Mineral Point is one of our favorite stops along our Cheese Country Scenic drive.
Settled in 1827, Mineral Point was prominent in the creation of the Wisconsin Territory, serving as the host town for the July 4, 1836 inauguration of the first territorial governor, Henry Dodge. As the center of the evolving lead mining industry, Mineral Point grew quickly and drew immigrants from Cornwall England an area with a rich mining history. By 1850 the majority of the residents of Mineral Point had Cornish ancestry. The Pendarvis Settlement, a Wisconsin Historic Site, preserves some of the early structures and relates the history of Cornish settlements and mining in Mineral Point. Many other Mineral Point buildings from its early history have been restored and are found along Commerce Street, High Street, and ShakeRag Street.
Today Mineral Point is a center of artists, artisans, unique restaurants, galleries and boutiques. There is about 25 galleries and studios of sculptors, fiber arts artisans, woodworkers, potters, glass workers, painters, etc. The town hosts several annual events including a 4th of July Festival (always held on the actual 4th), the Mineral Point Car Show, the Fall Art Tour, and the annual Cornish Festival. Mineral Point is also home to Hooks Cheese, producers of over 50 varieties of award-winning cheese.
A few highlights around town.
Shake Rag Alley
In addition to preserving several historic buildings that was the heart of early Mineral Point, Shake Rag Alley is an arts education center offering workshops and classes are offered in a wide variety of arts and crafts. In the summer they offer day camps and programs especially for young people.
Pendarvis Historic Site
The Wisconsin Historic Society offers narrated tours, with costumed interpreters, of the buildings, artifacts and gardens of the 5 acre historic site.
Fourth of July Celebration
The annual celebration is always held on the 4th itself and is an “old school” day-long and evening celebration featuring a Parade, an Ice Cream & Pie Social, a Community Band Concert, a Softball Tournament, and Fireworks.
Commerce Street Galleries
Interesting galleries, shops, and pubs line Commerce Street
Mineral Point Restaurants & Pubs
One of Mineral Point’s most popular places to eat, according to TripAdvisor, is Brewery Creek Pub (see our review here) on south Commerce Street near the old Depot. Other highly rated places to eat and drink are Tequila Point and the Gray Dog Deli both on High Street. We’ve eaten a few times at Tony’s Bar also near the Depot and although nothing fancy about the menu, the food and prices were decent and they gave us attentive, friendly service. Nice outdoor patio too.
Mineral Point WI Links
Cheese Country Scenic Drive Links