The "Museum at the Castle" in Appleton is operated by the Outagamie County Historical Society. The building was originally constructed as a lodge and temple for the local Masons. It's located on College Avenue, right next to the Lawrence University campus.
The famous/notorious Senator Joseph McCarthy (1908-1957) grew up near Appleton, and his political career started with his service as a Circuit Court Judge here as well. The "Museum at the Castle" possesses many artifacts associated with his career, but this bust was the only one on display when I visited. Interestingly enough, the museum does have an extensive display - several rooms - dedicated to the life of Harry Houdini, who also lived in Appleton - although only for four years. Erich Weiss, aka Harry Houdini, spent part of his cildhood here in Appleton, where his father served as Rabbi for the pioneering Jewish synagogue. Later in life, Houdini would claim to have been born in Appleton, but he was actually a native of Budapest.
The bust of Senator McCarthy was unveiled at the Outagamie County Courthouse in 1959, and stood there in public until 2001 when it was given to the historical society.
Appropriately for a museum in the heart of the "Paper Valley", the Museum in the Castle features several exhibits that detail the development of the paper and pulp industry along the Fox River.
I have done plenty of fishing and boating on Lake Winnebago, The Fox River, Lake Poygen, and Lake Buttes Des Morts in my 10 years here. Winnebago is about 30 miles in length and roughly 5 miles wide and offers many scenic areas for life afloat. There are Walleye and
White Bass runs throughout the season and fishing can be excellent at times.
Just being out on the water is relaxing for me, whether or not I am keeping a lure wet that particular day. The boating set is generally a close-knit and friendly bunch. You will see everything from simple aluminum fishing boats to some spectacular houseboats and cruisers. During major events like 4th of July, many people view fireworks from their boats in a flotilla-style arrangement.
A couple of things to keep in mind about these lakes. They are ALL deceivingly shallow. The deepest point of Winnebago is a mere 19-20 feet, and there are numerous shoals just below the waterline. A depth sounder is a must and GPS is a very good idea. Because of the combination of size and lack of depth, these bodies of water tend to roll with fairly respectable waves much more quickly than deeper waters. Know the limitations of your vessel before venturing out. It can be a very rough ride when a strong wind comes up or one of the spring and summer thunderstorms hit.
Most people on the lakes know the rules of the water, but you will always have a few boozed up "hot dogs" with 70 MPH capability and no handling skills who ruin it for others. Every now and then, somebody does something stupid and a life is lost.
There is an ongoing campaign to reopen the entire Fox River lock system (most of which was closed in the 80's) and this could be huge for serious cruisers who want to venture out into Lake Michigan. However, at this point, the furthest you can go is through the Menasha locks into "Little Lake Buttes Des Morts."
Formerly known as the Houdini Historical Center, the History Museum at the Castle is situated right next to the Lawrence University campus on the corner of College Avenue and Drew Street. The most popular exhibit in the museum features the internationally renowned magician and escape artist Harry Houdini, who grew up in Appleton as a young boy. The A.K.A. Houdini exhibit offers a fun experience for both adults and children.
Houdini's father was the first rabbi in Appleton and led the Jewish congregation in Temple Zion, Wisconsin's second oldest synagogue, which still stands on the corner of Harris and Durkee Streets – a mere one block from my apartment!! The synagogue is currently undergoing work to have it restored to its original appearance.
Its bigger than your local Mall, and a whole lot less annoying than the Mall of America in the next State over! Its got over 180 Stores and if youre hungry and cant agree with your compadres on what to eat, the Northwoods Cafe' has got that covered. Its also got a really nice micro-brewry.....
This is a famous place in Appleton.
You can stay here with your family and everybody is sure to find something to his or her heart here.
There is a fun Hollywood-themed restaurant with virtual reality,
a soft playground for young children
and art video games.
The P.A.C. is a sight to be seen in itself. Right in the center of downtown Appleton, 25,000 Square Foot, 4 Level Marvel is pretty sweet to say the least! With popular performers such as Cher or David Copperfield, to All out Shows like the Producers.... (and mhmmm the seats are cumfy) and even if youre in the top balcony, being able to see is not a concern as ive experienced it and had no problems what-so-ever.
Situated right next to the Fox River, the Hearthstone Historic House was the first private home in the world to have lights powered by a central hydroelectric station. The Hearthstone is now a museum, open to visitors for guided tours on the history of hydroelectric power in the area as well as the building's Victorian art and 19th-century architecture.
This park was once a quarry in a steep cliff on the northeast side of Lake Winnebago. Now it is a mecca for photographers, hikers, and campers. Don't miss the tour of the indian mounds on one trail and the spectacular view from the cliff itself!!!
The main street in downtown (College Ave.) is blocked off from automobile traffic for this event. Vendors set up booths in the streets with every food imaginable. At Lawrence University, located at the east end of strip, there is a huge arts and craft market. Throughout the festival, bands and entertainers provide a a super variety great music and fun things to see and do.
There are many activities at this state park including: hiking and bike trails, camping, a swimming beach, boating, sailing, fishing, picnicing, and an observation tower that has a great view of Lake Winnebago.
It is a fun museum for kids of all ages. A really nice art studio, mini golf, water play area, under 3 area, changing exhibits and much more. Admission $7.25 per person.
Fox Cities Children’s Museum is the place where the whole family can play, discover and enjoy.
The fun includes 16 hands-on exhibits: full-scale fire-truck, operating electromagnetic crane. etc.
Great stuff for kids to learn and play with. If it is a rainy day and you are in town I highly suggest this the place you go with kids. You can spend a good 2-3 hours in this place, maybe more.
The PAC has regular shows, musicals, and other entertainment. We saw the Denver Mile High orchestra and the Dora the Explorer show there.
If you visit The Fox Cities in August, go to Lombardi Field in Green Bay and see the Green Bay Packers training camp. Green Bay is less than an hour away from these cities.
It is free!