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Travel the Yellowstone Trail across Washington / FDL/ Dodge County, WI | By Jim Rodell

Washington Co., WI – The Theresa Historical Society is encouraging local adventurists to take part in Yellowstone Trail Day on Saturday, June 1, 2024.

“Many are not aware of the Yellowstone Trail which was established in Wisconsin in 1915 after being started in South Dakota in 1912,” said Jim Rodell, vice-president of the Theresa Historical Society.

Yellowstone Trail Map

“The purpose of the event is to increase awareness of the Yellowstone Trail and encourage people to explore the route bringing attention to local historical societies and the history of those who traveled before us.”

Yellowstone Trail

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Below are detailed route instructions with pictures from the Yellowstone Trail era to guide participants from one historical society site to the next.

Yellowstone Trail Day flyer 2024 fourth revision

The event is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Depending on where you start may want to begin in Slinger, and then travel to Theresa, Lomira, and Byron, or if they are coming from perhaps Fond du Lac, they would start in Byron, and then proceed south to Lomira, Theresa, and Slinger.

Theresa to Slinger directions - Yellowstone Trail
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Byron to Theresa directions
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One of the hotspots on the tour is the Theresa Historical Society. It is home to an original Yellowstone Trail tourist cabin which has been restored and furnished.

“Beck’s tourist cabin is the last survivor of four which were located on the south end of the village and rented to early automobile tourists as an early form of “motel,” said Rodell.


Rodell said those who want to head further south on the Yellowstone Trail will find some historic buildings at Gumm’s Corner on CTH P and Sherman Road, just south of Jackson, WI.

“There’s the existing garage building that’s in business and across the street is Gumm’s Garage,” said Rodell.  “Those are symbols of the past from when the Yellowstone Trail came through there.

“The trail then veered west to Ackerville and from there it followed STH 175 to Lakeside Park in Fond du Lac.”

Rodell said it was after 1924 when the Yellowstone Trail came out of Menomonee Falls, passed through the hamlet of Meeker, WI, and went up through Richfield and then into Ackerville.

“In old Addison Center, the road is actually called Yellowstone Trial; it veers north off Highway 33 after you get through Allenton but not quite to STH 175,” said Rodell.

Rodell is encouraging people to spend a Saturday, exploring the old Yellowstone Trail and spotting some buildings and architecture from the past. The Slinger Historical Society, Lomira Historical Society, and Byron Historical Society will also be taking part in the day.


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