Hillview Health Care property - 100+ years of care

Posted by Scott on May 4, 2017

(written by Megan, Archives staff)

The property now known as Hillview was originally the city poor farm which was begun soon after the city of La Crosse was incorporated in 1856. The property was outside the city in the Town of Shelby, La Crosse County. In the 1890’s the operation and facilities were turned over to the County of La Crosse. The facilities included a main building opened in 1895 as well as farming and a herd of dairy cows. This map from a 1906 La Crosse County Atlas shows the location of the County Poor Farm as well as the farmland belonging to members of the Pammel family.


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By 1938 the name was changed from the County Poor Farm to the County Home and a new 38-bed infirmary was added to the main building. On May 17, 1953 a 170-bed infirmary was completed and connected to the rear of the old building.

This 1945 La Crosse County Atlas page shows the site with the addition of more modern roads.


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With changing times came changing ideas about how best to care for people. In the spring of 1977 planning for a new Hillview Home was begun. Bonds were authorized in December 1978, ground was broken in June 1979 and the new 402 bed facility, north of the old facility, was opened in April 1981. Right away permission for a 48 bed addition was sought.

Funding was sought to turn the old building into apartments. In July 1982 the older part of the building was torn down and in September 1982 work began on the newer 1953 part of the building. A 12 unit apartment complex was completed in July 16, 1984.

In 2010 approval was given for assisted living. This facility opened on December 19, 2011.

From poor farm to county home to a multi-level senior campus, Hillview has changed with the times and continues with tradition.