Durward's Glen

NE of Merrimac off WI 78, Merrimac, Wisconsin

A retreat and conference center in the Baraboo Hills



Photo taken by J.R. Manning in October 2015




Durward's Glen was established and developed by Bernard Durward and his wife, Margaret Therese Hilyard in a valley within the Baraboo Hills (a National Natural Landmark) near Devils Lake. It is surrounded by pine and hardwood forests, a stream runs through it and there are miles of hiking trails. The glen is popular with hikers, birders, picnickers and geologists. (The pink quartzite and the Baraboo Range itself has been attracting students and geologists from around the world since the 19th Century.)

A brochure for the site tells us, "When he and his family arrived in the Glen, Bernard carved a Maltese cross in a pulpit rock at the opening of the glen and voiced sentiments that still ring true today: 'We shall make our home on that shady slope, and I shall bridge the the stream so our children may play in the valley. With the tranquility of solitude and the sweetness of growing life, we shall breathe the pure air of the hills, drink the fresh water of the stream, eat the fruits of the valley and rejoice in the presence of God.'"

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on November 7, 1978
Reference number
Architectural style
Victorian: Italianate
Areas of significance
Art; Literature; Exploration/Settlement; Religion; Philosophy
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic functions
Work of art (sculpture, carving, rock art); Religious structure; Secondary structure; Business
Current functions
Religious structure; Work of art (sculpture, carving, rock art); Park; Church related residence
Periods of significance
1875-1899; 1850-1874
Significant year
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 3
Contributing structures: 1
Contributing objects: 14
Non-contributing buildings: 1


19th Century (36,935)
Built 1862 (227)
Built during 1860s (3,652)
Columbia County, Wisconsin (54)
Italianate (5,079)
Marble (1,154)
Merrimac, Wisconsin (2)
Private owner (54,396)
Sandstone (4,861)
Stone (26,162)
Victorian (19,697)
Wisconsin (2,553)
Work of art (144)

Update Log 

  • October 18, 2015: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated Status, Added Description and Added Photos