Silent City 2015 ... and a Wonderful Surprise!

It can’t be argued that this year’s Discover the Silent City event was a fabulous success! On the sesquicentennial of the final year of the Civil War, this year’s theme was a return to 1865. Re-enactors informed and entertained as attendees were guided by volunteers to stations in Oak Grove Cemetery, and everyone involved enjoyed the experience. As always, our sincere thanks to all the volunteers who make this special and cherished event come true. 

As it happened, it was also the day that Michael Martino’s long anticipated statue of Ellen Hixon was being unveiled upon Granddad’s Bluff. Unfortunately, this meant that many of the LCHS Board, who were volunteering for Silent City, were unable to attend the ceremony. 

Late in the afternoon, however, after the unveiling, we were fortunate and honored that three esteemed descendants of Gideon and Ellen Hixon (accompanied by LCHS Board President Candace Brown) arrived by car to visit her grave site, place flowers and seek out the resting places of other relatives. All three had come from afar. Very afar. 

Fred Hixon Glore (tan suit coat in the slide show photos) is the great grandson of Frank Hixon. (Fred is also a member of the LCHS Board of Directors, and often participates in Board meetings by phone.) Brothers Joe Whitney (white shirt) and Lock Whitney III (black suit coat) are the great grandsons of Joseph Hixon. Frank and Joseph Hixon were the two eldest sons of Gideon and Ellen, making all three of our visiting Hixon descendants … great-great grandsons of Gideon and Ellen. Amazing. What an honor to get to know them!

 We are so pleased that they took the time to come, meet us, witness the magic of Silent City, and pay respects to our beloved Ellen Hixon, who is the reason La Crosse and Coulee Region residents, and innumerable visitors to our town, continue to enjoy Granddad’s Bluff for the beautiful, breathtaking place that it is. 

Discover the Silent City is the brainchild of our treasured volunteer, George Italiano. Without him, the annual event simply would not be. His tireless work is priceless, and we can’t say “thank you” enough. 

Feel the passion for history? Can you sense that we’re all about bringing history to life? That’s exactly what Discover the Silent City is about. We’d love to have you on our team. Get in touch with us if you’d like to re-enact, volunteer as a docent or tour guide, or just help us keep local history alive!

Read the La Crosse Tribune's coverage of the Ellen Hixon statue unveiling HERE.