I recently went camping at Tower Hill State Park, which is located in Sauk County, near Spring Green, Wisconsin. And I thought it might be nice to share some of the history and photos from my trip.
Spring Green, and Tower Hill State Park are located on the banks of the Wisconsin River, west of Madison Wisconsin. Spring Green is a small town with only about 1,622 residents. While it is a small community, there are a number of things to see while you are there.
Tower Hill State Park has some interesting history behind it. Twenty-Two years before Wisconsin became a state, the discovery of the vast lead deposit brought a population boom to this area. A Green Bay merchant, Daniel Whitney, organized the Wisconsin shot company to build a 'Shot Tower' on this site. T. B. Shaunce dug out a 120 foot shaft with a pick and gad, then removed the earth using buckets. Once completed, they built a 60 foot tower along the cliffs of the sandstone, on top of the 120 foot shaft, where they then built a smelting house to melt down the lead ore that was used to manufacture the lead shot. To create the lead shot, they would pour molten lead from a ladle with holes which would then drop the 180 feet to the bottom of the shaft where it was caught by a water basin to break the fall and finish cooling the lead. The surface tension of the liquid as it fell through the air would turn this molten lead into pellets(the lead shot).
While I was here I visited the Spring Green Preserve State Natural Area. The Spring Green Preserve is known as the 'Wisconsin Desert'. There are a number of species that can be found here such as the Six-Lined Racerunner and Blue Racer, Venus' Looking Glass, False Heather and the Prickly Pear Cactus. And who knew, cacti do grow in Wisconsin!
One of the other interesting sites to see here is the Taliesin. Frank Lloyd Wright built his Wisconsin home, Taliesin, just outside Spring Green in the early 1900s.
By: Jeffrey T. Kastner