Our Stories
The La Crosse Public Library Archives blog includes stories of our local history, updates on the materials in our collections, and information on upcoming events hosted by the Archives department.

— May 23, 2023

La Crosse's Snow Bowl, or "The Alps of the Mississippi"

In 1930, La Crosse opened its first official ski hill—the Snow Bowl, which would become one of the most respected ski hills in the Midwest. La Crosse hosted skiers far and wide so they could try out the “Alps of the Mississippi.”

— May 9, 2023

Stinkytown and the Flies

Wire screen, while an easily overlooked modern convenience now, was an incredible innovation in the late 1800s that dramatically improved the quality of life of La Crosse citizens.

— Apr 25, 2023

The Legacy of St. Francis Hospital

Throughout the 20th century, the Franciscan Sisters running St. Francis Hospital partnered with like-minded physicians before ultimately joining one of the world’s most renowned medical systems.

— Apr 19, 2023

The Founding Sisters of St. Francis Hospital

Mayo Clinic Health System - Franciscan Healthcare recently broke ground on a new hospital building, expanding an already substantial campus, but none of it would have been possible were it not for the vision and devotion of an order of Franciscan Sisters “to teach, care for orphans, and minister to the sick.”

— Apr 4, 2023

Adult Prom: Rockin' Through the Decades

Join your friends at the La Crosse Public Library’s first-ever Adult Prom fund raiser event celebrating Rockin’ through the Decades from the 1950s-2010s on April 22 at the Concordia Ballroom!

— Mar 22, 2023

Neighbors Making History: Charles M. Horton - Bridge Builder

Charles M. Horton lived in La Crosse at the turn of the 20th century, and he left behind some unique historical artifacts on the landscape of La Crosse County.

— Mar 2, 2023

1932 George Washington Bicentennial Celebration

The 200th anniversary of George Washington’s birth was a reason for La Crosse and its citizens to celebrate.

— Feb 21, 2023

Birth Control Providers and Limitations in 1930s Wisconsin

At the beginning of the Great Depression and throughout the 1930s, a broader movement to provide birth control and contraception began to spread throughout the United States. This movement hit La Crosse when Dr. Lillian Tracey Welda established her osteopathic clinic and began to provide birth control in 1931.

— Feb 7, 2023

Hmong Diaspora Exhibit

From January 22 to February 28, 2023, a boutique exhibition of vintage Hmong clothing, artifacts, and history exploring the long journey from the mountains of Laos, across the Mekong to the shores of the Mississippi will be on display at the La Crosse Public Library.

— Jan 24, 2023

Port-A-Potties are Really Mobile Outhouses

The grass is greener where the outhouse stood (unsubstantiated but perhaps a take-off of a poem by Walt Whitman).

— Jan 10, 2023

Neighbors Making History: Ford Sterling, "La Crosse's Movie Star"

In the years just before World War I, Ford Sterling was starting an almost 25-year career that would lead him to appearing in almost 300 Hollywood movies, largely by working for every major Hollywood studio from 1920 to 1930.

— Dec 20, 2022

Looking Back (2022)

A look back at the local history stories shared by the La Crosse Public Library Archives in 2022.






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