Marvel at the Mabel

while performances are on hold for now, you can still tour the amazing, historic Mabel Tainter

Rebecca Mennecke, photos by Andrea Paulseth

Constructed with ornate, hand-carved details during the Victorian era, the Mabel Tainter Theater is a historic gem of Menomonie and a must-see tourist attraction. It was built in 1889 as a performing arts and cultural center dedicated to Mabel Tainter, daughter of Capt. Andrew Tainter, a lumber baron and partner of Knapp, Stout, & Co., and his wife, Bertha. Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, a charter member of the League of Historic American Theatres, and a designated Wisconsin Historical Marker Site, the Mabel Tainter features hand-stenciled walls and ceilings, a marble staircase and floors, stained glass windows, walnut and oak woodwork, and four fireplaces – along with an original pipe organ with 1,597 pipes, according to the theater’s website. While performances are on hold for the time being because of the coronavirus pandemic, you can still enjoy the Mabel Tainter: Tours are currently set for Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 3pm with no reservation required. Face masks are requested, and a $5 donation is highly encouraged. Tours are provided by dedicated and trained docents.

More information about this historic site can be found here.