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Explore the Layered History of La Crosse

This September, LPLA is launching a History Club. Functioning similar to a book club, each month the club facilitators will announce two small activities that will explore our city's layered history.
(written by Jenny DeRocher, Archives Staff) The La Crosse Public Library Archives has launched a new program series: a History Club! Functioning like a book club, the Histo… https://archives.lacrosselibrary.org/blog/explore-the-layered-history-of-la-crosse/

The Green Bay & Western Railroad Legacy

Behind the scenes deals were already in place between the Green Bay railroad and the Chicago and Northwestern, arch rival of the CM&StP, to form a partnership as a way for both lines to get into La Crosse and cross over the existing railroad tracks.
(written by Anita Taylor Doering, Archives staff) As early as 1873, La Crosse city officials approached the Green Bay line, then known as the Green Bay and Lake Pepin Railroad,… https://archives.lacrosselibrary.org/blog/the-green-bay-and-western-railroad-legacy/

LPL Archives' Hidden Treasures: Using La Crosse History Unbound

In collaboration with the UWL Murphy Library Special Collections & Area Research Center, the La Crosse Public Library Archives has launched an upgraded version of the La Crosse History Unbound site, which has new resources and features to help researchers…
(written by Jenny DeRocher, Archives staff) La Crosse History Unbound (Unbound) strives to provide universal access to digital resources and primary sources about the La Crosse … https://archives.lacrosselibrary.org/blog/unbound/

Presidential Visits: William Howard Taft in 1909

President William Howard Taft’s visit on September 17, 1909 had a local connection and a specific purpose – his Yale classmate and La Crosse civic leader George W. Burton invited him here to dedicate the city’s new YMCA building at Seventh and Main Street…
(written by Scott Brouwer, Archives staff) Unlike President Cleveland’s visit in 1887 and President Roosevelt’s visit in 1903, President William Howard Taft’s visit on Septembe… https://archives.lacrosselibrary.org/blog/presidential-visits-william-howard-taft-in-1909/

Concrete Block Houses

A look at a local DIY building boom, or at least a "boomlet", using home-made concrete blocks.
(written by Dr. Les Crocker, retired art history professor and architectural historian) Need any Concrete Blocks? There is a long history of DIY (Do It Yourself) in the Unit… https://archives.lacrosselibrary.org/blog/concrete-block-houses/

Unconditional Gifts of Time, Talents & Treasures

Since its beginning in 1980, the La Crosse Public Library Archives (LPLA) has relied on the generous donation of time, talents and treasures from the public and other cultural resource institutions to become the local history resource that it is today.
(written by Anita Taylor Doering, Archives Staff) Heroes come in all shapes, sizes and colors, and often appear from unlikely places. Since its beginning in 1980, the La Cro… https://archives.lacrosselibrary.org/blog/unconditional-gifts-of-time-talents-and-treasures/

Relics of the Old Post Office

Near the entrance of the La Crosse Post Office, there is a series of terra cotta tiles on display. With no context or informative panel nearby, they seem to be mysterious relics of the past. These artifacts are among the only remaining materials left of…
(written by Megan Isely and Jenny DeRocher, Archives staff) Commemorative wall featuring terra-cotta panels, lanterns, and U.S. POST OFFICE brass lettering from the Old Post O… https://archives.lacrosselibrary.org/blog/relics-of-the-old-post-office/

Presidential Visits: Theodore Roosevelt in 1903

In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt embarked on a 9-week trip of 25 western states, during which he made a stop in La Crosse to give a speech on Saturday, April 4.
(written by Scott Brouwer, Archives staff) In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt embarked on a now-unthinkable trip: 14,000+ miles across 25 states by train, taking more than 9… https://archives.lacrosselibrary.org/blog/presidential-visits-theodore-roosevelt-in-1903/

Tracking Down Tribune Articles -- Virtually

If you've ever wanted to find a La Crosse Tribune article, you may find what you are looking for in a unique database created by the Archives Department at the La Crosse Public Library.
(written by Carla Swerman, Archives staff) Have you ever wanted to re-read a sports or crime-related article that you saw in the La Crosse Tribune years ago?  Have you ever had… https://archives.lacrosselibrary.org/blog/tracking-down-tribune-articles-virtually/

La Crosse in the 1918 Pandemic

Just over 100 years ago, returning World War I troops brought the deadly “Spanish Flu” from Europe.
(written by Anita Taylor Doering, Archives staff) “No great ship sank, no armies clashed, no conflagration consumed a community.  The flu spread insidiously by means of ordinar… https://archives.lacrosselibrary.org/blog/la-crosse-in-the-1918-pandemic/

How Does COVID-19 Affect You?

In an attempt to capture the current atmosphere in La Crosse during the ongoing public health crisis, the LPLA is asking you to share your stories and add your voice to our historical record.
(written by Jenny DeRocher, Archives staff) The La Crosse Public Library Archives & Local History Department (LPLA) actively collects papers, records, photographs, and materi… https://archives.lacrosselibrary.org/blog/how-does-covid-19-affect-you/

City Heat: A Forgotten Utility

City heat was a separate centralized heating system that was distributed to south side La Crosse customers for 70 years from 1899-1969.
(written by Anita Taylor Doering, archives staff) City heat was a separate centralized heating system that was distributed to south side La Crosse customers for 70 years from 1… https://archives.lacrosselibrary.org/blog/city-heat-a-forgotten-utility/

Presidential Visits: Grover Cleveland in 1887

In the fall of 1887, President Grover Cleveland became the first sitting U.S. President to visit La Crosse.
 (written by Scott Brouwer, Archives staff) La Crosse Chronicle 8 October 1887   As the first Democrat elected President of the United States since James Buchanan – a me… https://archives.lacrosselibrary.org/blog/presidential-visits-grover-cleveland-in-1887/

Winter Rec-Fest

The first Winter Rec-Fest was held in February 1987.
(written by Megan, Archives staff) The first Winter Rec-Fest was held in February 1987. La Crosse Tribune 25 January 1987 p20 Announced activities included cross … https://archives.lacrosselibrary.org/blog/winter-rec-fest/

Keep Your Family Healthy... with Beer

After passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906, local breweries began to advertise around the healthiness or “purity” of their products.
(written by Jenny DeRocher, Archives staff) When President Teddy Roosevelt signed the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act, it was in response to the national outcry at unsanitary pract… https://archives.lacrosselibrary.org/blog/keep-your-family-healthy...-with-beer/

Looking Back (2019)

A look back at the stories we told in 2019.
Archives staff/interns put together a lot of great blog posts in 2019; please take a moment to check out these local history topics explored by clicking on the blog titles or phot… https://archives.lacrosselibrary.org/blog/looking-back-at-2019/

'Tis the 25th Season for Rotary Lights

This 2019 holiday season marks the 25th year of the Rotary Lights display in La Crosse's Riverside Park.
(written by Carla Swerman, Archives staff) For many Coulee Region residents, La Crosse’s Rotary Lights has become a holiday tradition.  In fact, the 2019 display marks the 25th… https://archives.lacrosselibrary.org/blog/tis-the-25th-season-for-rotary-lights/

Man-Lay Garden: The Miracle on Main Street

Spearheaded by the Chamber of Commerce’s new member Richard Morse in 1966, the “La Crosse Beautiful Committee” took on “The Hole at 4th and Main” to beautify the spot.
(written by Anita Doering, Archives staff) German immigrant George Linker and two of his brothers joined forces to purchase lots at 324-328 Main Street, the burned-out ruins of… https://archives.lacrosselibrary.org/blog/man-lay-garden-the-miracle-on-main-street/

200 Pearl Street Returns to Roots as a Hotel

The Holiday Inn Express at 2nd and Pearl was the site of a 19th-century hotel/boarding house before becoming the site of a railroad depot for over 80 years.
(written by Megan, Archives staff) In 1881, the La Crosse city directory listed 200 Pearl Street as the home of Jacob Shook who was also running a 'hotel' at his home called th… https://archives.lacrosselibrary.org/blog/hotels-at-200-pearl-street/

2019 Dark La Crosse Show

The La Crosse Public Library Archives is proud to present a new production of the popular Dark La Crosse Show.
(written by Scott Brouwer, Archives staff)   WHAT:  The Dark La Crosse Show WHERE: Pump House Regional Arts Center, 119 King Street WHEN: November 1-2 & 7-9 at… https://archives.lacrosselibrary.org/blog/2019-dark-la-crosse-show/

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