Dunn County Haunts and Folklore: Caddie Woodlawn

There’s something about the rattle of dry leaves and howling wind on a brisk fall day that brings ghost stories to mind. Every town has its legends, and Menomonie in Dunn County, WI is no exception. Over the next few weeks leading up to Halloween, I will be digging into the local history and uncovering folklore to add some spice to the spooky month of October. First on my list of local ‘haunts’ is Caddie Woodlawn Historical Park.

Caddie Woodlawn is around 9 miles out of Menomonie. Just drive south past Downsville, and you’ll see a sign for the park. The original home of young pioneer Caddie Woodlawn is on the property. If you’re not familiar with that name, there was a children’s book written about her tomboy adventures by her granddaughter which won the Nobel Prize in 1935, and remains a favorite in schools to this day.

There are two houses on the property, one log cabin and white house. I’m not sure what the distinction is between the two houses, but they’re both pretty nostalgic and worth a walk through. There have been reports of cold spots, footsteps coming from the boarded upstairs of the white house, and childrens’ laughter.

Contrary to immediate assumption, Caddie’s ghost is not said to haunt the place. Her younger sister Mary died at a young age and is buried in an unmarked grave somewhere on the property. Many believe that this may be the reason for ghostly sightings and eerie happenings in the two houses.

Educational Signage

Educational Signage

This is the older house on the property

This is the older house on the property

Admission is free and its worth the 10 minute trip, even if you’re not into the whole ghost thing. Its a great place for a photoshoot as well! If you do end up going, comment back and let me know how it was or if you saw anything. Stay tuned for a post about Gnomes at the Devil’s Punch Bowl…

For more paranormal investigation at Caddie Woodlawn check out  this video. The beginning is a bit slow, but there’s good information for you ghost hunters out there.

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