A tour through the H.H. Bennett Studio is a must when you’re in the Dells. An über-talented 19th-century photographer, H.H. Bennett created stunning stereoscopic views of the area. It was these photos that drew the first tourists here and ultimately made the Dells what it is today.
Bennett’s “studio,” one of 10 state historic sites, is actually three entities: a museum about his life and photography, which contains his 1875 studio and equipment; a museum store, where you can purchase Bennett prints handmade from surrogate negatives created from his original glass plates, among other items; and the studio space where Bennett’s prints are crafted today.
The museum showcases what a fascinating person Bennett was: photographer extraordinaire; pitchman, inventor.
Look for the iconic photo of his son, Ashley, caught in mid-air jumping from a sandstone bluff to freestanding Stand Rock several feet away. The carpet alongside this famous image contains inlays the exact size of the rocks, and spaced the same distance apart. This is so you can try Ashley’s jump for yourself. It’s a little trickier than you’d think.