Founding of aqualand
Aqualand started as a well known wildlife park and petting zoo. Schools from all over northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan came to experience domesticated wildlife. Visitors were able to feed frogs to muskies, feed milk bottles to the fawns and baby goats, go into the deer park to feed the deer, and give “bear brew” to “Kodi” the Kodiak bear.
Pat and Kelly Wilsie founded Aqualand, a popular animal park east of Boulder Junction, Wisconsin. They later passed it on to their son, Bruce and Jody Wilsie’s, and the family entertained generations of visitors. Each summer, thousands were delighted to watch a wide variety of animal characters, crazy fish performances, and barnyard antics. When Aqualand was thriving they saw 1,250 visitors checking through the gate each day and an annual attendance of 72,000. School children would go on educational tours and youth camps, tourists tossed more than 80 dozen frogs to the muskies and otter each week, and Canada Geese and grown deer would eat out of tourist’s hands. Aqualand was a staple in the north woods and was open for business for 35 years! Susie Wilsie-Govier was so fond of Aqualand growing up that when her husband, Dick Govier, wanted to open a brewpub they named it after Aqualand.
Featured on Film
Disney filmed the movie "Flash the Teen-age Otter" in the Boulder Junction area, much of it at Aqualand. Here are two shots from on-set, the top photo is the film crew hauling their equipment across the ice for the winter sequence and the bottom photo shows our bobcat Sam, who is the protagonist in the movie, with Grandma Kelly Wilsie, who is hidden from the cameras coaxing and calling the very tame Sam to
move for the crew. Check out the movie to see a piece of Aqualand history!