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Meet the Man Who Made the Dells Famous

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The Wisconsin Dells has been a destination for tourists from around the world for decades, but few people know about the man who helped make the Dells famous. H.H. Bennett Studio & Museum documents the history of the Wisconsin Dells and the life of H.H. Bennett, a Civil War soldier, photographer, and inventor whose stunning landscape photographs helped showcase the beauty of the Wisconsin Dells and the Driftless Area, attracting some of the first tourists.

The site features Bennett’s 1875 photo studio and storefront, along with a museum with engaging and interactive exhibits that explore Bennett’s life and the rich history of the Dells region. Guests can also book an appointment to get their portrait “struck” using the same tintype photography technology Bennett used over 100 years ago.


Things To Explore

1875 PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO

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.

MUSEUM OF THE DELLS

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!

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

Houghton Exhibition

Open through 2022

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

Virtual and In-person Programs

Get ready to give your young learners the best field trip memory of the year. WHS is excited to bring back our popular sensory-rich, wonder-filled, on-site Field Trips at our historic sites and museums. We are also continuing our live, interactive online programs to bring creativity, critical thinking, and empowered storytelling into your classroom!

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.