Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

A peek at Pepin, Wisconsin November 12, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 6:00 AM
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Closed on an early October weekday afternoon...

Closed on an early October weekday afternoon…

A MONTH AGO, on a weekday afternoon, Pepin, Wisconsin, already appeared battened up for the long winter.

The scene outside of an eatery.

The scene outside of an eatery.

Lovely business signage.

Lovely business signage.

A banner advertised a forthcoming film festival.

A banner advertised a forthcoming film festival.

Lawn chairs stacked. Doors locked. Streets mostly vacant.

Pepin's grocery store.

Pepin’s grocery store.

A general sense of abandonment prevailed in the downtown area along Lake Pepin, although the blacksmith shop happened to be open (watch for a story on that) as was the next door grocery.

Street signage indicates lots of places to stop in Pepin.

Street signage indicates lots of places to stop in Pepin.

I expect had it been a summer weekend, more businesses would have been open and the town bustling.

Across the railroad tracks lies Lake Pepin.

Across the railroad tracks lies Lake Pepin.

But, like many lake communities, life slows when the temperature drops and autumn edges toward winter.

Unlike the museum, which closes in October, A Summer Place Bed and Breakfast

Signage advertises A Summer Place Inn.

In this, the birthplace of author Laura Ingalls Wilder, even her museum has closed for the season.

This is reality in the north land, in a river town that relies significantly on warm weather tourism.


AND NOW FOR TWO PLACES on the edge of Pepin that were open:

The Country Stop.

The Country Stop of Pepin Country Store.

Villa Bellezza winery.

Villa Bellezza winery.

Beautiful potted flowers outside the winery.

Beautiful potted flowers and plants outside the winery.

© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


18 Responses to “A peek at Pepin, Wisconsin”

  1. Dan Traun Says:

    Pepin is a great little town. As you noticed, it is a bit more active in the warmer months. The Pickle Factory and Harbor View are both great places to eat if you find yourself there in a warmer month.

  2. treadlemusic Says:

    And a wonderful place for breakfast (not sure about lunch…haven’t tried it) is the “Homemade Cafe” in Pepin…..located on the main highway (Hwy 35 across from the park). They are a “summer only” business, too (May 1-October 19). Everything “homemade”…..the pies——awesome!!!!!!
    Love the river towns we have here!!!!!!

  3. Beth Ann Says:

    Oh what a fun place!!! Even all shuttered up and not active it looks like a fabulous place to visit. The winery looks inviting!!!

  4. Great pictures. I’ve always wanted to make a trip there to see the birthplace of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Thanks for sharing pictures.

  5. Ooh, a winery I haven’t visited yet! Putting that on my list.

  6. Don Singsaas Says:

    Looks like a town that I could be very content in, perhaps someday. Your pictures are great and I was captivated by the changing blue hues of the sky in the grocery store picture. What a great shot.

  7. Jackie Says:

    I’ve been to Pepin, but it was awhile ago, too bad most places were already closed for the season, I’ve heard that the pickle factory is a great eating establishment, but I’ve not been there….yet 🙂

  8. hotlyspiced Says:

    The images are lovely and I didn’t realise this was the birthplace of Laura. The weather looks stunning so this must be a really beautiful place to be in the warmer months. What a shame it all has to shutdown for the winter xx

  9. Greetings, Audrey!
    I just came upon your blog and want to leave a bit of my voice to compliment you. Beautiful photography and excellent sharing of thoughts and observations. Don’t we love the nuance of wandering countryside and small towns? Very nice work.


    • Thank you, Becky, and welcome to the readership of Minnesota Prairie Roots. Nice to meet you.

      I just checked out your blog and toss the compliments right back at you. I look forward to learning more about you, your life in western Minnesota and the red barn.

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