WISCONSIN HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Woman jumping in the air at HHB

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Explore Wisconsin History

“Make the leap,” strike a pose, and visit the museum and original photo studio of the man who made the Dells famous!

About Us

Portrait of H.H. Bennett

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

Old fashioned Photography Studio at H.H. Bennett

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.

Old couple using tools to look at images and exploring H.H. Bennett

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 H.H. Bennett Studio & Museum stands), Dells tourism history, and more!

Tintypes

Woman dressed up with a portrait of someone wearing a similar outfit

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 this type of photography all while the authentic historic lens captures your one-of-a-kind image that will last a lifetime.

Explore Tintypes

Learn with the Wisconsin Historical Society

A computer at a desk showing a virtual program

Learn With Us Virtually!

Live virtual programs in your classroom or on your learners’ screens!

Building on what teachers and students love about in-person visits to our museums and historic sites, these live, interactive programs will bring creativity, critical thinking, and empowered storytelling into your home or classroom.

Explore Programs

Wisconsin Historical Society Sites

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

Become a Member

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

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

H.H. Bennett Studio & Museum

Wood 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.

Pendarvis

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

Stonefield

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

Walking by the Capitol Square

Wisconsin Historical Museum

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

Reed School

The two historical buildings of Wisconsin's First Capital

First Capitol

Learn more about all our sites here!

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