On the Road: Pepin, Wisconsin - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

On the Road: Pepin, Wisconsin


PEPIN, Wis. (KTTC) -- View after view after view of breathtaking scenery.

"In this area you feel like you're in a different country with the valleys and all the trees in bloom," said Patsy Pesa. "The harbor right here is just so beautiful."

Author of the Little House books Laura Ingalls Wilder translated the beauty of Pepin, Wis. into words better than anyone.

This is the town she was born in and lived for several years although the replica of her "Little House" no longer sits in the "Big Woods" that she grew to know and love.

"My mother was born here in Pepin and her dad was born here so I kind of relate back to that time when she was here," said David Smith of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historical Society.  "I read her book Little House in the Big Woods when I was young when it first came out because I was interested in what she had to say about Pepin."

Now a museum pays tribute to the era Ingalls lived in and draws in people from more than a dozen countries every year.

"Probably one problem for me is we have 12 and 13-year-old girls who come here and know more about Laura than I do!" Smith said.

The people of Pepin say it's the culture that sets the town apart.

"It's so small and quaint and everybody knows everybody," Burt Smith said. "There's really no crime so you just leave your keys in your car and your house unlocked and you don't think anything about it."

"They help each other through everything. If someone has a sink hole the whole town will be there to help. The people are great," Haley Bushey said.

"It's a laid back way of life. There's no rush. Nobody's in a hurry to do anything or go anywhere. Everybody will just take the time to say 'hey, how you doing?' and it's just a slower-paced lifestyle than in the city," Smith said.

To really see the town, take it from the locals, you've got to be out on the water.

"That is Wisconsin and that's Minnesota so if we go just a little bit further we can be in 2 states at once," Pesa explained.

So whether you're looking for good eats or a place where everything else in life floats away for awhile...

"People don't expect to see so much in such a small town," Bushey said. "There's basically a little bit of everything here."

...you just might find it in Pepin, Wis. all within less than a square mile.


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