Moonlight Tour and Cocktail Reception

photo-447This Saturday, the fairies at Shake Rag Alley welcome the public to tour their tiny homes at night! This is a rare opportunity to roam the grounds of Shake Rag Alley and see the fairy homes all lit up!

Light your way by purchasing a special fairy cocktail (with or without alcohol) in a light-up champagne flute. Let your drink be your guide.

This curious event takes place Saturday night, May 23rd from 8-10pm and is a bonus feature to this year’s daytime Tour of Fairy Homes scheduled for 9am-5pm Saturday and Sunday.

Not to be missed is the large gnome home constructed from a stump by Roland Sardeson. Pictures can’t do it justice.  It’s large enough for a child to enter and has a rooftop garden.

Come join in the Fairy Magic at Shake Rag Alley this weekend.

Children 11 and under are FREE. Adults (12 and above) are $5. Extra fees apply for fairy photos (10-noon each day), fairy home building, fairy wand-making, and fairy cocktails. For more information, call Shake Rag Alley at 608-9873292 or visit them online at

– Contributed by Lisa Hay

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New on High

Good things are happening all over High Street. New businesses are springing up, and others have recently relocated. Here’s the scoop.

photo-441232 High Street – Artful Apparel

For years, Kathleen Nutter has been toiling away on the 2nd floor at 232 High Street. Kathleen is a weaver who makes soft, colorful jackets, shawls, hats, and other items of clothing. It’s art you can wear, hence the name of her business — “Artful Apparel.”

For the past few months, Kathleen and her husband, Paul Backstrom, have been busy renovating the retail storefront on the ground floor that used to be the home of Town & Country. They tore down some of the walls, opening up the space and are in the process of bringing the building back to its historic roots. Kathleen’s fiber shop will start off with three looms, but it sounds like she has plans to add even more! They will be adding a dressing room, allowing customers to try on some of Kathleen’s beautiful, hand-woven items. Until they make the move downstairs, Artful Apparel will remain open on the second floor.

photo-439154 High Street – Town & Country 

When Jony and Phil Hauk decided to retire and close Simply Scarfs, and rent out their storefront, it was a case of perfect timing for Mary Milz of Town & Country. With Artful Apparel moving into her space, she needed a new location and snapped up 154 High Street.

The new store is adorable. The merchandize you’ve come to love at Town & Country looks right at home here. Town & Country is a great place to go when you need a special picture frame, a home accent, a baby gift, or a stuffed animal.

photo-440214 High Street – DeeConstruct Recycled

Dee and Joel Hooks are in the process of renovating their storefront and hope to be open sometime this summer. Their retail space will be the home of “DeeConstruct Recycled Fun,” showcasing the various items Dee makes from things others have discarded. During the renovation process they have unearthed 550 old spools, presumably left over from a former tenant. Dee is not sure what to do with these spools, but we look forward to finding out. In the meantime, they sit in the window along with their cat Nzo (pronounced Enzo). Nzo, is a cat who enjoys walking on a leash (at least that’s what Dee says), and has quickly turned into a well-known fixture on High Street.

photo-438114 High Street – At Home on High Street

Perhaps the most commanding retail space in the 100 block of High Street is 114 High, the former Artist Annex. If you’ve walked by the expansive storefront lately, you may have seen Becky Cook and Mary Delaney hard at work, painting the walls, and bringing in merchandise. They are getting ready to open their home furnishings and window treatment shop to be named “At Home on High Street.”

After Mary’s son graduates from High School this Friday, the store’s opening will soon follow. There’s something poetic about these two empty nesters helping others feather their own nests. If you stop by, you’ll see that they’re already having fun with their new venture.

photo-442225 High Street – Mineral Point Chamber of Commerce

After a three year hiatus from the Mineral Point Chamber of Commerce, Joy Gieseke returned as Chamber Director in February. Joy is one of many boomerang residents who leave for a brief time, but then come back.  Since her return, Joy has spruced up the Chamber office and smoothly taken over the reins. Joy is currently overseeing a revamp of the Chamber website and is ready to welcome new businesses to town. In addition to the Chamber job, Joy is also the new President of the Mineral Point Historical Society.

photo-443138 High Street – iFinder Antiques

OK, this one isn’t exactly new, but it’s pretty close. There’s always something new and interesting at Stephen Ladd’s iFinder Antiques. Here you will find an ever-expanding array of jewelry, glassware, oddities, collectibles, rare gadgets, and historical artifacts. There’s a classic pinball machine, plenty of steampunk, and all sorts of old phonographs. Stephen has been collecting and selling antiques for over fifteen years and has been on High Street for over fifteen months. Little known fact: for a reasonable price he’ll brew you an excellent cappuccino.


148 High Street – Kusaka

The folks at Kusaka have created the best kind of special dumpling. Just last month, Chris and Hiroko welcomed their baby daughter, Jessica. The restaurant remains a destination and hasn’t lost its stride with the new addition to the family.

If you haven’t had their chicken fried rice, you’re really missing out. They have been adding more and more local ingredients, including the most recent special which featured morel mushrooms.

11046525_1558027811139718_4617448907727910601_n43 High Street – Tequila Point

Tequila Point has been going strong since they opened in September 2014. This is a fun place with good food, excellent drinks, and apparently they now have five sombreros! What more could you possibly want? They recently added two booths in the bar, a $2 taco night, and occasionally they have live music.

Tequila Point is open evenings Wednesday through Saturday.

All these changes on High Street are a good omen, just like the SOLD signs on so many homes around town.

Thinking of taking part in this resurgence? If you have ever dreamed of having a business on High Street, now is a good time to make it happen. Tourism is on the rise, and several High Street gems are waiting for just the right tenant. For more information, call Joy at the Chamber Office – 608-987-3201 or e-mail her at

Join the fun and become a High Street business.

– Contributed by Lisa Hay, owner of High Street Sweets, 124 High Street, which opened in July 2013  

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The Calendar-Keeper

photo-428One of the best ways to find out what’s happening in Mineral Point, and beyond, is to tap into Sandee Beaman’s extensive calendar. It’s one of the first places we go at High Street Beat when we want to know what’s coming up.

In fact, a good way to access Sandee’s Calendar is through High Street Beat. Look above this post to the categories on our website. See where it says “Happenings”? If you click on that, it provides a link to area calendars, with Sandee’s Calendar at the top of the list.

Sandee is the consummate volunteer. She continuously updates this calendar out of the goodness of her heart because she wants everyone to know about all the great things happening in the area.

So, if you’re ever wondering what’s going on in town, go to High Street Beat, click on Happenings, and check out Sandee’s Calendar.

Contributed by Lisa Hay

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Pointer Community Pride

Recently Mineral Point High School students fanned out across the community donating their time and energy to a Day of Service. Approximately 150 students and 20 teachers and adult volunteers participated in a variety of ways at 19 different sites.

Here are just a few of their accomplishments.

They cleaned up the highways – collecting over 24 bags of trash.



They beautified Shake Rag Alley.

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They cleaned up the grounds at Sienna Crest and the Care Center.


They installed blue bird houses, bat houses and a bee hotel (shown below) in the Oak Savannas.


They waterproofed the bridges in the Elementary Savanna.

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They worked with a wildlife biologist at the DNR property on Bennett Road.

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They distributed Mineral Point Visitor Guides to area businesses.

Tyra Clean Up 233photo-426

They cleaned up the grounds at Orchard Lawn under the direction of Berty Miller who reported that the kids “worked their butts off.”

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After they finished all of Berty’s assigned tasks she gave them a tour of the Gundry House.

Most of the groups walked to their destinations, however, some were shuttled by Roger Palzkill, who spent much of his day making sure the kids had the tools and equipment they needed.


This massive effort was organized by high school seniors Winndie Darrow and Jane Dickler as officers of the Key Club. The Key Club also provided water to the students throughout the day, and secured frozen custard from Culver’s, which Culver’s generously discounted for the occasion.  Jane and Winndie are shown below with Craig Culver, a guest speaker at a recent Kiwanis meeting.


At the end of the day, as the students enjoyed their frozen custard, they watched a slide show of their activities provided by teacher Kristin Staver’s student yearbook staff.  Most of the photos in this post were part of that slide show.

The Day of Service demonstrates that Pointer Pride is something that extends well beyond school athletics. Time and again, Mineral Point has shown how proud it is of its students. The Day of Service gives the students a chance to get out into the community, learn a little something, and take pride in their town.

We’re lucky to live in a community where the school gives back like this.

– Contributed by Lisa and Don Hay, with photos from the Mineral Point School District

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Under the Water Tower

This gallery contains 12 photos.

On a summer day, nearly twenty years ago, the first Mineral Point Farmers Market was held.  Check out the notice as it appeared in the Democrat Tribune.  (Photo courtesy of the Mineral Point Archives.  Thank you to Joel Gosse for … Continue reading

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