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Western Gateway to Wisconsin

Supporting Tourism in Pierce County Wisconsin

Prescott, Wisconsin 54021

Text Box: Prescott Welcome Heritage Center
Prescott is about 30 minutes from Minneapolis at the confluence of the Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers in Western Wisconsin. It offers a small town atmosphere, unique shops, a bit of American "river town" history, lots of water recreation, an apple orchard where visitors can pick their own apples in the Fall, cross-country skiing and a chance to escape the big city. Famous American poet, William Cullen Bryant, once praised the natural beauty of these surroundings, saying: "This area ought to be visited by every poet and painter in the land."
In 1839, Philander Prescott, American frontiersman and fur trapper, was commissioned by the officers at Fort Snelling to build a house and a store at the site now known as Prescott and apparently named after Philander. Prescott eventually moved into what is today the Minneapolis-St. Paul area
with his wife and nine children. His wife, Mary, was the daughter of a Sioux

Indian chief and Philander was later much in demand as an interpreter for government officials in conference and treaty talks with Native American tribes. He was later killed in an ambush in 1862, during an Indian uprising in Redwood County. Personal journals left behind by Philander Prescott have become an invaluable historical document of his era.

From the 1850's into the early 20th century, Prescott was a strategic location since river traffic had to move on either the Mississippi or the St. Croix Rivers. Prescott sits right at the point where the two rivers join. It became a center for river shipping, steamboat transportation and milling, as immigrants streamed in via the steamboats and began settling Minnesota and Wisconsin. Millions of board feet of big white pine lumber were shipped down the St. Croix until the area became logged out and the railroads arrived. With the coming of the trains, the era of the steamboat waned and the flow of settlers diminished. Prescott's population decreased to 750 in 1930. In 1999, the population is 3,552 v.s. the nearly 3 million in the nearby Twin Cities.

Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy a wide array of water recreation in Prescott. There is power-boating, sailing and canoeing on the St. Croix River going north to Afton, Hudson and Stillwater. Prescott offers a public dock and boat launch with adjacent parking for vehicles with trailers, just a short walk from downtown. There are two public beaches and the city hosts a community festival in September, called Prescott Daze, featuring children's games, a parade, athletic tournaments, card playing tournaments, bingo, arts and crafts and food.

For cross-country skiing fans, Prescott offers several nearby trails where you can glide along in a silence broken only by chirp of Chickadees, the bubbling of a brook or the whisper of pines. Ten minutes north of Prescott, Kinnickkinnic State Park has 2.5 miles of cross-country trails. Willow River State Park, about 20 minutes north of Prescott has 8.5 miles of trails, offering flat, open, hilly and wooded terrain to cross-country skiiers.

Shopping in downtown Prescott includes unique shops, historical sites, causal dining, home cooking and fine dining. There is a picnic area along the river where one can hear the sounds of trains, boats, barges, ducks, geese -- and see a bald eagle occasionally winging overhead.

[Printed with the permission of the author Dorie Haugen.]

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 Circle K Directory (Reference Source for Pierce County, Wisconsin)
 N7653  650th Street, Beldenville, WI 54003
 
Phone (715) 273-7799
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