Tiny Town Tour: Downsville

Welcome to Downsville

Downsville During Rush-hour

 Welcome to Downsville. Quiet, just around eight miles South of good ol’ Menom and, the epitome of rural life. Originally from a larger city myself, I can completely understand how living in a smaller town like Menomonie can induce some growing pains and result in a stir crazy flight plans. However, burning the gas and money to splurge on a weekend in the Twin Cities may not be the answer to your anxious ailment. Sometimes a small change of scenery for a few hours can be just what the doctor ordered.

Before you shrug off my suggestion for naive optimism, I can tell you that I’ve spent an entire morning there and was perfectly entertained and refreshed.

The Main Attraction

The Main Attraction

This is the Downsville Coffee House. Humble in appearance, but its worth the trip alone.

Up Close

Up Close

In the Shop

In the Shop

This coffee house has shakes, malts, the standard coffee drinks, pies and cookies, as well as a full menu of sandwiches. On our visit one early August morning, we were greeted kindly by the charismatic artist and co-owner, Alan Yahnke, who explained the history of the shop and showed us some old pictures of it when it was a general shop.

Historic Photos

Historic Photos

The studio building was erected in about 1856 as a warehouse. The main building was the Knapp Stout Lumber Company company store originally, erected in about 1873. It was a general store for about 100 years. Inside there is a sliding ladder which goes along one wall. It was and is used to get at stuff on shelves. There is also a walk in safe with 18 inch thick walls and massive steel doors with hand painted decorations and a combination lock. –Alan Yahnke

 The ladder is still fully functioning and is located on the left as you walk in. The safe door is also visible and I’m sure if you would ask Alan would be more than happy to let you see it up close.

Absolutely Delicious

Absolutely Delicious

I got a coffee and this gorgeous croissant creation and it ultimately only cost me around $6. Pretty decent considering how delicious it was.

Pie Selection

Pie and Cookie Selection

Brilliant Atmosphere

Brilliant Atmosphere

Collection of Antiques

Collection of Antiques

 Decorated with old artifacts and antiques, the shop is brimming with historic culture and unforgettable character. Alan’s artwork also lines the walls if you’re ever in the market for a painting or two.

Alan's Artwork

Alan's Artwork

This shop would also be the perfect destination for a rainy day get-away with its stack of board games, enormous checker board, and stacks of forgotten National Geographic magazines that call to be thumbed through once again.

Rainy Day Entertainment

Rainy Day Entertainment

National Geographic

National Geographic

 Alan is also a collector of around 65 cameras! If you have any interest in photography at all, you could seriously talk to this man for hours. He brought out some antiques ones for us to admire.

Wicked Old Cameras

Wicked Old Cameras

 After our coffee house stop, we meandered through town and into this grocery stop (which apparently has amazing shakes).

Groceries before the Bottoms?

Groceries before the Bottoms?

 There is also the Empire in Pine Museum right down the road form the coffee house. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to stop in but its open Saturday and Sunday from noon-5PM until Labor Day. Admission is only $2.

Empire in Pine

Empire in Pine

In the Doorway

In the Doorway

 There are also some cool buildings surrounding the museum, such as a shed-looking thing made from iron bars (I’m assuming some kind of old prison cell) and an old post office to the right. On the left side of the building, there are old train tracks and some other artifacts from Downsville’s glory days.

Ye Olde Prison?

Ye Olde Prison?

My Lovely Assistant for the Day

My Lovely Assistant for the Day

Old Post Office

Old Post Office

And Inside...

And Inside...

...There is More Cool Stuff

...There is More Cool Stuff

 If anything, Downsville’s picturesque rural roads and big shady trees are the ideal settings for a photoshoot 🙂

Ideal Photoshoot Conditions

Ideal Photoshoot Conditions

Annie

Annie

Just Look at all that Character

Just Look at all that Character

Around the Back

Around the Back

Pretty Epic Old Walls

Pretty Epic Old Walls

 If you continue down the road, right by where The Creamery used to be, there is an old barn covered in ivy that will inevitably catch your eye. Don’t hesitate to park the car (or your bike), and head on in. Its Dunn County Pottery.

DCP

DCP

Ivy Covered Barn

Ivy Covered Barn

Plants for Sale as Well

Plants for Sale as Well

Hand-Made Pottery!

Hand-Made Pottery!

Great Gift Ideas

Great Gift Ideas

My Favorite: Really Cool Tea Pots

My Favorite: Really Cool Tea Pots

Also Some Ethnic Fabrics

Also Some Ethnic Fabrics

Hand-Embroidered

Hand-Embroidered

 Also, take time to admire the gardens surrounding the shop.

Now, I’m pretty sure you’re willing to at least go check this tiny town out at least once. If you’re down for the adventure (forgive the punn), hop in your car and take 25 out of town South (Broadway turns into 25) and take a left on County Road C. It will take you a grand total of 13 minutes.

Here’s a calendar of events!

However, if you’re still skeptical and can’t justify spending the gas money, or just feeling ambitious, hop on your bike when you have an hour or so and just follow the Red Cedar Trail there. Its about 8 miles away if you start from in front of the Applied Arts Building. Here’s some directions and a map.

That way, if worst comes to absolute worst and you loath Downsville, then atleast you got some exercise out of it. However, I doubt that will be the outcome.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Tiny Town Tour: Downsville

  1. Pingback: Summer Bucket List! « Stout and About

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s