Historic Washington House, home of the ice cream sundae


Built as an immigrant hotel and saloon in the 1850s, the Historic Washington House lays claim to inventing the ice cream sundae.  There are seven rooms and an old ballroom to explore, all filled with items of historic interest.

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You’ll find the Washington House one block east of Highway 42 along Jefferson Street; the marker is along 42 one block north. Stop in for a sundae; they’re as good as you might imagine!

Address:
1622 Jefferson Street
Two Rivers, WI 54241
(920) 793-2490
Website

Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum


The Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum is the only museum dedicated to the preservation, study, production and printing of wood type. With 1.5 million pieces of wood type and more than 1,000 styles and sizes of patterns, Hamilton’s collection is one of the premier wood type collections in the world. The Museum is also home to an amazing array of advertising cuts from the 1930s through the 1970s, and all of the equipment necessary to make wood type and hot metal type.

Located between the East and West Twin Rivers on Lake Michigan, the Hamilton Manufacturing Company (right behind the Historic Washington House, home of the ice cream sundae) was the largest wood type producer in the country, when virtually everything was letterpress printed. The company was founded in 1880, and along with wood type they manufactured medical office furniture, light tables, the first gas powered clothes dryer and more. Hamilton is still around; over 130 years old now, they make steel lab equipment.

The Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum relocated to the former Formrite Company building, where they doubled their space and have a nice view of Lake Michigan. You’ll find it just off Highway 42 at 10th & Madison, just south of Highway 310.

Address:
1816 10th Street
Two Rivers, WI 54241
(920) 794-6272
Website

Historic Washington House Museum


Built as an immigrant hotel and saloon in the 1850s, the Historic Washington House lays claim to inventing the ice cream sundae. Around 1881, they dished up ice cream and chocolate sauce, but only in sodas. One customer started asking for a dish of ice cream topped with the sauce and they began selling it that way, but only on Sundays. Shortly thereafter, a 10-year-old girl requested a dish of ice cream with “that stuff on top” on a different day of the week, suggesting they could “pretend” it was Sunday. Between that and the long canoe-shaped dishes in which the ice cream was served being known as “sundae dishes,” the ice cream sundae was born.

Today, the Washington House serves up sundaes but also history, with seven rooms and an old ballroom to explore, filled with items of interest from military to 19th century doctors’ and dentists’ offices to historic knick-knacks. The building itself is well-preserved and even has its original decorative tin ceiling.

The ice cream parlor is a must of course, so order one up and dig in! There are 18 different sundae flavors to choose from. The Washington House is open seven days a week from 9am until 5pm (summer hours ’til 9pm). You’ll find it one block east of Highway 42 in downtown Two Rivers, right near the ends of Highways 147 and 310.

Address:
1622 Jefferson Street
Two Rivers, WI 54241
(920) 793-2490
Website

Historic Rogers Street Fishing Village Lighthouse

Historic Rogers Street Fishing Village


Anchoring Two Rivers’ historic district, Historic Rogers Street Fishing Village showcases the long and colorful history of Two Rivers’ commercial fishing industry – the longest such history of any city on the Great Lakes. Calling commercial fishing “America’s most dangerous profession,” this complex offers an incredible look at the 175+ years of history, techniques, boats, and even shipwrecks (hence the “dangerous”) while offering the chance to climb the North Pier Lighthouse, built in 1886.

Statue at Historic Rogers Street Fishing Village

Rogers Street Fishing Village features a museum, the original 1936 tugboat Buddy O that you can climb on and explore, a French-Canadian-style fisherman’s home, original 19th century engines, boardwalks and plenty of artifacts.

Historic Rogers Street Fishing Village Boardwalk

Speaking of shipwrecks, the waters in Lake Michigan just off Two Rivers have had their share and you can see actual remnants of ships like the Vernon (which sank in 1887) and the Rouse Simmons (which sank in 1912) that were recovered and are now on display… right down to gauges from the ship and photos of the deceased – it gets real. Native American murals and artifacts also explore the era prior to European arrival in the area.

Rogers Street Fishing Village, recovered Windlass off the Francis Hinton ship

The Francis Hinton sank in 1909; you can see the windlass recovered from the steamer, among other amazing pieces from sunken ships, inside the Rogers Street Fishing Village Museum.

You’ll find Rogers Street Fishing Village just off Highway 42 in Two Rivers, near the endpoints of Highways 147 and 310, bordering the East Twin River. The museum is open from mid-May through mid-October.

Historic Rogers Street Fishing Village Address:

2102 Jackson Street
Two Rivers, WI 54241
(920) 793-5905
Website