Courtesy of Bill Galetka

Things to See and Do

Welcome to Ladysmith, along the beautiful Flambeau River! 

The City of Ladysmith is an economic and cultural center that anchors Rusk County.

Impressive railroad displays in the heart of this designated Main Street Community serve as a reminder that Ladysmith was once a booming rail center.

Cultural arts, music and dance performances are offered year-round. Many weekends feature a local fair or celebration. Ladysmith's Northland Mardi Gras is a popular event in July with the unique and spectacular Venetian Night Parade on the Flambeau River.

A dedicated, skilled labor force bolsters all categories of office, manufacturing and professional services in Ladysmith and the surrounding areas. Industry can be found in one of two modern, well-developed parks on the south side of Ladysmith. Over $175 million in new industrial investment has occurred in the last 20 years.

The quality of education in the Ladysmith School District is extremely high. Total enrollment is just over 1,000 students, spread between a modern high school/middle school campus and renovated elementary school. North Cedar Academy offers excellent private education. Students in this 9-12 campus may obtain an Associate in Arts (AA) degree from the University of Wisconsin Colleges (UWC) and high school diploma simultaneously.

Whatever the season---the fresh green of spring, the full bloom of summer, the gorgeous colors of fall, or the tranquility of winter---you will enjoy your time in Ladysmith.

Plan your getaway to Ladysmith today!
Courtesy of Dick Moore

Live Music

If you are a fan of live music, you'll find plenty of opportunities to enjoy a wide variety of it in the Ladysmith area!  Summer concert series, standalone events and special events hosted by a variety of local businesses all make for a fun musical adventure in Ladysmith!

Below are some of the annual events and concert series that happen in Ladysmith:

  • Legacy Leap Into Summer presented by the Ladysmith Lions Club - 1st Saturday in June at the Legacy Amphitheater in Memorial Park featuring live music, food, raffles and refreshments!
  • Music on Miner presented by the Rusk Area Chamber of Commerce - 1st Friday of the month (June-September) from 6-9pm in downtown Ladysmith includes beer garden, car show and kids games!
  • Music in the Park pesented by the Rusk Area Arts Alliance - Every Thursday (June-July) from 6-8pm at the Veterans Pavilion in Memorial Park!
  • Northland Mardi Gras presented by the Northland Community Club - 3rd full weekend in July in Memorial Park featuring carnival rides and games, food vendors, live music, beer garden, fireworks and much more!
  • Rusk County Fair  - 2nd weekend in August at the Rusk County Fairgrounds featuring livestock displays, rodeo, mud bogs, live music, food vendors, beer garden and much more!
Courtesy of Troy Hess

Rail Museums/Displays

Ladysmith grew around railroads and the Flambeau River.  Hardcore rail buffs and casual train fans will find a lot to discover here. During the logging era, railroads were a very important part of life in Ladysmith and the Rusk County area and continued to grow after logging, maintaining a presence to this day. Over the decades, railroads evolved with advances in technology---from steam to diesel, from passenger service to only freight. You'll find the legacy of these trains in the rail corridors that cross Rusk County's communities. Travel around Ladysmith and you can see a number of railroad displays that illustrate major changes in the railroad industry.


Here are displays open for public viewing:

  • Rusk County Visitors Center & Rail Museum the perfect starting point for your next Rusk County adventure includes displays of vintage railroad memorabilia and a variety of visitor information including brochures for area attractions, maps showing the rivers and trails, lodging options, event information, driving directions, Rusk County apparel and more.
  • Soo Line 2-8-2 Mikado Steam Engine #1101 "Old Smoky": Ace Hardware Parking Lot, Lake Avenue/U.S. Highway 8
  • Soo Line Diesel FP7 Engine #500, Post Office Express Car 552, Passenger Baggage Car 358, First Class Coach 998, Soo Line Caboose and Wooden Boxcar: refurbished inside and out, located at the Rusk County Visitor Center & Rail Museum on State Highway 27, two blocks south of U.S. Highway 8
  • Flat Car and Baggage Cart located in Pioneer Park on W. 5th St. S.
  • Railroad Speeder & Flat Car located at the Farmers Market Plaza at the corner of E. 2nd St. and Lake Ave./US Hwy. 8
  • Railroad Section House, Speeder & Flat Car located at the Rusk County Historical Society Museum during operating hours.

Rusk County Historical Society Museum

The Rusk County Historical Society operates the Rusk County Historical Museum, which is located in Ladysmith at the Rusk County Fairgrounds. The museum has a wide variety of displays that include logging history, antique farm machinery, rail history, artifacts from World War I and World War II, antiques and medical exhibits. The exhibits are displayed in multiple buildings, which include a replica of the Gates County Courthouse, Little Red Schoolhouse and Log Cabin, along with the Henry Golat building, which serves as a welcome center and repository for research documents. Open Saturday and Sunday from 12:30pm-4:30pm, Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Learn more about the Rusk County Historical Society Museum by visiting the Rusk County Museum Website

The museum consists of the following buildings and outdoor displays:

  • Anishinaabe Exhibit Building/Geodesic Dome
  • Little Red Schoolhouse
  • Teacher's Cabin
  • Log Cabin
  • Flambeau Mine Visitors Center
  • Gates County Courthouse
  • Veterans Military Display Building
  • Janet & Jim Platteter Vintage Exhibit Building
  • Henry Golat Welcome Building & Research Center
  • Logging & Farm Equipment Building
  • Glen Flora Jail
  • Outdoor Displays including: Rail equipment, Farm machinery and a NATO tank
Courtesy of Troy Hess

Veterans Memorial, Veterans Murals, Military Displays

Ladysmith is a community that takes pride in its service men and women.  Tributes to area Veterans can be found throughout Ladysmith and the surrounding Rusk County area.

Start your tour in Memorial Park with a visit to the Veterans Memorial.  The Veterans Memorial complex includes the sculpture, The Spirit of the American Doughboy, which was dedicated in 1923, The Veterans Memorial, dedicated in 2015 and consisting of three large granite panels bearing the names of Rusk County Servicemembers who died while in service to the nation in times of war and peace since World War I, eight granite benches representing veteran organizations in the county, a bronze “Battlefield Cross” and life-sized modern-day soldier statue.

Veterans Murals, located throughout the City, pay tribute to Servicemembers from the Rusk County area.  Murals can be found at the following locations in Ladysmith:

  • Ladysmith Fire Department
  • Ladysmith Post Office 
  • Across from Ladysmith Post Office
  • Centenntial Square
  • Across from Memorial Park

Military displays including uniforms, equipment and a NATO tank can be found at the Rusk County Historical Society Museum and are available for viewing during normal operating hours.




Wisconsin's Plow Museum - Ed's Machine Shed

An incredible collection of antique plows can be found in Ladysmith. Wisconsin's Plow Museum - Ed's Machine Shed started as the dream of Ladysmith resident Ed Tomasovich, who collected and restored old farm machinery for years. It became far more than a hobby, and he donated his collection to the Rusk County Historical Society so it could be put on display for the public.

Located at the Rusk County Historical Museum at the Fairgrounds in Ladysmith, Ed's Machine Shed features over 40 restored vintage plows and tractors. It provides a look at the equipment that early farmers used to carve a living in the Midwest. Some pieces in the collection date back over 100 years.

The 20+ year collection was carefully disassembled, hand-sanded, painted and reassembled, piece by piece. The collection includes around 40 vintage plows and tractors from companies like John Deere, McCormick-Deering, Oliver, La Crosse and International Harvester. All expositions are in working order.

You can visit the Plow Museum from Memorial Day through Labor Day: Saturday and Sunday from 12:30pm to 4:30pm during normal operating hours for the Rusk County Historical Society Museum.  Learn more at the Wisconsin's Plow Museum Page


More Things to See and Do Throughout Rusk County

Ladysmith is the perfect base of operations for your next northwoods adventure, but the fun isn't just limited to the City! Opportunities for fun and adventure abound throughout Rusk County!  Charming communities with wonderful shopping, dining and drinking establishments, miles of rivers and trails, acres of lakes and forests, countless events and celebrations make Rusk County a fun destination any day of the week and any time of the year!  Looking to get away from the hustle and bustle and enjoy some serene peace and quiet?  Rusk County has that too!  Visit the following sites to learn about more events, attractions, shopping, dining and lodging opportunities throughout Rusk County!

Rusk Area Chamber of Commerce Website (Opens in New Window)

Rusk County Tourism Website (Opens in New Window)