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We’re fortunate to have Dodgeville, Wisconsin, as a backdrop to our latest holiday catalog shoot. Although describing it as a “backdrop” doesn’t quite do it justice. Dodgeville means so much more: it’s been our hometown since 1978 and features a small roster of wonders that makes it truly one of a kind. We took to the road and brought new holiday looks to our favorite sites—all within 30 miles of Dodgeville.
Mineral Point has the distinction of being the third oldest city in Wisconsin (1827, if you want to get technical about it). We’ll admit that “city” pushes it a little—as of 2010, its population was just 2,487. But that small size hasn’t stopped it from hosting the 40-year-old Red Rooster Café, our favorite spot for fresh pastries and cheat desserts. Forget that it was Wisconsin August—the moment we got our hands on Red Rooster’s famed bread pudding, we were in full cozy flannel shirt and cashmere sweater mode.
After a few cups of coffee, we ventured outside to take in the antique shops and 19th century storefronts that continue to make Mineral Point an unlikely tourist magnet. That almost-too-perfect, small-town American tableau made it ideal for this year’s family shots. Before leaving, we made sure to squeeze into the little Mineral Point Hotel, a boutique hotel housed in a historic building that’s every bit as welcoming as a Supima cotton sweater.
Still, we needed a place where we could make winter happen before Labor Day. We got just the thing in the form of Jim’s Farm, which sits on the National Register of Historic Places and was lovingly restored by its husband-and-wife owners. All that faux snow helped us get into down vests, fleece quarter-zips and even down coats for our men’s and women’s shoots.
Speaking of winter conditions, we made for Tyrol Basin Ski when it came time to pull on our Expedition Parkas and Squall Jackets. It was a little bittersweet, as we’d all prefer to be on the mountain (okay, rather large hill) three months later with fresh snow trails and a mug of hot chocolate.
Finally, we pulled on our boots, hats, gloves, and whatever other warm accessories we could muster for a trip down to the Black Hawk Lake Recreation Area, a county park lovingly maintained by the nearby towns of Cobb and Highland. That’s where we took some time to practice our favorite part of the holidays: gratitude for the places and people we call home.