How Did Wisconsin Dells Become a Tourist Destination?

When you stay at Bonanza Camping Resort, you are in the middle of one the most iconic vacation areas in the Midwest, if not the country.

The Dells

The name dells came from the early French explorers naming the dells of the Wisconsin River dalles, meaning a rapids or narrows on a river. The beautiful scenery emanating from the Wisconsin River and unique dells made the area a popular travel destination in the upper Midwest dating back as far as the mid-1800’s.

Wisconsin Dells RV Park

An Enterprising Photographer

In 1856, a gent named Leroy Gates began transporting tourists on Wisconsin Dells tours on wooden rowboats! It wasn’t until 1873 when the first steamboat, the Modocawanda, was used.

What really influenced interest in the area (named Kilbourn City at the time, after an early settler) were photos taken in 1875 by an early landscape photographer named H. H. Bennett. He took many pics of the sandstone formations in the dells. It was the distribution of those prints around the country that showcased the area as a destination for sightseers.

Seeing the possibilities, Bennett began taking take souvenir pictures of visitors to the dells, working the area’s promising tourist trade. His studio is now a historic site operated by the Wisconsin Historical Society.

For many decades into the present day, The Dells region is a place for sightseers to flee the bustle of the city for good old-fashioned family vacations. Many stay at the Bonanza Camping Resort for the amenities, closeness to area attractions and the bucolic scenery.


About Bonanza Camping Resort

The owners and management of Bonanza Camping Resort continue to improve the grounds, facilities and activities in ways that please our valued guests. What we cannot improve is our location… because it is prime! Book today at http://www.bonanzacamping.com/. Happy Summer!

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