Villa Louis Pond Restoration Project

© Photographed June 13, 2015
Prairie du Chein, Crawford County, Wisconsin
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Villa Louis Pond Restoration Project
The ponds are an historic feature on the grounds of Villa Louis, created by Louis Dousman to add to the park-like setting of the family estate. The "Fish Ponds" as they were called by the Dousman family, were created after Louis' 1873 marriage of Nina Sturgis.

Louis and Nina spent several months traveling on an extended wedding trip, but Louis was in constant contact with Peter Nolan, the Estate Manager, and work on the estate continued.

An Artesian well was drilled, which flowed into a circular fountain, then followed a narrow inlet into two ponds. A bridge is built to connect the two ponds and willows were planted along the shore. Gravel and brick paths meandered across the lawn between geometrically shaped flower beds. Trees and shrubs were planted, a grotto established, and a gazebo erected.

In all seasons, through four generations, the ponds have added a brilliant shine to the estate. Sadly, the ponds have suffered significant damage from harsh winters and other environmental stressors. This project will replace several lost trees, restore the ponds to their original size, and provide a more complete visitor experience for generations to come.

Please join the Friends of Villa Louis in helping us restore the beautiful Villa Louis ponds! anyone interested in donating to this exciting new project, please contact Villa Louis at
The marker is located on St. Feriole Island at Villa Louis State Historic Site, on westbound Bolvin Street, west of its intersection with North Villa Louis Road, Prairie du Chein, Wisconsin 53821.

Villa Louis: Fur Trade Museum

1884 Birdseye Drawing

Dousman Family and Guests c.1898

View of Villa Louis (behind the trees) from the marker location.

View of the pond (above and below).

The marker is across from the Villa Louis Visitor Center Museum Store.

The marker is located in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.

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