Air Quality:
Woolen Mills Mural

Woolen Mill / Baraboo River Mural

Woolen Mill - 28 East Main Street

Created in 2002, this mural commemorates the history of the Reedsburg Woolen Mill and its importance in the early economic development of the city. It also acknowledges the restoration of the Baraboo River by the removal of the remaining dams that occured around that time making the Baraboo the longest restored river in the U.S. Harnessing the power of the river with dams to power grain, lumber and woolen mills was a common practice by Europeans settlers in the New World. At its peak the Baraboo River was contained by 11 dams with the last of them finally removed in the late 1990’s. The mural depicts downtown Reedsburg in the early 20th century with the Mill and dam prominently featured. A large stylized portrait of a woman mill worker is unspooling a bolt of

fabric that morphs into the river highlighting the connection between the flowing water and the resulting manufactured products. These relationships are further connected by the surrounding farmland and the prominence of sheep in the mural. The caption “Agriculture, Natural Resources & Industry” ties together these features of the composition.

There is a small mural within the mural recreating a cartoon of boys skinny dipping in the River drawn in the 1920’s by artist Claire Briggs, a  Reedsburg native whose work appeared in national publications. The mural was a community project facilitated by Wormfarm Institute with the support from a Sauk County Arts, Humanities & Historic Preservation grant. It is mounted on the last remaining building in the Woolen Mill complex as the Mill itself burned down in the 1960’s.