A Visit to the Past: the Lincoln – Tallman House and the Milton House Museum (A Field Trip to Janesville and Milton)

  • May 31, 2018
  • Janesville/Milton
  • 46


  • NOTE: Member plus guest will cost a total of $137. TO ADD YOUR GUEST: click on the "ADD GUEST" button at the bottom of the data collection form and enter the guest information, as indicated. Thank you.

    Please note: Members may bring more than one guest near the registration deadline if space is available. Check with the trip organizer.

Estimated Trip Durations:
Oakwood West: 7:30 AM - 4:40 PM
Capitol Lakes: 7:50 AM - 4:20 PM
East Towne Sears: 8:10 AM - 4:00 PM

Guest Registration fee: $76

Registration fee includes Badger Bus travel w/ WI-FI, admission to the Lincoln–Tallman House and the Milton House Museum and Underground Railroad Station, and lunch at O’Riley and Conway’s restaurant in Janesville.

Registration deadline: May 16

Note: Cancellation after May 16 will not qualify for a refund.

Join us on Thursday, May 31st to visit two amazing historical sites:  The Lincoln–Tallman House (as well as other buildings which are part of the Rock County Historical Society) and the Milton House Museum, which is the last certified underground railroad station in Wisconsin.   In addition, we will have lunch at O’Riley and Conway’s which specializes in Irish pub fare.

                                Interior of the Lincoln-Tallman House

A Rock County icon, the Lincoln-Tallman House museum originally was the residence of the William Tallman family from 1857 to 1915.  When Abraham Lincoln stayed at the Lincoln-Tallman House in 1859, it wove Rock County into the history of one of America’s greatest presidents.  Learn about the construction of the mansion, the members and personalities of the Tallman family, and the events that caused Honest Abe to spend two nights in the house.  The tour covers the home’s first and second floors.

        Helen Jeffris Wood Museum Center                      Charles Tallman Archives &  Research Center

The tour will begin at the Helen Jeffris Wood Museum Center.   We will all receive an introduction to the home and then we will be divided into two groups.   One group will start with the Lincoln-Tallman home while the other group will have the opportunity to visit the Museum Center (and gift shop), along with the Frances Willard School building and the Charles Tallman Archives and Research Center as well as the Historical Society grounds.  After one hour, each group will switch locations.

To learn more about the Rock Country Historical Society campus and the various buildings,  go to the Rock County Historical Society Website.

***Please note that the Lincoln–Tallman House is NOT handicapped accessible beyond the first floor (no elevator and does have stairs).  The other buildings are handicapped accessible***

The Milton House has the distinction of being the last, certified Underground Railroad Station in Wisconsin that can be toured.   This busy 1844 Stagecoach Inn was a successful part of the Underground Railroad Station, a secret network of people and places that helped individuals escape slavery.    We will be able to walk the very path through the same secret passageway that ushered freedom seekers to shelter on the Underground Railroad.  The hour-long tour of the Milton House includes a detailed account of Milton's past.  Established in 1838, Milton was a community ahead of its time.  Founded on progressive ideals, the community was known for its abolitionist mindset and belief in social equality.

 The Underground Railroad Tunnel       Journey to Wisconsin's Pioneer Past

For more information go to the Milton House Museum Website.

*** Please note that The Milton House Museum was constructed in 1844 with three levels included in the tour -- the main floor; second-story guest rooms; and a root cellar where a 45-foot tunnel connects the inn with a pioneer cabin built in 1837.  Although the stairs accessing the various levels can be challenging, the modern addition to the museum includes an elevator that allows access to all three levels for those who need assistance or are confined to wheel chairs.  The tunnel is narrow and does not accommodate a wheel chair.  However, once in the cellar a person confined to a wheel chair can view the length of the tunnel from its entrance. The person can then use the elevator to access the main floor and enter the cabin from ground level to view the tunnel from inside the cabin.***

LUNCH (included  in trip fee)

In between the two historic sites, we will have lunch at O’Riley and Conway’s in Janesville.

There will be three menu options: 
1)  Irish Stew (made with beef tenderloin) served with coleslaw and marble rye bread;
2)  Classic Rueben with choice of pub chips/potato salad/ creamy coleslaw or cranberry walnut slaw;   or  3)  Sandwich and Soup Bar - Choice of 1/2 sandwich and then a unlimited soup buffet.    Half sandwich choices will be:  a)  Rueben;  b)  Rachel (marble rye, turkey, swiss cheese topped with coleslaw);  c)  BLT;  d)  Toasted Cheese;  e)  Swissconsin (ham, swiss cheese, marble rye and brown mustard).    Soups offered will be:  a)  Rueben soup;  b)  Tomato basil (vegetarian);  c) the Soup of the day.


Bear in mind that our boarding bus route is like Madison Metro or any other municipal bus service. Please arrive early at your boarding stop so you don’t miss the bus. When everyone is aboard and seated, we leave.  Arrive early and we will all arrive in Janesville on time to begin our adventure. 

– Don’t be late. We can wait just 5 minutes at any one location.

– Pack water bottles and snacks for sustenance on the trip.

Leave Madison
7:30 AM    Bus arrives Oakwood West to begin boarding
7:50 AM    Bus arrives at Capitol Lakes for boarding
8:10 AM    Bus arrives at East Towne Sears for boarding
8:30 AM    Bus departs for Janesville (or sooner if everyone is aboard)

In Janesville and Milton
9:30 AM      Arrive at Lincoln – Tallman House for tour
11:30 AM    Board bus for O’Riley and Conway’s for lunch
1:15 PM      Depart for Milton House Museum in Milton
1:45 PM      Tour Milton House Museum
3:15 PM      Depart Milton     

Arrive Madison (Estimated)
4:00 PM     Arrive East Towne Sears
4:20 PM     Arrive Capitol Lakes
4:40 PM     Arrive Oakwood West

Accessibility Policy: On the Badger Bus, you must be able to climb steps to board and exit the bus.

Non-Member Policy:  Members must register their guests. Each PLATO member is entitled to bring one non-member guest per bus trip. (Members may bring more than one guest near the registration Deadline Date if seats are available. Check with trip organizer.) Non-member guests pay an additional $15.00 registration fee. PLATO Membership is $60.00/year.

Mail-In Registration Form (includes instructions): A Visit to the Past Mail-In Registration Form.pdf

For further information contact Irene Zimmerman, irene.e.zimmerman@gmail.com  or at 608-658-4685.  


In partnership with


Please Help

Make a onetime or recurring,
tax deductible contribution.

For more info about PLATO contact:

Louise Fowler
UW-Madison Continuing Studies
21 N. Park St, 7th Floor, Madison, WI 53715

Email: info@platomadison.org
Phone: 608-262-5823
Fax: 608-265-4555

PLATO is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization

Website by 34fiveSolutions.com

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software