Our Community: Unique and Thriving
Wisconsin Dells is a tourist destination, with a storied history. Our area welcomes over 1.5 million visitors a year. We invite you to discover more about the Wisconsin Dells/Lake Delton area!
Our Community: The Early Years
Wisconsin Dells was founded as Kilbourn City in 1857 by Byron Kilbourn. 1857 was the same year that famous photographer H.H. Bennett moved to Kilbourn City, and his passion for capturing the breath-taking beauty of the Dells with his camera quickly turned Kilbourn City into a popular tourist destination. H.H. Bennett took photographs of the Dells of the Wisconsin River and the surrounding region between 1865 and 1908. Bennett capitalized on his success, building the H.H. Bennett Studio in 1875 to sell his postcards and souvenir portraits to travelers. In 1931, Kilbourn City changed the name of the city to Wisconsin Dells, to make it easier for tourists to identify with the natural formations that made it famous.
Today along with Wisconsin Dells, the Village of Lake Delton is a major resort area. It is home to many attractions, motels, hotels, restaurants, retail and other businesses. The lake itself is a man-made freshwater lake, originally formed in 1927 to attract tourists to the area following the economic recovery after the Great Depression. Lake Delton was originally named Norris for Edward Norris, the surveyor of the village. The Village of Lake Delton was incorporated in 1954.
Entertainment & Attractions
Wisconsin Dells Visitors and Convention Bureau (includes links to area businesses)