Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

From Wisconsin: A look inside The Paine, setting for an episode of The Bachelor January 25, 2017

OSHKOSH, WISCONSIN is perhaps best-known for its annual summer air show that draws aviation enthusiasts from around the world.

But Monday evening may have changed that, at least for a segment of the population—those who watch The Bachelor. The fourth episode of this TV show took viewers to Wisconsin, home state of this season’s bachelor, Nick Viall of Waukesha, a Milwaukee suburb.

The visitors' entry to The Paine Art Center, housed in a 1920s mansion.

The visitors’ entry to The Paine Art Center, housed in a 1920s mansion.

I occasionally tune in to The Bachelor, which I hesitate to admit. Monday was one of those times. And, as it turned out, a good evening to see Wisconsin showcased, including the community of Waukesha, Omro area Knigge Farms and The Paine Art Center and Gardens in Oshkosh.

Among art in the library is an oil on canvas portrait of Koto Robertine Chase Carr Sullivan painted by her father William Merritt Chase, ca. 1914.

Among art in the library is an oil on canvas portrait of Koto Robertine Chase Carr Sullivan painted by her father, William Merritt Chase, ca. 1914.

the-paine-66-urn-on-table

The Great Hall, designed for leisure and entertainment, features an aged rug. Visitors cannot walk on that rug.

The Great Hall, designed for leisure and entertainment, features an aged Persian rug upon which you cannot walk.

This past July I toured The Paine with my husband and daughter Miranda, who lives in the area. The Paine is the legacy of Nathan and Jessie Kimberly Paine of the once-thriving Paine Lumber Company. Construction started on the mansion in 1927. Then The Depression hit and the business took a hit and so did completion of the estate. Decades later the opulent house and grounds opened to the public. No one ever lived in the historic home.

My favorite space, the sun-drenched Breakfast Room.

My favorite space, the window-lined Breakfast Room.

Everything about The Paine exudes elegance, including the table setting.

Everything about The Paine exudes elegance, including the table setting in the formal dining room.

The luxurious dining room.

The luxurious dining room.

In the January 23 episode of The Bachelor, Viall and women vying to become his wife were filmed inside and outside The Paine. As most estates are, The Paine is a lovely place of gardens, art, architectural beauty and history. And love. Not just The Bachelor love, but as the site of many weddings.

Beautiful flowerbeds edge the mansion and extend into backyard gardens.

Beautiful flowerbeds edge the mansion and extend into backyard gardens.

When I visited this past summer, “Audubon’s Birds of America” was on exhibit in the mansion gallery. Photos were banned there, although I could photograph throughout the rest of the property, inside and out.

A sitting area.

A sitting area.

Arched doors and doorways, heavy doors, art and more define The Paine.

Arched doors and doorways, heavy doors, art and more define The Paine.

The second floor includes two bedrooms.

The second floor includes two bedrooms.

Enjoy this first look at a place that can now add an episode of The Bachelor to its notoriety.

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FYI: Click here to learn more about The Paine Art Center and Gardens. The Paine is open to visitors from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Tuesday – Sunday, closed on Monday. Animals and rural imagery by Wisconsin artist Craig Blietz are currently displayed in The Paine gallery. Check back for another post, outdoors at The Paine.

© Copyright 2017 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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12 Responses to “From Wisconsin: A look inside The Paine, setting for an episode of The Bachelor”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    I learned another thing about you today–you watch the Bachelor. The Paine is absolutely beautiful–you certainly captured the beauty of it in your photographs. I love visiting places like this. Thanks for sharing your lovely photos and sharing a bit about the history of this place.

    • If you recall, The Paine also showcased the costumes from Downton Abbey. We share that interest in touring places like this.

      As far as watching The Bachelor, the key word here would be “occasional.” I don’t watch it often and then primarily for the places showcased. The whole concept of the show is not one I endorse.

  2. What a Beautiful Place and always enjoy when you can get inside for a look around too! Happy Day – Enjoy 🙂

  3. Valerie Says:

    This looks like a place I’d like to visit sometime. Thanks for the info, and nice photos!

  4. What a beautiful place. I’ve never watched the Bachelor

  5. Bernadette Thomasy Says:

    Thanks, Audrey. I don’t watch The Bachelor either but glad you shared this gem from Wisconsin.

  6. Sue Ready Says:

    Lovely photo tour and something to put on my list when traveling in the area.. Would be fun to have an overnight there and be pampered guest.

    • If only one could stay overnight there. One thing I did not like about visiting is that I felt like I was being watched. On security cameras and in person. I don’t know if it was because of my camera or what. But it was not a positive vibe.

      Next week I’ll take you into the gardens.


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