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.

— 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.

— Dec 1, 2022

Dorothea M. Fox: The Pedaling Librarian

In August 1939, a librarian working in Cedar Rapids, IA named Dorothea M. Fox decided to hop on her new, light-weight, 3-speed Schwinn and ride by herself to her childhood home in La Crosse.

— Nov 14, 2022

Houses for a Hundred Dollars

In 1888 a local contractor talked to a newspaper reporter about local building costs, "LA CROSSE IS THE PLACE TO BUILD CHEAP HOUSES"

— Oct 19, 2022

Lucky Lindy's Legacy

Charles Lindbergh Shannon or “Lindy” was known to La Crosse teenagers of the late 1950s and 1960s as the “man behind the music.”

— Oct 13, 2022

Neighbors Making History: Frank Pooler, "The Railroad Dick"

An Onalaska man, Frank Pooler, was a “railroad bull” or “railroad dick,” in La Crosse for 31 years.

— Oct 4, 2022

Abortion Access in La Crosse

Before the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, all abortions were illegal in the state of Wisconsin. But this doesn't mean they weren't performed. So what did this look like in La Crosse?

— Sep 20, 2022

A Fresh Look at Nathan Myrick

Living in La Crosse, you’ve likely heard Nathan Myrick cited as our community’s founding father. Places like Spence Park and Myrick Park offer us the commemoration of Nathan Myrick and his trading post, but we forget to ask ourselves why we hold this narrative so close to our community’s identity.

— Aug 22, 2022

Midway - Hidden in Plain Sight

Originally called “Halfway Creek” for the stream nearby of the same name by its founder, J.B. Canterbury, Midway was given its present name when the Chicago & Northwestern railroad was built through the community.

— Aug 9, 2022

Neighbors Making History: Vincent Schwarz - Klondike Fever

Vincent Schwarz, a middle-aged used furniture dealer from La Crosse, journeyed to the end of the rainbow seeking a pot of gold.

— Jul 20, 2022

This Will Floor You

A pattern book from the Congoleum Nairn company dated 1927 and used by the O. J. Oyen company has recently been donated to the La Crosse Public Library Archives, providing a wonderful insight into floor coverings and people's preferences almost a century ago.






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