Wisconsin has some neat off-beat tourist attractions but this one has to be the quirkiest. Not to be confused with the House on the Rock, the Rock in The House attraction is the result of a serendipitous act of nature.
On April 24, 1995, Maxine Anderson had just finished taking photos of her newly remodeled master bedroom when she walked into the kitchen; at that moment a 55-ton boulder rolled down the hill behind her house. The huge disk-shaped rock plowed right into the master bedroom that she had just exited.
The house was knocked a few inches off its foundation from the impact. Husband Dwight Anderson was not home at the time but the couple were so shaken and discouraged, they sold the house within a few days to a local real estate investor thinking that the home would be torn down.
But this was no ordinary real estate investor. John Burt decided that he would keep the stone where it landed and simply open up the house as a tourist attraction. He did exactly that.
Guests to the ‘Rock in The House’ can take a self-guided tour and leave the $2.00 fee in a box by the front door (on the honor system). You are welcome to poke around the house and try to budge the 55-ton boulder in the back bedroom. It has not moved an inch since it landed there in 1995.
Hand-written notes lead visitors around and display fun facts such as: only one window was broken in the rock/house collision!
The furniture, appliances, flooring and wallpaper all remain frozen in time since that fateful day in 1995. The former owners have been back to visit the house and have given their blessing to what the new owner has (or hasn’t) done with the house.
Here’s the kicker: way back in the spring of 1901, a house that stood on that exact spot was destroyed by another runaway boulder from the hill above. In that case, the homeowner – a Mrs. Dubler – was actually killed when the huge stone struck her bedroom. Astonishingly, her blind husband in the bed beside her survived unscathed.
If you are ever driving through southwest Wisconsin along the Mississippi River, the Rock in The House is located at 440 N. Shore Dr. (Hwy 35) just north of Fountain City, Wisconsin.
Rest assured, the house – and the rock – will still be there because property has been granted historic preservation status due to its, um, crazy history.