BUFFALO COUNTY'S PREMIERE FOLK ART SITE
Located outside of Cochrane, Wisconsin between Alma and Fountain City on Wisconsin Hwy 35 (the Great River Road), it's a "must see" for those interested in local folk art.
Herman Rusch, retiring after 40 years of farming in Arcadia, turned the Prairie Moon Dancehall into a museum in 1952. He had been a fiddle player all his life and new the dancehall well. First he started his museum to house his collection, and a few years later he began the building of almost 40 cement sculptures around the grounds, replete with shards of pottery, colored glass and other found objects.
About 1959 four sculptures were purchased and added to the museum's collection. Created in the 1930's by Halvor Lansverk of Minnesota, the sculptures add figural content.
Rusch maintained his roadside museum until the age of 94 when he auctioned off the contents. Rusch lived to be 100 years old and died in 1985 leaving the legacy of his folk art adventure.
In 1992 the Kohler Foundation, a rescuer of other Wisconsin area folk art, purchased the site and began the repair and preservation that was needed. They later donated the park to the township of Milton to be maintained as a public art site.
The Schlosstein family donated a new exhibit to the Prairie Moon Sculpture Garden in 2002. Fred Schlosstein, a self-taught artist, built 18 miniature buildings from concrete and indigenous stone during the depression era. They were modeled after actual buildings in nearby Cochrane, Wisconsin. This village of eighteen buildings was also restored with the assistance of the Kohler Foundation.