See Villa Louis’ nooks and crannies, become a Friend at Summer Social

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The Friends of Villa Louis have been a great support for the historic site in many ways, most recently helping the Villa install new interpretive markers across the grounds.

By Correne Martin

The Friends of Villa Louis are hosting a Summer Social with a nooks and crannies tour of the mansion, highlighted by a peek into the attic and a look at parts of the collection kept there. This special event will be Friday, Aug. 16, with a social hour and hors d’oeuvres from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., followed by the exclusive views behind the scenes. 

“The nooks and crannies tour will show the inner workings of how things happen at the Villa Louis that the general public doesn’t necessarily get to experience,” stated Sarah Hohlfeld, guest experience coordinator at the historic site.  

Prior to the social, a brief Friends of Villa Louis meeting will take place. For anyone not already a friend, this would be a good time to join. Individual, family and corporate memberships are available. By becoming a Friend, members will be even more privy of the unique and intimate Victorian world that exists, thanks to the Dousman family, on this Wisconsin Historic Site in Prairie du Chien. 

Some of the main attractions at the Villa Louis that the Friends have assisted with include the restoration of the beloved ponds and its continued maintenance, annual tuning of the Steinway piano, most recently the addition of new interpretive markers on the grounds to enhance the walking tour, and more. 

“They’ve helped immensely with these projects,” Hohlfeld said. 

One benefit to becoming a Friend is that members, when volunteering at the Villa’s various large events, are allowed behind-the-scenes access for free while interacting with the visiting public from both near and all over the globe. 

Other perks for Friends of Villa Louis members include free regular admission as desired, 10 percent off museum store purchases, 10 percent off select ticketed events, regular meetings, voting privileges at the annual meeting, and a monthly Villa Louis newsletter. 

“Membership dues to the Friends group help with Villa Louis programs and maintenance of the buildings and grounds, which enhances the guest experience and maintains our historical site and preservation of history,” Hohlfeld added. “With the growing age of technology, it seems there is a movement away from history and museums. We are always looking for ways to educate people while making it a fun and lasting experience. We really couldn’t do what we do without the community’s support and the hard work of the Friends of Villa Louis.”

Those unable to attend the Summer Social Friday but still wish to become a member of the Friends group should contact the Villa Louis at 326-2721.

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