Wisconsin Dells

Museum of Wisconsin Art, 2004.006

Just over a year ago the Museum of Wisconsin Art hired Tyler Friedman as an associate curator of c0ntemporary art. His first exhibit — called "Among the Wonders of the Dells: Photography, Place, Tourism" — is now on view.

Daniela A Nievergelt / Flickr

The water slides in the Wisconsin Dells today are a strange, accidental metaphor for the area's geological history. 

An ice dam that broke towards the end of the last Ice Age sent water from a glacial lake down the Wisconsin River, carving the fanatical sandstone cliffs that distinguish the Dells today.

That's one of many reasons why geologist Marcia Bjornerus sees beyond the Wisconsin Dells' water parks, tacky shirt shops, and salt water taffy. 

Owners of tourist attractions in the Wisconsin Dells contend the immigration reform bill making the rounds in Washington, would halt the use of college students from abroad, as summer help.

Resort operators and others in the popular vacation spot have long been bringing in foreign college students to work the busy summer months, under a J-1 Visa program.