Rock in The House, Fountain City

May 27, 2016 2 comments

On April 24, 1995, a 55-ton boulder rolled down a hill and crashed into the bedroom of the house of Maxine and Dwight Anderson at 440 North Shore Drive in Fountain City, Wisconsin. No one was killed or injured, but Maxine had just finished remodeling the house and moments ago was in the very bedroom photographing it. Shaken by the incident, the Anderson’s sold the house and moved out within a month.

The house’s new owner, John Burt, a real estate investor, instead of restoring the house, renamed the property “Rock in the House,” hung a sign and turned it into a tourist attraction. Within the first six months some 12,000 people is said to have visited the attraction. The 16-foot tall disk shaped rock is still wedged on the back of the house. Splintered wood, dirt and debris lie scattered inside the bedroom and around the place.


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The house remains mostly untouched and unchanged since the Anderson left the place. The living room, decorated in the early 1990’s style with period wallpaper and flooring, features a television and a couch. Along one wall there are display cases holding for-sale items like T-shirts and various rocks painted to look like raccoons and puppy dogs.

The house remains unoccupied, but visitors are welcome to poke around the place. There is a $2 fee to visit the house, based on the honor system. The fee box is near the front door. Hand-written notes lead visitors around and display fun facts such as “only one window was broken in the rock/house collision”. There are also several newspaper clippings that tell stories of other Fountain City disasters such as floods and earthquakes. One of these clippings carry an interesting story.

Back in the spring of 1901, another runaway boulder weighing about five tons rolled down the side of the bluff and crashed through the roof of a house that stood in this very spot. The homeowner, a Mrs. Dubler, was killed instantly while her blind husband, who was in bed beside her, miraculously survived.

The Rock in the House was designated by the Fountain City Council as an "object of special character" and was granted a historical preservation permit. That’s of course, until the next rock strikes.


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Photo credit: Faythe Levine/Flickr


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Sources: Roadside America / /


  1. The name of the place is a play on "The House on the Rock", also in Wisconsin, which houses very large collections of just about anything that is collectible.

  2. I'm surprised there is no graffiti on it. Wonder if that's a problem.


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