Villa Louis from the side and slightly above, beautiful soft colors and warm light reveal this historic victorian home
Explore a historical wonderland

Making Holidays Magical with Carols and Cookies

The holidays are a magical time to visit Villa Louis. While the site is closed for general admission, visit us on Dec. 3-4 and 10-11 for our popular holiday event Victorian Home for the Holidays. Afternoon and evening tours showcase traditions and customs from the Dousman family, who called this mansion home for generations starting in 1871. Get into the holiday spirit and see the home decorated for the season. Enjoy the sounds of holiday music at the Steinway grand piano and the smells and tastes of holiday treats in the historic kitchen.

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The Wisconsin Historical Society is committed to prioritizing the health and safety of our guests, members, and staff. Read the information below to learn about our 2021 health and safety protocols.

Mark Your Calendar

A table set for Christmas dinner in a wealthy Victorian household. Red taper candles, holiday greenery, and festive fruit filled center piece sit at the middle, surrounded by plates filled with delicacies.

Victorian Home for the Holidays

Dec. 3, 4, 10, 11 | 1 – 7 PM

An afternoon at the Villa Louis Mansion will showcase the traditions and customs of Christmas and wintertime in the Dousman household. See the home decorated for a Victorian Christmas celebration and enjoy the sounds of holiday music at the Steinway grand piano and the smells and tastes of holiday treats in the historic kitchen!

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entrance to villa louis, decorated with evergreen bows, wreaths, and red bows

Villa Louis at 150

FREE | Dec. 4 & 11 | 4 – 5 PM

Celebrate the 150th anniversary of Villa Louis with a special presentation and question-and-answer session with former site curator Mary Antoine. Antoine, president of the Prairie du Chien Historical Society, will guide the audience through the construction of the mansion, former residents, uses of the building, and the most recent restoration of the property. Antoine’s research paved the way for a faithful restoration to be done in the 1990s and early 2000s. The talk, held in the recently restored 1850 Brisbois Fur Trade building, will show why this National Historic Landmark remains important after so many years.
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Explore the Site

2 boys looking through a window and one woman looking behind them

When you walk through the doors of Villa Louis, you step into the life of one of Wisconsin’s most historic families – The Dousmans. Located on the banks of the Mississippi River, this National Historic Landmark offers a panorama of Wisconsin history, beginning with the arrival of early fur traders through the heyday of the Victorian era. Costumed interpreters lead tours of the grand mansion, one of the most authentically furnished Victorian houses in America.

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For Your Health & Safety

reserve a spot. advance registration


Advance registration is required for some events

Face Masks required.

Face Mask

Required for guests indoors if you are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Recommended for guests indoors if you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Daily cleaning & sanitizing

Daily Cleaning and Sanitizing

Daily cleaning & sanitizing enhanced at all facilities

Maintain Social Distance. Two people 6 ft apart.

Social Distancing Guidelines

Please practice social distancing while on-site

2021 Site Protocols

Effective Aug. 5, in accordance with current state guidelines

To protect your safety and ours:

  • If you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, we recommend you wear a face mask while inside on-site at our historic sites and museums.
  • If you are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 you are required to wear a face mask while inside on-site at our historic sites and museums.
  • Please practice social distancing at our historic sites and museums.
  • Disposable masks will be available on-site.
  • All facilities will adhere to increased daily cleaning and sanitation requirements and there will be cleaning stations in each building.
  • Each location will follow strict guest engagement protocols, including parking, food preparation, and the use of shared facilities such as a public restroom.
  • Staff and guests, per CDC guidance, are asked to stay home if they have tested positive for COVID-19, are waiting for COVID-19 test results, have COVID-19 symptoms, or if they have had close contact with a person who has tested positive for or who has symptoms of COVID-19.
  • As we continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 our hours and guidelines for access may change. Please continue to check our website for the most up-to-date information.

Site Accessibility

Explore Other 2021 Experiences

Click the button below for more information on how you can safely explore history in a new way through our 2021 programs and events.

Our Story

Step Back in Time

Walk through the doors of the Villa Louis Mansion and step into the life of one of Wisconsin’s most prosperous historic families. Stroll through the extravagant lifestyle of the Dousman family from the fur trade industry to the end of the 19th century. Located on the banks of the Mississippi River in Prairie du Chien. A historic attraction on the Great River Road!

"Impressed with the original decor and furnishings being so accurate. Love the personal stories about the family!"



Use our online calendar to see all the exciting events, activities, and programs happening at Villa Louis.

Interpreter shows guests how to prepare a traditional meal at the Villa Louis

Villa Louis Mansion
Coloring Page

The beautiful Villa Louis mansion was the home of the Dousman family in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. Mrs. Nina Dousman lived here with her five children – Violet, Virginia, Nina, Louis, and Judith – and their servants. The Dousman family’s cook worked hard to make sure everyone in the Villa Louis ate. Her stove burned wood as fuel, just like this stove in the Villa Louis mansion today.”


Explore Villa Louis


Follow the lives of the prosperous Dousman Family as you tour their Victorian home, meticulously restored to its 1890s British Arts & Crafts splendor.


The Fur Trade Museum is temporarily closed as it is undergoing structural rehabilitation. We apologize for any inconvenience. Check back for updates.


Trace the steps of the working women and men who kept the family estate running, as you visit the servants’ quarters, kitchen, and outbuildings.


Begin planning your trip today! Tickets, Hours, Directions and more.


a digital flyer that says "3 generations of Dousman Family lived here from 1843 to 1913
a digital flyer that says "90% furnishings original to the estate"