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Guide to the La Crosse, Wisconsin, Committee on Parks, Resolutions and Reports Relating to Parks, 1869-1932 (bulk 1900-1932) La Crosse Series 020

Guide to the La Crosse, Wisconsin, Committee on Parks, Resolutions and Reports Relating to Parks, 1869-1932 (bulk 1900-1932)

La Crosse Series 020

Summary Information

Common Council resolutions & reports relating to the city parks, 1869-1932. The materials are separated alphabetically into subject categories, then chronologically within the folders. The bulk of the resolutions date after 1900. The best represented subjects in the series are Cameron, Copeland, Myrick, Powell, and Riverside Parks, as well as financial documents. Until 1908 the Committee on Parks, a committee of the Common Council, authorized expenditures and oversaw the administration of parks, while Public Works actually maintained the city parks. In 1908 the Council passed an ordinance establishing a Board of Park Commissioners and a Park Department to assume those supervisory duties. Over time, the Park Department crew became large enough to handle the daily maintenance operations of the parks.
Collection Title
La Crosse, Wisconsin, Committee on Parks, Resolutions and Reports Relating to Parks
Date of Materials [bulk]
Bulk, 1900-1932
Date of Materials [inclusive]
La Crosse (Wis.). Committee on Parks.
Call Number
La Crosse Series 020
1.4 cubic feet
Physical Description
4 archives boxes
Language of Materials
La Crosse Public Library Archives

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], La Crosse, Wisconsin, Committee on Parks, Resolutions and Reports Relating to Parks, La Crosse Series 020, La Crosse Public Library Archives, La Crosse, WI

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Historical Note

Until 1908 the care and maintenance of city parks fell under the jurisdiction of Public Works. A Common Council committee called the Park Committee authorized expenditures and generally administered Council policy regarding city parks. It is unclear when this committee was established, but the first Council legislation in the resolution files relating to parks is dated 1869, and it dealt with Cameron Park (then referred to as 4th Street Park).

A Board of Park Commissioners was established on May 15, 1908, and two park districts were created. Mayor Wendell A. Anderson was very supportive of the city's involvement in the creation of parks and was instrumental in the construction of Riverside Park. Riverside Park was a major endeavor in terms of land acquisition from individuals, commercial interests, and the railroads, and a great cost since so much fill was hauled in along the riverfront. One of the first things the Board of Park Commissioners did was to hire landscape architect John Nolen to devise a master plan for parks in La Crosse. The Park Department was not only in charge of city parks, but the trees on boulevards and streets, and the landscaping of playgrounds and schools.

The parks have gone through many name changes, some officially and some were casual names given to them by residents. The most common names of parks that the Archives staff is aware of and that are represented in this series are the following:

Adams St. Playfield
 Hood Park
 Main St. Park, High School Park, 7th St. Park
 4th St. Park, 4th Ward Park, Public Square, King St. Park
Memorial Field
 Interstate Fairgrounds, Fairgrounds Park
 Oak Grove, Oakwood, Lake Park
 West Ave. Playfield
 Levee, Riverfront Park
 Public Landing, "park at the end of State St."

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Scope and Contents

Common Council resolutions and reports began to be organized by a numbering system in Dec. 1932. Before that time the resolutions were kept folded up in chronological order, roughly by subject or Council committee (such as Parks, Judiciary, Fire, Police, etc.). This set of pre-1932 resolutions represents those labeled as Parks.

The resolutions consist generally of expenditures, land acquisition proposals, maintenance of parks and boulevard trees, and items relating to parks (comfort stations, tennis courts, ice skating rinks, etc.), mainly dating from 1900-1932. Not all parks are represented in these Council files. The parks best represented are Cameron, Copeland, Myrick, Powell, and Riverside.

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The resolutions are organized alphabetically by subject, therein chronologically. Originally the files were arranged strictly in chronological order. Very brittle paper has been deacidified, and some items encapsulated. A few blueprints are included in the files. The Archives staff assigned a file number to each piece of legislation in the hopes of creating an index in the future. These are labeled on the documents in brackets and are noted in the container list as file numbers.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

La Crosse Public Library Archives 1997-1999

800 Main St.
La Crosse, Wisconsin, 54601
(608) 789-7136

Acquisitions Information

(Accession no. 1996.004) Resolutions were located in the City Clerk’s basement area of City Hall; came to the Archives as part of the Mayor’s Special Committee on Historic Records, Dec. 1996

Processing Information

Processed by Anita Taylor Doering with assistance from Carrie Seib, May 1997; additions interfiled by Jaime Dechant, Jan. 1999

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Related Materials

Related Materials

(La Crosse Series 013)
 La Crosse, Wisconsin, City Park and Recreation Department Records
(La Crosse Series 017)
 La Crosse, Wisconsin, Common Council Resolutions and Reports
(La Crosse Series 022)
 La Crosse, Wisconsin, Office of the City Clerk, Reports of City Officers

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • La Crosse (Wis.). Common Council.


  • Municipal government--Wisconsin--La Crosse
  • Parks--Wisconsin--La Crosse
  • Public records--Wisconsin--La Crosse

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OCLC Number


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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

 File #001-004 Band concerts, 1916-1932 

1 1

 File #005-007A Baseball, 1922-1925 

1 2

 File #008-011 Board of Park Commissioners, 1908-1910 

1 3

 File #012-017B Burns Park, 1871-1904 

1 4

 File #018-030 Cameron Park, 1869-1924 

1 5

 File #030A Campbell Cemetery, 1932 

1 5A

 File #031X-063 Copeland Park, 1909-1932 

1 6

 File #064-177B Financial reports and budgets, 1871-1922 

1 7-8

 File #178-180 Forest Avenue Parkway, 1902-1931 

1 9

 File #181-186 Grandad Bluff, 1923-1932 

2 1

 File #187-187E Hixon Forest, 1913-1932 

2 2

 File #187F-194 Hood Park, 1910-1924 

2 3

 File #195-200 Ice skating rinks, 1906-1931 

2 4

 File #201-203 Insect and pest control, 1886, 1927 

2 5

 File #204-204A Island #105 proposed purchase, 1915 

2 6

 File #205-206J Isle la Plume/Taylor Island, 1909-1931 

2 7

 File #207-213 Memorial Field, 1883-1932 

2 8

 File #213K-245B Myrick Park, 1873-1931 

2 9

 File #246 North Side boat landing, 1908 

2 10

North Side proposed parks 

Box Folder

 File #247-251 Canterbury Park, 1894-1895 

2 11

 File #251A-251C Monitor St., 1923-1924 

2 11A
Box Folder

 File #252-253A Old Shooting Park Addition, 1895-1901 

2 12

 File #253B-254 Park Addition, 1876-1887 

2 13

 File #255-259A Park Department administrative matters, 1914-1924 

2 14

 File #260-307 Pettibone Park, 1901-1932 

2 15

 File #308-309 Playgrounds, 1909 

3 1

 File #310-314A Powell Park, 1910-1930 

3 2

 File #0418 Public landing at King Street 1905 

4 5

 File #315-396C Riverside Park, 1900-1932 

3 3-5

South Side proposed parks 

Box Folder

 File #397-410 Durand and Hill Addition, 1885-1888 

3 6

 File #411 Simonton, 1876 

3 7

 File #412 Spence/Reynolds (fractional lot 1, section 31-17-7), 1924 

4 1
Box Folder

 File #413-417; 419 Spence Park, 1898-1906 

4 2

 File #420-424 Tennis courts, 1916-1931 

4 3

 File #425-454 Trees and tree removal, 1878-1931 

4 4