Recently my family enjoyed a delicious dinner at one of Madison, Wisconsin’s oldest restaurants: The Stamm House. The limestone and wood restaurant on Madison’s west-side was built in 1847 to serve as a stagecoach stop for weary travelers journeying from the Wisconsin state capital. The restaurant’s second floor, now seating area, then was a large partitioned room in which travelers slept the night. Below floorboards of the ground floor, in an oval, limestone-walled, storage space, different travelers rested during the day before they continued their night passage along our country’s famous Underground Railroad. This small room was refuge to groups of run-away slaves. A large hole, cut into the limestone, opened to a tunnel through which these fugitives could flee to the Pheasant Branch creek should pursuing mercenaries and their dogs come too closely.
Saturday Madison, WI saluted the dairy industry by inviting cows, dairy farmers, agricultural students, veterinarians, and cheese masters to the streets around Wisconsin’s state capital building. Children pet the cows as “Moo experts” from the dairy industry answered questions about raising cows, milking, WI’s artisanal cheeses, and WI’s reliance on the dairy industry for our state’s economic vitality.
Along with the information came a whole lot of fun on the capital concourse. Bands played music as kids played games. Families ate ice cream and grilled cheese sandwiches grilled right in the street. One of the more comical highlights was the ice cream eating contest. Two children, two dads, one dairy farmer, and the dairy queen of Belleville, Wisconsin competed to see who could eat a plate of ice cream the fastest (no hands; no utensils). Click on “Continue reading…” to see a video of the ice cream eating contest and more pictures of Wisconsinites playing with their food.