Troll Tomes

The village of Mt. Horeb has a lot to offer. The trolls on Main Street are one of the main attractions that make the little village its own. Other great tourist attractions include the Mt. Horeb Mustard Museum (Ed's note: the museum has now moved to Middleton) and unique eateries like the Blue Sky Café and the Grumpy Troll (just to name a few).

Mt. Horeb also hosts annual fests and fairs throughout the year that keep tourists coming back. It’s no wonder Mt. Horeb was ranked Best Suburb. Scandinavia in the Suburbs Mt. Horeb’s Main Street, also known as the “Trollway,” is guarded by more than fifteen hand-carved trolls.

Trolls originated in early Scandinavian folklore. In 1976, a Scandinavian gift shop owner in Mt. Horeb placed trolls imported from Norway outside of the shop, located on Highway 18/151. These trolls caught the eye of visitors as well as passing truckers. In the mid-1980s the Wisconsin Department of Transportation decided to create an 18/151 bypass around Mt. Horeb. Local business owners were worried about the negative economic effects the bypass might have on their businesses. They thought about how the trolls had attracted so much attention in the past so storeowners began to advertise, “Take the Trollway through Mt. Horeb.” It worked, but visitors wondered where the trolls were, so village officials asked local woodcarver Michael Feeney (today known as the Troll Carver of Mt. Horeb), to create a folk art project. He ended up carving over fifteen trolls. These trolls were such a big hit with village officials that the trolls were placed in their present home on Main Street, “The Trollway.”

Deidre Green is a senior at LaFollette High School and a teen editor and columnist for the Simpson Street Free Press.

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