Fountain City

Nestled in the bluffs along the Mississippi River, Fountain City is the oldest settlement in Buffalo County and located on Wisconsin’s only National Scenic Byway, The Great River Road. In 1839, Thomas A. Holmes’ family of 13 came up the Mississippi River to escape civilization and live in the wilderness. The first winter they made a cave their home, but it proved too much for Tom’s family, who moved back to civilization and left Tom on his own.

He was soon married to a Sioux Indian woman. They established a trading post and fared well, but when Tom felt civilization creeping in on him, he sold his property and escaped back into the wilderness. By 1847, Holmes Landing grew with German and Swiss families because it so closely resembled their homelands. A sawmill was established, homes were built, stores opened, and by 1854 a plat was laid and Holmes Landing was renamed Fountain City, for all the area’s natural springs.

Fountain City’s farming history is celebrated each year over the Labor Day weekend at the Old Time Farm Fest. Thousands of visitors come year round to enjoy hunting, birding, fishing, boating, snowmobiling and more! Just north of Fountain City is Merrick State Park, where you can pitch a tent and kayak the Mississippi backwaters. Visit our fun shops, enjoy fantastic dining, take in our unique attractions, breath in the fresh air, and make some memories!