201 8th Street Baraboo, Wisconsin
RESERVATIONS

Author: ringling

Quarantine Rooms in Baraboo, WI

We are now providing quarantine rooms for anyone needing to self-isolate for a period of time.   Health care professionals, delivery people, tradespeople, checkout people, basically anyone in an essential job that has been exposed to the COVID-19 virus.  We want to be able to help anyone out on the front lines, who are taking risks to help the rest of us out.

This is how it works:

Schedule a stay for a specified period of time for quarantine, and stay in your room.   Here is what we will help you with:

  1.  We would provide breakfast to your room daily, delivered to your door, at a time you specify.
  2. We will pick up orders from restaurants in the area, and deliver them to your door.
  3. We provide fresh towels and linens on a regular basis.
  4. We will wash your clothes.
  5. We have free high speed wifi for you to do work in your room, and keep in touch with family and friends.
  6. We have a smart TV with free Netflix access in your room.
  7. Each room has a private attached bathroom for your use.
  8. We can communicate via text or phone call for your food orders, daily check in, and/or other needs.

You are expected to stay in your room at all times if you are using our home for this service, to limit exposure to us, and any other guests we may have.  At this point, price is negotiable, so give us a call if interested at 608-356-4229.  Do not book online for this service!

Safer at Home Order in Wisconsin for COVID-19

Governor Tony Evers has called upon all of us to take all possible actions to reduce further spread of COVID-19 to save lives. Therefore, the state of Wisconsin has issued a Safer at Home order that prohibits all nonessential travel.  The order is effective at 8 am on Weds., March 25, 2020 and will remain in effect until 8 am Fri., April 24, 2020, or until a superseding order is issued.   I’ve added a copy of what constitutes essential travel above, directly from the emergency order #12.   Any violation of this law can result in a $250.00 fine for those found in violation.

However, for those of you that have essential travel, we are here to be able to support you in this difficult time.   We are licensed, inspected and insured and use the utmost of safety and precautions and adhere to all the required guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.   Please see a previous blog page for more information on the precautions we are taking:  COVID-19 Info

Our dedication to cleanliness and  hospitality is our commitment to you. Our guests are like family.  So if you must travel, our inn may be the right spot for you.

We welcome you to also explore our website, for your future travel planning, as we all look forward to resuming our normal lives.

We sincerely hope that you and your family and friends are safe and well during these challenging times.

 

 

The New Normal in the COVID-19 Lodging

Over the last week at the Ringling House Bed & Breakfast, we have gone from creating bookings and turning people away because we do not have any rooms available, to an empty house.   From one person running the Bed & Breakfast with some staff, to having my recently laid off partner at home helping.   So by empty, we mean we don’t have any guests in our guest rooms.

Therefore for us, there are no worries that we will catch the virus from traveling guests, but there is a lot of worry, that at some point we will not be able to pay our bills.    We also understand the fear of our guests that are calling to cancel their stay, either the event that they were coming for has been cancelled, that they no longer want to travel via public transport, and are self-quarantining,  afraid to leave their house – much less travel anywhere.  Their workplace may have closed, or have been laid off and have no income.   When calling to cancel a reservation, many of our customers have taken a refund in the form of a gift certificate, which helps us immensely.  Thank you to those that have chosen that option!

Needless to say, this pandemic has created a lot of fear.   Here at the Ringling House Bed & Breakfast we have decided that we need to change the way we do some things, some by choice, others by mandate.   We hope to get people coming back to Baraboo after this “quarantine” ends, because, people are people, and they are still going to be scared.   I guess we will characterize these changes  as the “New Normal”.

Fewer People in a Bed & Breakfast

First of all, a Bed & Breakfast is small. we only have 6 rooms, and could have a maximum of 12 people in the house at a time.   Much less than the standard hotel, and therefore, much less chance of catching the contagion.

Food Changes

Our breakfast is typically served family style in our dining room at Henry Ringling’s dining room table.    Now, per the Wisconsin mandate #72, we now will be delivering breakfast to peoples rooms.

In lieu of  the wine and cheese happy hour on the weekend, we will be bringing people a “mini bottle” of wine or champagne and/or a snack to their room.

Baraboo also has many restaurants that have curbside pick up now,  outside of the breakfast that is served here at the Bed & Breakfast.   You can pick up your dinner, and eat it in a mansion!  How’s that for the “New Normal”?

Sanitation Additions

We are not only cleaning the rooms, but going through and sanitizing any surface that would frequently be touched like remotes, keys, faucets, light switches, chair arms, etc, in between each guest change.  We also have disinfecting wipes placed around the house for people to use before/after touching something.

We want to be sure that our guests are not only comfortable with our amenities, but with our sanitation methods when they are ready to travel again.  This will be the “New Normal” for us until the virus threat has significantly tapered off.

What’s to do?

The good thing about Baraboo are so many outdoor areas and parks to explore.  It’s easy to practice “social distancing” while enjoying the great outdoors.   Indoors, we also have many games you can borrow and play inside your room or another area in our elegant home.  Our rooms are all equipped with internet-enabled smart TV’s, and our music rooms is equipped with several musical options.    So, come experience the fun part of travel!

Coupled with our  naturally limited occupancy levels, enhanced sanitation procedures, modified breakfast options, and multiple entertainment selections, we hope you will consider the Ringling House Bed & Breakfast as a safe and comfortable lodging option!

Sincerely,

Julie Hearley & Stuart Koehler

Innkeepers, Ringling House Bed & Breakfast.

Murder Mystery Dinners

Have you ever participated in a murder mystery dinner?   There are several different kinds.   One has actors that play the parts, and audience members can help solve the mystery.  Mostly just a watching a show kind of Murder Mystery!

The type of Murder Mystery Dinners that we hold at the Ringling House Bed & Breakfast, are the kind where YOU get to play the part, dress up, and attempt to solve the murder while having an elegant diner and mingling around the Ringling House Bed & Breakfast.   Of course, you could be the MURDERED, or the MURDERER.   You just won’t know until you get here.   And wouldn’t you like to mingle about in the mansion, and try to solve the crime?  Click the link to one of these events and get your ticket now!

We have two of these murder mystery dinners coming up:
Jazz Age Jeopardy:  Saturday March 21, 2020  5pm
Casino Dead Money:    Saturday, April 25, 2020  5pm

Approximate Schedule of evening:

5:00pm arrival, pictures & cocktail hour
5:30pm Round 1 of Game is started
6:15pm dinner is served Round 2 Starts
**** Murder Happens ****
7:30pm vote & guess on suspects
8:00pm Round 3, confessions
8:30pm Awards & Prizes

Cost: $45.00 includes 1 free drink, dinner and a whole lot of fun with murder!

The “Carnival of Horrors” Haunted House Fundraiser

Halloween spirit alive at Ringling House Bed &Breakfast’s “Carnival of Horrors” haunted house.

What better way to scare up money for a great cause than to host a haunted house?
Stuart Koehler and Julie Hearley and a committee of volunteers are, for the second consecutive fall, creating a haunted house in a carriage house behind Ringling House Bed & Breakfast. Their goal isn’t to conjure Ringling family ghosts, but to raise money for improvements to the historic property.
Last year a nonprofit organization, Friends of the Charles and Henry Ringling Estate, was formed to preserve the buildings and grounds once owned by the brothers of circus fame. The one-acre estate includes the main house, which the couple operates as a six-room bed-and-breakfast; the carriage house; a cottage; and a barn. The 1901 Colonial Revival home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
“We think – we hope – the community wants this property to stay intact,” Stuart said.
Julie said the nonprofit will remain in place even if the property changes hands someday. “This is designed to protect these buildings as long as they’re around,” she said.
The couple plans to transform the carriage house in an event venue. They foresee hosting theatrical performances and other events attracting groups of 100 to 200 people. “There aren’t a lot of places in Baraboo for those kinds of events,” Stuart said.
Money generated through the Carnival of Horrors haunted house will support that project. Setup work began last month, with the team adding to the maze of horrors it set up last year. Julie said the team needs volunteers to help set up the haunted house and operate it. A crew of 15 is needed to sell tickets, provide security and act as ghouls within the indoor-outdoor haunted house.
Also needed this year are sponsors. The Friends of the Charles and Henry Ringling Estate group is offering sponsorships ranging in cost from $40 to $1,000 in exchange for tickets and prominently displayed gravestones bearing donors’ names. Donors will be invited to a VIP event at Ringling House, featuring personalities from the “Bordello of Horror” television show. Rachel Frank will offer demonstrations of horror-themed makeup and fashion. To volunteer or secure a sponsorship, send email to ringlingfriends@gmail.com.
The VIP event isn’t the only new feature this year. The haunted house is adding matinees for kids, who figure not to get as frightened in the daylight. Carnival of Horrors will be open Fridays and Saturdays starting October 11 from 7-10 p.m. During the final week of October, it will be open Thursday through Sunday, featuring $5 matinees for kids that Friday and Sunday from 2-4 p.m. (Otherwise, the haunted house isn’t recommended for youths under 10). Admission will cost $15 at the door, but tickets can be had in advance for $10 at https://ringlinghousebnb.com/event/, at the Al. Ringling Theatre and at Con Amici Wine Bar,  starting Friday, September 27th.
Last year the haunted house attracted 700 people. This year’s goal is 1,000. Halloween fans came from across the state last year. “That’s a lot of people who probably wouldn’t have come to town otherwise,” Stuart said.

Hop Growing in Sauk County

Did you know that Wisconsin’s proud brewing traditions were at one time centered here in Sauk County Wisconsin?

The conditions of soil and climate were found to be well adapted to the growing and curing of an excellent quality of hops, and Sauk County soon was among the leading counties of the West in acreage and production.

Hop farm in Sauk County

Pioneers in the industry had demonstrated that hops could be raised at a profit, and when prices suddenly went up, there was a rush into the business In 1866 and 1867, more than sixty per cent of the farmers in the townships of Greenfield, Baraboo, Fairfield, Delton, Dellona, Reedsburg, and Winfield had hop yards, while other townships in the county were extensively engaged in the industry. Many who owned no land rented from two to ten acres, and started to make a fortune.

The sale of hop roots became an important addition to the hop raiser’s revenue, as seed roots were very much in demand.

Competition in buying was intense, and buyers drove through the county bidding on the hop holdings of farmers. When a man had “sold his hops” he was viewed as ready to pay the bills that for months had been accumulating, unpaid.  

Few farmers were really enriched by the cultivation of hops, but, hops made it possible to erect buildings for hop-houses, and, though not well suited to other uses, such as stables or granaries, some still stand as reminders of the days when hop farmers were rich, or thought themselves so.

Disaster came almost as immediately as the craze started. In 1868, when, partly from over production, and partly from destruction of the hops by insects, prices fell markedly. Some were able to sell their crops for what they could get, but many growers held out, hoping for better prices next year. By then, the bottom dropped completely out of the market. 

Harvested Hops

The “hop-crash” brought widespread disaster. Even the women, who had picked the majority of the hops, were not paid for their hard, back-breaking services. Merchants, blacksmiths, carpenters, doctors, and even lawyers, had charges upon their books that they could not collect. 

 

Due to the honesty, industry, and thrift of the Sauk County farmers of the time, within ten or fifteen years, the “hop-crash” was almost completely overcome, and exists today only in the memory of the older inhabitants of Sauk County.

Taken from “The Hop Days in Sauk County”
By Hon. John M. True
January 25, 1908

Most Famous Ringling Performers Ever?

Most Famous Ringling Performers Ever?

Undoubtedly two of the most famous — and most tragic — circus aerialists, were Lillian Leitzel (1892 – 1931) and Alfredo Codona (1893 – 1937).  One of the rooms at the Ringling House Bed & Breakfast is even named after the couple.

Lillian Lietzel

 

Leitzel, one of the early stars of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus in the 1920s, was best known for a feat called the one-arm plange, or swing-over, in which she would perform a nearly vertical rotation while hanging from a ring by only one arm.

Leitzel grew up amid a well-knownEuropean circus family. Her mother and two aunts travelled throughout Europe with their trapeze act known as the Leamy Ladies; and her uncle, Adolph Pelikan, was a popular circus clown.

 

The Leamy Ladies performed on both sides of the Atlantic, but upon their return to Europe in 1911, Leitzel decided to stay behind. In 1914, Leitzel joined the Ringling Bros. Circus and, within five years, became the undisputed star. While swinging high over their heads, the audience would keep count of her rotations. Her record was 249 revolutions, an incredible feat, considering that each time Leitzel would complete a swing-over, her shoulder became partially dislocated, then snapped back into place.

When not performing, Leitzel had a reputation as a prima donna, unpredictable and demanding, and, was the first circus performer provided her own private Pullman rail car, complete with baby grand piano

Alfredo Cordona

 

In 1917, the Flying Codonas also joined the Ringling Bros. Circus, where Leitzel was already a star. Alfredo Codona also came from a circus family. His father, Eduardo, owned and operated a small circus in southern Mexico, and several family members performed as aerialists. When Alfredo’s father retired, the Flying Codonas changed their name to the Three Codonas, including Alfredo, Lalo, and their sister, Victoria. Later, when Victoria quit the act, she was replaced by Vera Bruce.

In 1928, Leitzel married Alfredo Codona of the Flying Codonas, a stylish and graceful performer known for his daring triple somersault.

The Three Codonas appeared in a short film titled “Swing High” (1931), which was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Short Subject. Alfredo Codona also performed most of the aerial stunts for the early “Tarzan” films starring Johnny Weissmuller in the early 1930s.

Leitzel and Codona shared similar temperaments, and their tumultuous marriage featured numerous arguments, public shouting matches, breakups and reconciliations. In addition to their combustible personalities, both craved the spotlight and attention they received, and often scheduled performances during their winter breaks from the circus. During one of these performances in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1931, one of the brass connections on Leitzel’s rope broke, and she fell 45 feet onto a concrete floor, suffering severe injuries.

Codona rushed to Copenhagen, but Leitzel insisted that her injuries weren’t serious, so Codona returned to Berlin to finish his engagement.

Two days later, only a few hours after Codona left her side, Lietzel died.

Codona was devastated by Leitzel’s death.

Desperate to find comfort after his loss, Codona married Vera Bruce in September 1932. Alfredo continued to perform his trapeze act, but became increasingly reckless, and was seriously injured in a fall in 1933, ending his career.

Vera Bruce filed for divorce in 1937. While in Bruce’s attorney’s office discussing the divorce proceedings, Codona asked to speak to his wife in private. After the attorney left the room, Codona locked the door, pulled a pistol from his coat pocket, and shot his wife four times, then shot himself once in the head. Codona died instantly, and Bruce died the next day.

So, ends the sad story of Lillian Leitzel and Alfredo Codona ….

Edited from http://www.cemeteryguide.com/codonaleitzel.html

Baraboo Cocoa Crawl 2019

Third Annual Cocoa Crawl 2019

Purchase your $2 tickets to Delectable Drinks and Family Fun!
This is a BRING YOUR OWN MUG EVENT! Or you can purchase a souvenir unbreakable cocoa mug at Becka Kates for $7.95.

Join us at the second annual Baraboo Cocoa Crawl on Saturday, January 26th, 2019 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm! Sample delicious and unique flavors of hot chocolate & other treats at two dozen area businesses – stops will offer hot chocolate OR another sweet treat such as a cookie AND a salty snacks and water to help your palate survive!

$2.00 Admission
Tickets are available for purchase at Bekah Kate’s (Kitchen, Kids and Home) at 117 3rd Street in Downtown Baraboo, and online at https://ringlinghousebnb.com/event/baraboo-cocoa-crawl-2019

On January 25 or January 26, bring your online receipt or ticket to Bekah Kate’s to exchange it for your cocoa stop punch card (required at each stop) and map. Turn your punch card in at the last stop for a chance to win one of two gift baskets, valued at over $100 each, containing items from participating business. A total of 400 tickets are being sold so buy now! 

Stops to be announced shortly!

Sponsored by Downtown Baraboo, Inc., Baraboo Area Chamber of Commerce, Ringling House Bed & Breakfast, Bekah Kate’s, ReMax Grand and Gem City Creations.

Friends of the Charles & Henry Ringling Estate

Henry Ringling

Charles Ringling

The Friends of the Charles & Henry Ringling Estate, is a nonprofit group established to improve and protect the Ringling estate off Eighth Street in Baraboo.   The estate that sits on the corner 8th and Ash St. is the only home built and lived in  by two separate Ringling Brothers of circus fame.   The one-acre estate includes the main house, which operates as a bed-and-breakfast; the carriage house; a cottage; and a barn.

The first fund raiser for the non-profit called “Phantom Carnival” is being set up in a carriage house behind the bed-and-breakfast, and will expand to cover part of the lawn out back. Where once circus impresarios’ horses whinnied, this fall visitors will shriek.

The non-profit hopes to run the haunted house for two years, then convert the carriage house into an event center. This will require replacing the 1901 building’s original wiring, and adding bathrooms and a kitchen.

The Ringling home and surrounding property was owned by the circus family for a century before Koehler and Hearley bought it in 2015 and opened their bed-and-breakfast. The Colonial Revival home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Koehler and Hearley have become active participants in local affairs, helping to launch events such as the downtown Cocoa Crawl and First Night celebration. Their short-term goal in hosting a haunted house for young adults is to create an entertaining Halloween event: Their long-term goal is to create a place for all types of community events.

 

Cocoa Crawl – sold out

Delectable Drinks and Family Fun!    We are officially sold out of tickets already this year!

Join us at the first annual Baraboo Cocoa Crawl on Saturday, February 17th from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm! Sample delicious and unique flavors of hot chocolate at area businesses – no two stops will be alike.

The Ringling House Bed & Breakfast will be participating in this event and will be using the Ringling Families “French Hot Cocoa” recipe.  It is hot cocoa made from scratch, the old fashioned way.   We will also have some marshmallows and toothpicks that the kids can eat and play around with!  We will be one of the first stops, where you can pick up your cup, map, and ticket (for online purchasers).  So make us one of your first stops of the day!

Print your name and phone number on the back of your ticket, and turn it in at the last cocoa stop for a chance to win a gift basket worth over $300.00.

*****Online ticket purchasers******
To get started on the day of event, bring your online receipt and exchange it for your ticket, map, and cup at one of these four sites:

New Life Lavender & Cherry Farm
Clarion Hotel and Convention Center, Baraboo, WI
Ringling House Bed & Breakfast
Circus World Museum

Print your name and phone number on the back of your ticket, and turn it in at the last cocoa stop for a chance to win a gift basket worth over $300.00.

Stops include:
New Life Lavender & Cherry Farm
Clarion Hotel and Convention Center, Baraboo, WI
Ringling House Bed & Breakfast
Circus World Museum
Baraboo RE/MAX Grand
Just Imagine Toys
Devils Lake Lavender (Devils Lake Bistro)
Countryside Refind
Bunbury & Associates Realtors
Ya Ya Bear
Paint On The Wall, Art Life Studio
Bekah Kate’s (Kitchen, Kids and Home)
Lillian Verrall
Neat-O’s Bake Shoppe
Recycled Sally’s Women and Kids

Sponsored in part by the Baraboo Area Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Baraboo, Inc.

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Safer at home order for Wisconsin until April 24 – click for more: