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GERMANTOWN AREA ATTRACTIONS
There are diverse attractions for visitors to see in the Germantown area. They include seasonal fairs and festivals, art and local history museums, and a National Catholic Shrine. Visitors traveling through the Kettle Moraine must visit one of Wisconsins most serene destinations, Holy Hill, National Catholic Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians.
The Holy Hill pilgrimage church sits atop the highest hill in a multi county area, five miles west of Germantown. The view approaching the shrine from all directions is spectacular in every season of the year, but especially in autumn. The peak of Holy Hill is 1,335 feet above sea level, ranking the 30th highest point in the state, and the highest peak for a radius of 50 miles. Tours are available. A half mile outdoor Way of the Cross, an 178 stair church tower lookout, the Lourdes Grotto and a gift shop on the grounds are other attractions for visitors.
The Hamlet of Dheinsville in Germantown includes the oldest restored building of German design in the community, Wisconsins premier bell collection, as well as the villages local history museum.
Germantowns Christ Church Museum houses the records and artifacts of the Town and Village of Germantown. The building itself is an 1864 lannon stone church. It is open to the public, seasonally, May through October. The museum is located across the street from the Dheinsville Historic Park at the six way intersection of Fond du Lac Avenue, Holy Hill Road and Maple Road in Germantown.
The Bast Bell Museum (262-628-3170) opened in June 2000 in a restored barn in the Dheinsville Historic Park. It houses both the bell collection of Sila Lydia Bast, Wisconsins largest publicly displayed bell collection, and artifacts of the Germantown Volunteer Fire Company, a nonprofit organization that was once responsible for fire fighting in the community. Among the Fire Companys artifacts is a working 1929 Seagrave Fire Engine.
The Wolf Haus is a completely restored, fachwerk (half timber) building in the Dheinsville Historic Park that is now used by the Germantown Historical Society as a Local History Resource office. The building is the oldest structure of German fachwerk design, on its original site, in Washington County. It is open by appointment year round, and seasonally, May through October, to the public.
The Village of Germantown Historic Preservation Commission consists of citizens dedicated to honoring the heritage of the area by promoting the preservation of historic buildings, sites and districts. They have developed a self-guided Driving Tour of Germantown's Historic Properties. It contains photos and stories of these sites that have been granted Historic Designation by the Village of Germantown through an application process. A brochure may be obtained from the Chamber office or you may download your own flier by clicking here: Driving Tour of Historic Properties and Driving Tour side 2
The Wisconsin Museum of Art houses the largest permanent collection of the works of 19th Century artist Carl Von Marr, whose descendants settled in the West Bend area. The Art Museum also hosts traveling shows of artwork of all description throughout each year.
The Old Courthouse Square Museum consists of the restored 1888 Washington County Courthouse, now housing the local history museum artifacts of the Washington County Historical Society, and the 1886 Jail House and Sheriffs home. The Sheriffs home / Jail House is slated for restoration as a "period" house museum. Visitors will be able to walk through the complex as it would have looked in the Victorian era.
Auto enthusiasts can visit the Hartford Heritage Auto Museum and its collection of Kissel cars in Hartford, just northwest of Germantown. The Kissel family manufactured automobiles in Hartford through 1929 and "Black Tuesday"s crash of the stock market. Kissels were luxury automobiles purchased by the wealthy from coast to coast, including the Hollywood movie stars of the 1920s.
Germantown Area Chamber of Commerce
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