Mineral Point, Wisconsin
September 27 - 29, 2019
Cornish Festival Event Schedule - September 27 - 29, 2019
A weekend jam-packed with Fun, Food, and Facts about our cherished Cornish Heritage in the lovely hill town of Mineral Point, Wisconsin.
The Annual Cornish Festival and Celtic Celebration was launched in 1991 with the purpose of preserving our Cornish heritage and identifying and strengthening our ties to Cornwall. Now in its 27th year, CornishFest serves as an educational resource as we help Cornish Americans and everyone else understand the Cornish heritage in Cornwall and around the world.
The Cornish Festival in Mineral Point is the signature event of the Southwest Wisconsin Cornish Society, our major project to further that understanding. Explore our website to learn more or to join the Society.
Scan the categories listed below, click the small + for all the details, time and place -- and plan your unforgettable visit to Mineral Point, voted "the most Cornish city in the USA".
Pendarvis Historic Site Tours. Fri, Sat, Sun 10-4 pm. Visitor Center, Shake Rag & Spruce Streets $ Drawn to the area by plentiful lead in shallow diggings, miners came here from the hill states and Europe in the 1830s and 1840s. Cornish miners followed, to work the deep mines and zinc deposits. At Pendarvis, you visit their stone cottages and come to understand how their legacy was preserved in the 20th century.
Mineral Point Library Archives. Fri, Sat 10-4 pm. Library, 137 High Street. Free The chief resource for local history, the Archives's collections include maps, photographs, letters, mining information, genealogy and land records, business records, and newspapers on microfilm, as well as Cornish artifacts and records. Searchable databases of the old City cemetery, of obituary and marriage announcements from 1847 to the present, and of commercial and residential buildings make your research easier.
Mineral Point Railroad Museum. Fri, Sat 10-4 pm. Sun 12-4 pm. 11 Commerce Street. $ Built by Cornish stonemasons John Toay and Phillip Allen Sr. in 1856, The Mineral Point Railroad Depot is one of the few remaining pre-Civil War depots in the United States. Through detailed story-driven exhibits, the award-winning Mineral Point Railroad Museum honors both the depot’s rich rail heritage and its Cornish craftsmanship.
Shake Rag Alley Grounds. Fri, Sat, Sun from Dawn to Dusk. 18 Shake Rag Street. Free The charming grounds of Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts are always open to the public to walk through. Grab a self-guided tour brochure from the information kiosk and take a stroll through the campus, learning about the history of each building. For full information on Shake Rag Alley classes, go to http://www.shakeragalley.com/september or call 608-987-3292.
Orchard Lawn Tours - Mineral Pt. Historical Soc. Fri, Sat 12-4 pm. Sun, 12-3 pm. at 234 Madison Street. $ In1868, Cornish immigrants Sarah and Joseph Gundry built Orchard Lawn, with an Italianate mansion of locally quarried stone, on 11 hillside acres. The stately house is a remarkable survivor. When the last local Gundry died in 1936, it was rescued from demolition and became home to the Mineral Point Historical Society. Today, ambitious restoration is under way to further preserve the house and grounds for future generations. The grounds may be enjoyed free of charge at any time.
Odd Fellows & Rebekah Museum Exhibits. Fri, Sat, Sun. 1-4 pm., 10 Front Street. Free The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) opened this lodge in Mineral Point in 1835. As the fraternal order increased in size to over 250 members by 1838, a two story frame lodge hall was built which was the first IOOF hall west of the Allegheny Mountains. The building exists today in its original form as the Odd Fellows/Rebekah Museum and contains a number of historical items relating to Odd Fellowship including a full size 1800's Odd Fellow lodge room on the second floor.
Shake Rag Alley Grounds. Fri, Sat, Sun Dawn to Dusk. 18 Shake Rag Street. Free The charming grounds of Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts are always open to the public. Grab a self-guided tour brochure from the information kiosk and take a stroll through the magical campus, learning about the history of each building. For full information on Shake Rag Alley classes, go to http://www.shakeragalley.com/september or call 608-987-3292.
Pub Night at Pendarvis. Fri 7-10 pm. Pendarvis Education Center on Spruce Street. $ Cap off your first evening at CornishFest with a spirit-filled adventure at the Pendarvis Rowhouse, home of the Kiddly-winks Pub, where you can play traditional pub games while enjoying beer, wine, or soda in souvenir pub glass. A food truck is nearby and there's music by Cornish musician Richard Tretheway. Don't forget to see the rest of the site by flashlight tour. First drink with glass $10.00, refills $5.00.
Pendarvis Historic Site Tours. Fri, Sat, Sun 10 am-4 pm. Visitor Center, Shake Rag & Spruce Streets. In the 1830s and 1840s, settlers from other parts of the United States and Europe began to flow into the Wisconsin Territory, lured by the prospect of plentiful lead to be had in shallow diggings. As the easy lead became scarce, and greater technical knowledge was needed to work the earth for its deeper lead and zinc deposits, immigrants from Cornwall, England filled the need. These miners and their families made a lasting imprint on southwest Wisconsin. At Pendarvis, you can tour their stone cottages and come to understand how their legacy was preserved in the 20th century.
TWO NEW TOURS FOR 2019!!
Tour Historic Mineral Point Sat. 10:30 a.m. Bus boarding at Mineral Point Collection, 151 High Street $ Jump aboard the bus for an informative tour of the historic homes and business places of "The Most Cornish City in the U.S." The tour lasts about 1 1/2 hours, but offers a solid sampling of the city's rich architectural atmosphere. Seating is limited. TICKETS $15, on sale at Mineral Point Collection.
Tour the Old City Cemetery Sat., 1:30 p.m. Shuttle from Downtown $ Join us for the first-ever guided tour of the recently-restored Old City Cemetery. A multi-year project has just completed its fourth summer of tombstone repair, cleaning and data collection. Tour guides will describe the work under way and introduce you to many of the historic lives resting in this 189-year old burial ground, which includes many Cornish immigrants. Tickets are $10. Bus transportation leaves the Mineral Point Collection at 151 High Street at 1:30 sharp, weather permitting. The tour lasts about 50 minutes and involves some walking on uneven lawns. Part of the proceeds go toward the continuing expenses of the volunteer restoration work.
Pancake Breakfast. Sat 7-10:30 am. Masonic Lodge, 304 High Street. $ Start off Saturday with a hearty pancake breakfast at the historic Masonic Lodge. the first Masonic chapter in Wisconsin.
Farmers' Market. Sat 8:30-11 am. Water Tower Park, Dodge Street. $ The Mineral Point Market features locally grown organic produce, naturally raised beef, pork, and chicken, fresh eggs, jams, syrups, honey, flowers, perennial plants, baked goods, raspberries, locally grown flour, artwork, photography, and much more! The Mineral Point Market is the place to be on Saturday mornings and a great way to support local agricultural producers. Get there early for the best selection!
Taste of Mineral Point. Sat 11 am-2 pm. Library Park. 137 High Street. $ Sample some of the best food and beverages that Mineral Point has to offer at the "Taste of Mineral Point." Sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, Local restaurants, cafes, and bars offer delicious highlights from their menus, "Taste" is a one-stop way to discover the variety of tasty eating options in Mineral Point. You'll enjoy live acoustic Celtic music performed by "Westerlies." Co-sponsored by the Mineral Point Public Library and the Southwest Wisconsin Cornish Society.
Pasty Supper and More. Sat 4-8 pm. Walker House. 1 Water Street. $
In the lovely dining room of the historic 1836 Walker House, enjoy an authentic CornishFest meal: Walker House Salad, Beef Pasty, Pasty Sauce, Saffron Bun, Figgyhobbin, and perhaps a splash of Wollersheim Red/White Wine or New Glarus Spotted Cow beer, or other Beverage (Soda, Coffee, Tea). Pizza for kids. Entertainment, too!. $14.25 + tax., 9 and under $7.65 + tax
Bobbin Lace Demonstration. Fri, Sat, Sun 10-5 pm. Mineral Point. Collection., 151 High Street. Free Kendra Goodnow, award winning bobbin lace maker, will demonstrate her craft during Cornish Festival. A published designer, she has won awards for best designs and for workmanship. Two of her designs are included in Needle Tatting with Style, Book One, and she co-authored the first how-to book on the subject of lucet cord, Lucet Cord Made Easy.
Celtic Knot Quilting Workshop. Fri, Sat 1-3 pm. Mineral Point Collection, 151 High Street. $ Machine applique a Celtic knot. The class will use this method to create a hot mat and learn how this method can be used to make other items to decorate tote bags or make items for the home. Some sewing experience is helpful. Samples will be available. Instructor: Pam Daspit. Materials included in $15.00 class fee. Pre-registration requested.
Celtic Paper Workshop. Sat 10-11 am. Mineral Point Collection, 151 High Street. $ Create a card and corresponding envelope using Celtic embossed motifs. Receive a Celtic stamp to keep. Instructor: Carol Getman of Oh So Much Fun! No prerequisites; materials included in $15.00 class fee. Children welcome to enroll if accompanied by a registered adult.
Pottery Demonstration. Mulberry Pottery. Fri, Sat, Sun 10:00 am - 6:00 pm. 14 Jail Alley. Free Studio Potter Frank Polizzi demonstrates his skills with porcelain on the potter's wheel, using a clay that has been mined in the St. Stephen and St. Austell areas of Cornwall since 1746.
Fun for Kids. Saturday 10-2 at three Downtown locations. Free
A day of fun and learning for kids (and parents, too) follows our festival's theme, "Mousehole Cat Meets Mineral Point:" Mowzer the Heroic Cat, taken from the popular children's book, is the subject for crafts, games, music, and story telling.at several locations.
10 to 3 -- "Paws in the Park," "Cat-Tac-Toe" and "Cat Crafts", with the Iowa County Humane Society, at Cornish Heritage Park, adjacent to the Opera House
10 to 2 -- "Mowzer Cat Tea Party," serving treats and fun at Time Warp, 35 High Street
Noon to 2 -- "Games on the Patio" Traditional sport like Kubb, lawn dice and more in an outdoor setting.. Mineral Point Hotel on Commerce Street.
All this fun at no cost!!
"The Mousehole Cat" Saturday 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Opera House, 139 High St. $
This is the Headline Production for CornishFest 2019 -- our Saturday Nigh Show! A live action presentation by the Cousin Jack's Players from Cornwall brightens the stage at the beautifully-restored Mineral Point Opera House. Six actors bring to life Antonia Barber's classic children's story, "The Mousehole Cat," in a family-friendly musical drama about a seaside village in Cornwall and its astonishing recovery from a deadly famine. The heroes are fisherman Tom Bawcock and his faithful cat Mowzer. The show runs approximately one hour and includes a bit of heartwarming audience participation. Tickets $15.00 adults, $10.00 for kids. Available at www.brownpapertickets.com/, or Berget's Jewelry, and at the door.
A Welsh Hymn Sing, followed by a Tea Service, Sunday 2:30 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church, 409 High Street, Free but free-will donation
To honor our Celtic Cousins of Welsh descent we will repeat a mini-version of a Gymanfa Ganu, (Welsh Hymn Sing) The sound of glorious song and mighty organ wafts from the beautiful church at the top of High Street, as the leader, Rev. Joseph Corbin from Richland Center leads the singing, to organist Ann Lemmenes accompaniment. We thank the Welsh Gymanf Assn. of Wisconsin for agreeing to add CornishFest to their calendar.
Following the Hymn Sing, the ladies of Trinity Church will again host a Tea in their Fellowship Hall.
There is no charge for the Hymn Sing or the Tea, but a free-will donation for each would be appreciated.
CornishFestival Museum -- Saturday 10-4 pm, Old Bank Building, 203 High Street -- Free
"Ceremonies and Celebrations" is the theme for the popular downtown museum on the city's main street. View historic photographs of early "big days" in Mineral Point, once the center of Wisconsin's Old Lead Region. Buildings were decorated, arches were built, and everyone turned out for special occasions. Our historic photos will take you there.
At 11 a.m. David Downing from St. Paul will demonstrate and explain "Crying the Neck," a harvest-ending festival tradition in Cornwall, revived in recent years by the Old Cornwall Society.
At 3 p.m. You'll hear about "wooing and wedding," as Tamara Funk (a/k/a/ "Cousin Jenny") presents her program, "Traditions in Weddings.".
Try a taste of authentic Cornish tea, and search for your name in the 1086 Domesday Book.
A collection of artifacts and other materials will broaden your knowledge of Cornish traditions. And, no charge for admission.
OUR VOLUNTEERS WORK TO MAKE THIS FALL WEEKEND "ONE OF A KIND."
JOIN US...LEARN ABOUT OUR CORNISH HERITAGE...AND HAVE A GREAT TIME, TOO!