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The Perfect Storm: Armistice Day 1940

Some bad weather days live on in infamy. Such is the case with the Nov. 11, 1940, Armistice Day storm, often referred to as “The Day the Duck Hunters Died.”
(written by Carla Swerman, Archives staff) History does repeat itself!  It is equally true that Mother Nature can be fickle.  Amidst glorious days of sunshine and warmth, she p…

High Waters in '65

The 145-year-old river gauge measured its highest elevation on April 21, 1965: 17.9 feet!
(written by Carla Swerman, Archives staff) The past three summers, water levels have been high on area waterways.  With the Mississippi River in La Crosse hovering around 10 fee…

Reading the River

While the technology for reading the Mississippi River’s water levels has advanced over time, the equipment itself has stood at almost the very same spot for 145 years.
(written by Carla Swerman, Archives staff) “Few things in life stay the same.” How true! Yet, something that has defied change for 145 years is the river gauge at the south end o…

Homegrown Weather

One of only 122 weather offices throughout the nation, La Crosse’s National Weather Service history has been as ever-changing and unpredictable as Mother Nature.
(written by Carla Swerman, Archives staff, with assistance from meteorologists at La Crosse’s National Weather Service) This time of year, “Is it going to snow?” is a common qu…

Winter Carnival

In January of 1921 and 1922, La Crosse held a four-day event known as the Winter Carnival.
(written by Megan, Archives staff) In January 1921 La Crosse held the “first annual” Winter Carnival. Another was held the next year.  The Winter Carnival included a “big ou…

Monkey Business

From the time the Monkey Island was created in 1929 until the city ceased management of the Myrick Park Zoo in 2007, the monkeys were the main attraction and perhaps the thing visitors remembered most.
(written by Barry McKnight, Archives staff) Many longtime La Crosse residents feel nostalgia for the Myrick Park Zoo, in particular the Monkey Island attraction. From the time …

La Crosse Took to the Ice

For 150 years and more, people of La Crosse have been going outside in winter to ice skate.
(written by David Kranz, Archives staff) For 150 years and more, people of La Crosse have been going outside in winter to ice skate. An 1859 La Crosse newspaper reported that i…

Find a Bit of Outdoors in the LPL Archives

Two plant collections, or herbariums, created in the 1890s were donated to the La Crosse Public Library Archives. Yes, plant collections!
(Written by David Kranz, Archives staff) As we in La Crosse endure yet another stretch of cold winter weather, our thoughts turn even more toward the relief and warmth promised…