How the trolls -- troll statues, to be exact, since actually trolls might be a public health nuisance -- came to be on the main street through Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, I haven't investigated very closely, and I don't think I will. The town has a strong Norwegian heritage and I've read that there's an artist in town skilled in troll carving. The troll statues we saw were here and there along the street, and we saw about a half dozen, including this fellow. A tourist troll, or maybe just a photographer troll, plus a rat:
We hadn't gone to southern Wisconsin seeking out the "troll capital of the world." I'd never heard of it before, and had missed any reference to in any of the guides that I consulted before we left. But the evening before we drove to Spring Green to see Taliesin, we visited a small grocery store in the town of Blue Mound, and there I discovered a selection of local postcards, including some featuring Mount Horeb's trolls. Call it travel serendipity, which should be an element in any good trip. I knew we had to pass through Mount Horeb on the way to Taliesin.
Since we actually had to be at Taliesin at a specific time, we probably didn't see all the trolls we would have during a more leisurely inspection of the town. So it goes. I've since read that the Mustard Museum is also located in Mount Horeb, and that there are neopagan goings-on on the land next to Blue Mound State Park, so clearly the part of southern Wisconsin offers more than meets the eye.