local Indian tribes. As the years passed, the ‘lone rock’ was slowly dismantled for local building construction, and only a small portion of it exists today. The railroad was built through Lone Rock in 1856, quickly making the Village the shipping center of the county. Today, the train is still seen frequently hauling freight between Middleton and Muscoda.
At the close of the Civil War, what’s known today as Battery Park, was purchased by a group of Civil War vets who used the park for gatherings and events. The small, white building in the park was owned by a man named Captain Henry Dillon, a tailor, who moved the structure from its original location in Richland City (just West of Lone Rock along the Pine River) to Lone Rock where it became a Civil War recruiting station for what would later be known as the Sixth Wisconsin Light Artillery. Today, the park is now enhanced by a Veteran’s memorial monument commemorating those who served in all branches of the military from the Lone Rock area, a peaceful place to sit and re ect. The park serves as an honorable centerpiece for the Village’s historical roots.
Lone Rock is also home to one of the  rst, licensed, woman doctors, Dr. Bertha Reynolds, who came from a long line of doctors and physicians. She served Lone Rock and surrounding
communities for the  rst half of the 20th Century, when perhaps it wasn’t fashionable for a woman to be, in what was then, a male- dominated profession. But for decades, she diligently cared for patients in the region with a passion and professionalism that was before her time. Once, when the river was  ooded and there was no passageway out of town, Dr. Reynolds responded to a medical emergency via airplane to neighboring Clyde, WI by a young, barnstorming pilot by the name of Charles Lindberg. Over the last 150 years, Lone Rock has seen incredible natural disasters that, on a couple of occasions, devastated the Village. But of all weather events that sparked in Lone Rock, the most popular is when it took the record for being the coldest in the nation.
On January 30, 1951, Lone Rock’s temperature dipped to a recorded -53 degrees below zero at 6 a.m. The Lion’s Club would commemorate the event soon afterward on a billboard that still stands today on Highway 14, touting Lone Rock as being the “Coldest in the Nation with the Warmest Heart.” Lone Rock has stood the test of time and remains a favorite gathering place for family and friends with a community building and four parks, two that include baseball diamonds, a splash pad, and plenty of historical signi cance to go around. The Village hosts a variety of major activities throughout the year, including the annual Fourth of July Celebration in July, the Cabin Fever Dance and auction hosted by the American Legion Auxiliary and held in March to raise money to send Veterans to Washington D.C.; The Festival of Trees, hosted by the Lone Rock Historical Society, held in December; and the Fly-In Drive-In Pancake Breakfast hosted in May by the Lone Rock Fire Department, which in 2019, celebrated its 150th Anniversary.
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