Nestled in the bluffs along the Mississippi River, Fountain City is the oldest settlement in Buffalo County. The Fountain City area was proven hunting grounds for Indian tribes, including the Dakota Sioux, the Winnebago and the Chippewa. In 1839, Thomas A. Holmes, his wife, children and family (13 in total) came up the Mississippi River to escape civilization and live in the wilderness. The first winter they made a cave their home but it proved too much for Tom’s family. They moved back to civilization and left Tom on his own. He was soon married to a Sioux Indian woman, they established a trading post and fared well.
When Tom felt civilization was creeping in on him he sold his property and escaped back into the wilderness. By 1847, Holmes Landing was starting to grow. Many German and Swiss settlers established their farms here because it so closely resembled their homelands. A sawmill was established, homes were built, stores opened, and by 1854 a plat was laid and Holme’s Landing was renamed to Fountain City. Named for all the natural springs in the area. Fountain City continued to grow and thrive. Soon schools and churches were built, a post office established and in 1885 the railroad pushed through bringing necessities and supplies on a regular basis. Fountain City was incorporated in 1860 and a community was built to last lifetimes.
Fountain City’s population today is 983 and agriculture remains an important economic contributor to the area. Fountain City’s farming history is celebrated each year over the Labor Day weekend at the Old Time Farm Fest. A scenic drive over our ridges and through the valleys will take you past rolling fields and centuries old farms.
Our city remains abundant in natural resources of the area with the mighty Mississippi on one side and tree covered bluffs on the other. Thousands of annual visitors come year round to enjoy hunting, fishing, boating, snowmobiling and more! Just north of Fountain City is Merrick State Park, where you can pitch a tent and kayak the Mississippi backwaters.
Located right on Wisconsin’s only National Scenic Byway, The Great River Road, you will find Fountain City rich in natural and historic beauty. Visitors that travel to our river-community will find small town charm and hospitality. Visit our fun shops, enjoy fantastic dining, take in our unique attractions, breath in the fresh air , and make some memories! So hop in the car, we can’t wait to meet you!