Address, Directions, and Parking:
It is advisable to call the Heiders to make sure they will be there when you plan your visit.
The Dave and Valerie Heider Farm
Visiting Hours: Currently by appointment
Please, call ahead to make sure they'll be home!
2739 South River Road ~ Janesville, Wisconsin 53546
(608) 752-2224 or Museum/Farm Shop (608) 741-9632
Directions: From Interstate 90 take exit #177 (Highway 11 West). Go three miles to the River Road exit. At River Road, turn left and go under the Hwy 11 bridge. There is a parking lot on the left. Walk up the gravel road, past the house a very short distance to the small farm building used as the Museum and Visitor Center.
Children are welcome but please remember this is a working forty-five acre farm. There is farm equipment and vehicles as well as horses, buffalo, emu, peacocks, and assorted other creatures. The Heiders also rescue and rehabilitate many injured wild geese and ducks. As such, children are asked to be under parental control at all times for safety's sake.
Stay on the gravel road.
Do NOT pet any of the creatures on the farm.
Do NOT touch the fences as they are electrified.
Cameras and Video Equipment are NOT allowed on the farm.
Additionally, please remember that many people are there for ceremonial and/or spiritual prayer or contemplation. Therefore, rowdy behavior is discouraged. Please respect your fellow visitors as well as the peace of the farm.
And please, don't forget to sign the Visitor Guest Register in the little Museum-Gift Shop on your way to Miracle's pasture.
Lodging, Food, and Major Airports:
There are many nearby motels, hotels, and bed and breakfast inns in Janesville.... The Janesville Baymont Inn is an excellent choice and has been very helpful to those coming to the Heider farm. There is also a Ramada Inn, Holiday Inn, Best Western, Microtel, and a Super 8 in Janesville.
There are also numerous links to commercial, State, and Federal campgrounds and RV facilities around Janesville and nearby communities.
Janesville is fairly good-sized and there are many fast food and other types of restaurants surrounding the motels. The nearest major hub airports are O'Hare and Midway in Chicago which is about two and a half hours away. Van Galdar's Bus Line runs commuter buses from the Chicago airports to Janesville.
Beloit, Wisconsin is thirty minutes away, Madison, Wisconsin is about an hour away, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin is almost two hours away.
The Heider Farm Museum and Gift Shop:
Please don't forget to sign the Visitor Guest Register in the Museum-Gift Shop on your way to Miracle's pasture.
The tiny farm building turned museum houses the enormous mounted head of Miracle's father, Marvin, who died of ulcers ten days after her birth, fulfilling yet another prophecy. One of Miracle's nieces is also preserved there.... very light in color (but not white), born to one of Miracle's half-sisters. This calf, named Fulfillment, died when she became entangled in grapvines at four days old. The Heiders do not know if this is part of any of the prophecies or simply an unfortunate accident. However, Chief Arvol Looking Horse, Keeper of the Sacred Pipe, did come shortly after her death and blessed her body and offered sacred ceremony to send her on her journey home.
The main focus of the museum, however, is the incredible array of gifts brought to Miracle and, now, to Miracle's Second Chance. After the gifts, prayer items, and such have stayed in place outside with Miracle for the requisite Traditional four days, most are removed and placed in the little museum. None are discarded. In the museum, you will see everything from sacred Tribal objects to dolls, packs of cigarettes, dreamcatchers, medals, prayer bags, prayer ties, sage, prayer flags, a traditional white silk scarf left by the Dalai Lama, pictures, and countless personal items, some sacred and some not originally sacred.
The gifts were normally left along the fence line of the pasture and one strand of the barbed-wire is free of electricity so that prayer ties may be tied to it. Now, visitors may also leave any gifts or prayer ties, and/or offer prayers at Miracle's grave.
Miracle was not considered a god. She was, however, considered a sacred messenger and symbol of the Divine to many people, a fulfillment of many extremely sacred prophecies. Whatever the belief system, all of the gifts found in the museum are gifts of the heart.... many representing prayers offered or answered and most honoring the sacred hope-filled prophecies for harmony she represented. Numerous American Indian Nations are represented as well as people from all cultures, races, countries, and walks of life.
The very small Gift Shop section still only sells small things like feathers gathered from the ground at the farm (from their many different farmed or rescued wildfowl), sage, sweetgrass braids, a few books, a few t-shirts, and some jewelry. Of course, frozen buffalo meat, buffalo jerky, and buffalo meat sticks are also available for sale since that continues to be the basic business with the small Heider buffalo herd founded in 1990.
The people who work in the museum-gift shop are members of the Heider family or neighbors and friends who volunteer their time. They are most happy to answer any of your questions so please feel free to ask.
Cameras and video equipment are prohibited on the farm for a variety of reasons. It is the Heiders' desire to keep Miracle's life and their farm from turning into a media circus. Furthermore, the sounds of such equipment could create safety hazards by frightening the animals. However, photographs of Miracle and her calves at different ages are available for purchase in the Gift Shop for a very nominal fee.
Miracle's Birthday Party:
Large celebrations and/or ceremonies often occurred on or near Miracle's birthday (August 20th). Many people wish to continue these celebrations as a means of honoring Miracle's life and message. Contact the Heiders directly to find out what the specific up-coming plans might entail.
Miracle Was Never For Sale.
Despite being offered several million dollars for the purchase of Miracle (by several different sources), Miracle was not ever for sale. The Heider family believes that Miracle was given as a gift to the hearts of all people.