Meet the Man Who Made the Dells Famous

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Portrait of H.H. Bennett

Visiting H.H. Bennett Studio & Museum takes you back to a Wisconsin Dells that is very different from the one you see today. Like the photography process perfected by the studio and museum’s namesake, the captivating story develops before your eyes through stunning images and artifacts, engaging exhibits, and hands-on experiences for all ages.  

On your walk through the museum, see the stunning landscape photographs that helped attract some of the first tourists to the area. You can recreate “The Leap,” as you attempt to jump the same distance seen in one of Bennett’s most iconic photos. You can even get your portrait “struck” on metal in Bennett’s studio, a timeless treasure to remember your visit. Steer a riverboat down the Wisconsin River and explore Wisconsin Dells history, including the history of the Ho-Chunk Nation, on whose ancestral land the museum stands today. 

Things To Explore


The oldest operating business in the Wisconsin Dells and what is believed to be the oldest continuously operating photography studio in the country. This historic space showcases Bennett’s original photographs, glass plate negatives equipment, photography inventions, cameras, and equipment. You can also book an appointment to have a tintype photo of you “struck” in the studio.


Experience the fascinating history of the Wisconsin Dells (formerly Kilbourn City) through interactive and engaging exhibits exploring Bennett’s life, the people of the Ho-Chunk Nation (the inhabitants, since time immemorial, of the area where H.H. Bennett Studio & Museum stands), Dells tourism history, and more!

Plan Your Visit

to meet the man who made the dells famous

a black and white photo of two men sitting on a log while a thirds stands in front of them

Houghton Exhibition

Open through 2023

The collection of photos in this exhibition are those that George Houghton is best remembered for; glimpses into soldier’s camp life between the winter of 1861 and spring of 1863. Visit the exhibition in-person to see all the images in the collection!

The Studio Experience

Step back in time and experience the historic photography studio like never before! Have your portrait “struck” using the same wet plate photography method used by H.H. Bennett, in the same studio, over 100 years ago. Learn about Tintype photography all while the authentic historic lens captures your one-of-a-kind image that will last a lifetime.

Learn with the Wisconsin Historical Society

Field Trips

The best day of your school year awaits! Don’t just read about history, experience it! Field Trips at the Wisconsin Historical Society’s historic sites and museums allow students to step into the worlds they’re studying through fun adventures and engaging experiences around the state for grades k-12. 

Wisconsin Historical Society Sites

H.H. Bennett Studio is one of the 12 historic sites and museums owned and operated by the Wisconsin Historical Society. Explore all of these sites below.

Black Point Estate, a view of the tower and the rest of the building, the clouds are beautiful and really frame the building.

Black Point Estate & Gardens

A circus cart on a lawn, bright red, yellow, and orange colors.

Circus World

The two historical buildings of Wisconsin's First Capital

First Capitol

An old fashioned camera is set up facing a dramatic photo backdrop

H.H. Bennett Studio & Museum

Wood cabin style building with antlers attached. A sign reads Museum

Madeline Island Museum

A group of people bail hay out of an old fashioned cart

Old World Wisconsin

Pendarvis house at dusk,  orange colored brick and white trim windows and doors. A stone wall lines the house next to the road. The lamp is lit.


Inside the Reed School classroom, with vintage desks and a chalkboard

Reed School

A older white couple holding hands and walking towards the Stonefield buildings


The Villa Louis Manor on a sunny day, victorian architecture on elegant display

Villa Louis

People visiting the Arts and Crafts Fair at Wade House

Wade House

Rendering of the new history center from the street view

Wisconsin History Center