Who We Are
Enriching lives through engagement with the history of La Crosse County.
LCHS is a non-profit membership corporation, founded in 1925 (and merging with another organization by the same name, founded in 1898). The organization incorporated in 1939. Its early constituents called for the collection of historical materials of all kinds and the use of these in encouraging "the spread of knowledge about the history of La Crosse County". This original mission is still a part of what we do today, but we believe there is more to achieve.
La Crosse County Historical Society Mission Statement:
La Crosse County Historical Society discovers, collects, preserves, and shares the history of La Crosse County, Wisconsin.
While our articles of incorporation state that our purpose includes the discovery, collection, preservation and publication of historical records and data relating to the county, and, the purchase, holding and management of both real and personal property of historical significance, we believe that changing times equate to a broader mission. The history of La Crosse County includes the history of all its peoples, from the earliest natives to its newest immigrants. As we move forward, we hope to constantly better ourselves, doing much more than managing collections of artifacts. Yes, we will certainly preserve and protect precious artifacts ... but we will also strive to reach out to community, bringing history to life with events and programming, and teach our newest generations about our, and their, local history. Because, if you hold the support of today's young, you hold the future of history.
LA CROSSE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY CHRONOLOGY
1870: Known as the La Crosse County Pioneer Association
1881: La Crosse Pioneer Association became the Old Settlers Association
1898: Constitution drafted and approved, officially becoming the La Crosse County Historical Society on May 12. Ellis B. Usher, editor of the La Crosse Chronicle newspaper, was instrumental in the development of the new Society
1925: A second reorganization of the Society declared the original constitution “in good standing.”
1939: Organization was incorporated
1960: At the request of Alice Green Hixon, the Hixon House was gifted to the Society, the final details being completed in 1965
1980: Completed move into the Swarthout Museum, the new addition on the La Crosse Public Library
1990: Riverside Museum opened with the La Crosse Visitors and Convention Bureau, and the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse’s Mississippi Valley Archeology Center
1994: Became a member of the United Fund for the Humanities (UFAH). UFAH aims "to enhance the cultural life of the area by encouraging and providing opportunities for businesses to invest in the programs of local Arts and Humanities organizations in an efficient and effective way."
2014: Relocated offices and collections to 145 West Avenue S.,