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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/

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/

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/

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/

Voices of La Crosse: History Tours

On October 12, join two La Crosse Public Library Archives interns on tours exploring themes in La Crosse history.
(written by Jenny DeRocher, Archives staff) On October 12, join two La Crosse Public Library Archives interns on tours exploring themes in La Crosse history. The Voices of La C… https://archives.lacrosselibrary.org/blog/voices-of-la-crosse-history-tours/

"Billie Button" and the Wisconsin Pearl Button Company

The Wisconsin Pearl Button Company first opened in 1900 and quickly became one of the largest employers in La Crosse, employing nearly 225 people in 1902.
(written by Johnathon Jaeger, Archives intern) The logo for “The Story of My Life by ‘Billie Button.’” Scan is courtesy of the UWL Murphy Library Special Collections & Are… https://archives.lacrosselibrary.org/blog/billie-button-and-the-wisconsin-pearl-button-company/

Footsteps of La Crosse Fall tours

This September, join Archives staff member Jenny on history tours in four La Crosse neighborhoods: Downtown, Caledonia Street, UW-La Crosse/Goosetown, and the Franciscan Neighborhood.
(written by Jenny DeRocher, Archives staff) This September, join Archives staff member Jenny on history tours in four La Crosse neighborhoods:   Due to popular demand,… https://archives.lacrosselibrary.org/blog/footsteps-of-la-crosse-fall-tours/

From Mechanic's Grease to Sudsy Brews

The building that now houses the Popcorn Tavern has a history tied to the early automotive industry here in La Crosse.
(written by Anita Doering, Archives Staff) Joseph S. Arenz, a German immigrant, was involved financially with the retail automotive industry in its infancy in La Crosse, althou… https://archives.lacrosselibrary.org/blog/from-mechanics-grease-to-sudsy-brews/

Looking Back at 1969

Even as it was happening, 1969 was recognized as a seminal year in American history and that has only become more true as we’ve gotten farther away from it.
 (written by Scott Brouwer, Archives staff) Even as it was happening, 1969 was recognized as a seminal year in American history and that has only become more true as we’ve gott… https://archives.lacrosselibrary.org/blog/looking-back-at-1969/

St. Paul's Lutheran Church

St. Paul's Lutheran Church, a historic La Crosse congregation, is planning to close its doors on August 25, 2019.
(written by Megan, archives staff) On November 16, 1870, Pastor P. Asbjornsen, pastor of the Bostwick Valley Lutheran church, organized St. Paul’s Norwegian Evangelical Lut… https://archives.lacrosselibrary.org/blog/st.-pauls-lutheran-church/

The Heart of Downtown, La Crosse

Explore how one intersection has changed over time: known as the Heart of Downtown, 3rd & Main.
(written by Jenny DeRocher, Archives Staff) As our built environment continues to change around us every day, it’s important to check in and think about what spaces around us u… https://archives.lacrosselibrary.org/blog/the-heart-of-downtown-la-crosse/

Cracking the Chiropractic Controversy

La Crosse made history in 1907 when a local Japanese chiropractor, Dr. Shegetero Morikubo, proved that chiropractics and osteopathy are not the same.
(written by Carla Swerman, Archives staff) “Some people swear by them, while others swear at them” is a common saying that can be applied to many things in life, including chiro… https://archives.lacrosselibrary.org/blog/cracking-the-chiropractic-controversy/

Centennial Garden and the South Side Neighborhood Center

In early 1999, plans for a possible site for the proposed Southside Neighborhood Community Center coalesced on the SW corner of Hood and 6th Streets, with the idea that 3 blighted buildings would be either partially restored or torn down completely to cle…
(written by Scott Brouwer, Archives staff) In the past 50 years, historic preservation has become a key piece of what makes La Crosse unique.  Three residential neighborhoods h… https://archives.lacrosselibrary.org/blog/centennial-garden/

Footsteps Returns!

This May, join Archives staff on four of the revamped Footsteps of La Crosse tours.
(written by Jenny DeRocher, Archives staff) Have you ever wondered… What did Main Street look like at the turn of the 20th century? Were there any historically promi… https://archives.lacrosselibrary.org/blog/footsteps-returns/

The 1948 Centennial

In July of 1948 the city of La Crosse celebrated their centennial, and the state of Wisconsin centennial, with several events including a parade.
(written by Megan, Archives staff) In July of 1948 the city of La Crosse celebrated their centennial, and the state of Wisconsin centennial, with several events including a par… https://archives.lacrosselibrary.org/blog/the-1948-centennial/

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