Looking to get away from it all? We offer something for everyone:

  • We offer a furnished home with fully stocked kitchen, 2 bathrooms, three season porch, patio and backyard area!
  • Sleeping for up to 9 (2 queen beds, 1 double bed, 1 twin bed,
    and a pull out couch). Additional floor space and/or outside
    tent space is available.
  • Towels and Linens provided
  • Heated club house with bar and game room
  • Great Turkey & Deer hunting/lodging packages for hunters
  • Direct access to the Buffalo County Snowmobile trail
  • Private wooded trails for hiking, snowshoeing &
    back country skiing
  • Beautiful area for bicyclists
  • 5 minutes from the Mississippi River and great fishing
  • Quiet retreat for crafting
  • Located near the Great River Road Wine Trail
  • Backyard fire pit with wood and kindling provided
  • Peace and quiet for relaxing with a good book, watching the abundant wildlife, and breathtaking sunrises and sunsets

Come and enjoy panoramic views from our beautiful vacation home
nestled in the bluffs 5 miles outside of Fountain City, WI.

Now Taking Reservations!
Dave and Donna Ernst
W715 Jacob Kiel Rd.
Fountain City, WI 54629
608-863-1321 or 608-687-3339

The History of
Jacob Kiel

Jacob Kiel was a pioneer of Cross township. He was a man who in early days had led an adventurous life in this area and the far West. He was also a solider in the Civil War. He was born near the River Rhine in Prussia, Germany in 1837 and left his native land with his parents when he was 13 years old. Their voyage took them to the port of New Orleans. They proceed to St. Louis, Chicago and Galena. Then traveling upriver, they reached Holmes Landing, now known as Fountain City in 1853. But soon the spirit of the west appealed to young Jacob. He set out for the territory now known as South Dakota where his first set back was being captured by Indians. But during the time spent as their prisoner, he learned a great knowledge of the Indian tongue, which later proved of use to him. After affecting his release, he pushed out farther West with stops in Sioux City, Omaha and Denver, often serving as an interpreter. About the time the Civil War broke out Mr. Kiel enlisted in the Third Colorado Volunteers. He joined the Second Colorado Regiment in which he served for three years, being finally discharged at Ft. Leavenworth. He then returned to Fountain City and bought a homestead of 160 acres in the town of Cross, Buffalo County.

For awhile he lived a bachelor life, but in 1868 he married a widow, Mrs. Barbara Haag, who was born in Baden, Germany in 1829. She had come to the United States via New Orleans in 1853, then on to St. Louis were in 1854 she married Jacob Haag. In 1854, the Haags moved to the town of Milton, Buffalo County. Afterwards, Mr. Haag enlisted in the 48th Wisconsin Regiment and later died at Fr. Leavenworth, Kansas. Never to return to his wife and three small children. After Mr. Kiel's marriage, he and his wife lived on the farm in the town of Cross.

The land surrounding Cross Ridge Retreat is their farm. Cross Ridge Acres is owned by the great-great grandson of Mrs. Barbara Haag Kiel. The road you travel back to the retreat is named after Mr. Jacob Kiel. He is remembered as a man of adventure but who came back to the beauty of this area. He was a loving step-father to his wife's three children and led a civic minded life. In the entry way of the Retreat, you will find Mr. Kiel’s discharge papers from the Civil War.

Our hope is for our guests to enjoy this area that attracted pioneers so long ago.