La Crosse Area Heritage Center

La Crosse Area Heritage Center The La Crosse Area Heritage Center is a new museum opening to the public on November 17, in downtown La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Operating as usual

Happy World Chocolate Day!La Crosse candy maker Rudolph Ambroz was born in Bohemia in 1883. He and his wife Rose settled...
07/07/2021

Happy World Chocolate Day!

La Crosse candy maker Rudolph Ambroz was born in Bohemia in 1883. He and his wife Rose settled in La Crosse in 1910, with Rudolph working for Funke Candy Company. While Rudolph remained at Funke, his wife Rose and their daughter began an independent candy manufacturing business in 1919. They worked out of their home at 712 Cass Street, a building that stands today.

The candy box itself features a color drawing of a flapper girl in a smoke-colored strapless dress with a feather fan. It is signed "Hamilton King, 1920". Hamilton King (1871-1952) was an illustrator of the period famous for his portraits of beautiful women. His "Coca Cola girls" are among his best-known images, but his art also graced magazine covers, cigarette cards, and sheet music. His postcards and candy boxes could be purchased commercially. Probably the Ambroz family bought Hamilton King boxes as a deluxe feature for their fine chocolates.

This candy box can be seen on display at the La Crosse Area Heritage Center, Tuesday-Sunday, 10 AM-5 PM.

More information: https://bit.ly/3dRALNa

The La Crosse Area Heritage Center will be closed on Sunday, July 4.
07/02/2021

The La Crosse Area Heritage Center will be closed on Sunday, July 4.

The La Crosse Area Heritage Center will be closed on Sunday, July 4.

Photos from La Crosse County Historical Society's post
06/08/2021

Photos from La Crosse County Historical Society's post

Shannon, her service dog Frasier, and her mom Linda visited the Heritage Center yesterday! Stop on down and engage with ...
06/04/2021

Shannon, her service dog Frasier, and her mom Linda visited the Heritage Center yesterday!

Stop on down and engage with stories that matter. Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-5pm.

Shannon, her service dog Frasier, and her mom Linda visited the Heritage Center yesterday!

Stop on down and engage with stories that matter. Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-5pm.

It is a gorgeous day to visit the Heritage Center!
06/03/2021

It is a gorgeous day to visit the Heritage Center!

It is a gorgeous day to visit the Heritage Center!

05/28/2021

Artifact Close-up from the La Crosse Area Heritage Center.

This Tsho Txiv Neej, a traditional Hmong men's vest was hand-embroidered and adorned by Chai M. Vang of La Crosse. The intricate needlework of the Paj Ntaub, flower cloth, and the embellishment of beads and silver coins can take upwards of 6 months to 1 year to complete. The weight of this vest is approximately 3 pounds. Loan of Chai M. Vang.

This Hmong vest can be seen at La Crosse's new local history museum downtown, the La Crosse Area Heritage Center at 506 Main Street open Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-5pm.

Photos from La Crosse County Historical Society's post
05/27/2021

Photos from La Crosse County Historical Society's post

05/21/2021

Artifact Close-up from the La Crosse Area Heritage Center.

This Riam Hmoob (Hmong bird knife) was made in La Crosse by master blacksmith Tong Khai Vang at the Hmoob Cultural & Community Agency Blacksmith Shop.

It is known as a bird knife because of the swooping point at the end of its spine, reminiscent of a bird’s tail as it is about to take off.
The knife started out as a piece of recycled scrap steel, something of high quality, strong yet malleable. The steel was heated until it glowed red and then shaped into the blade through repeated hammering. This is a slow process that takes a high heat source and a great deal of strength and skill.

More information: https://bit.ly/2RvqAWK
Video "How to Make a Hmong Knife": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qklwOlubWug

This Hmong knife can be seen at La Crosse's new local history museum in downtown, the La Crosse Area Heritage Center at 506 Main Street open Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-5pm.

Happy Mother's Day!
05/09/2021

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!

In the 1950s, if you bought your mother a bouquet at Lund’s Flower Shop at 521 Main St., you may have seen this poster portrait of Barbara Mohn Guentner in the window. Mathilda Guentner Lund hung the photo every year to honor her own mother, as well as all the mothers of La Crosse.

More info: https://bit.ly/2RHy8Fh

La Crosse County Historical Society is launching a new program for the training and development of interpretive guides t...
05/07/2021
La Crosse County Historical Society launching new training program for tour guides this summer

La Crosse County Historical Society is launching a new program for the training and development of interpretive guides to work as volunteers in our historic house museum, Historic Hixon House, and to give guided tours on buses such as the historic trolley, cruise boat tours, and other private tour companies. Applications are being accepted till June 1, with the expectation that graduates will be ready to start giving tours in either Hixon House or on buses by the middle of July. To apply, visit our website www.lchshistory.org

https://lacrossetribune.com/news/local/history/la-crosse-county-historical-society-launching-new-training-program-for-tour-guides-this-summer/article_21c60743-d86b-5b2d-9a30-08562b9d8672.html

The La Crosse County Historical Society will begin training its tour guides this summer through a new program as it gears up for another season of historical tours and events.

Things That Matter: Walter Brown’s Sheet Music
05/01/2021
Things That Matter: Walter Brown’s Sheet Music

Things That Matter: Walter Brown’s Sheet Music

This piece of 19th century sheet music was composed by Walter Brown, an early resident of La Crosse. The ornate cover of “I Love But Thee” mirrors the sentimental lyrics

Stop on down this weekend and see Peter Brunner's tools!
04/30/2021

Stop on down this weekend and see Peter Brunner's tools!

Come see this World's Fair medal this weekend. The Heritage Center is open Friday-Sunday, 10am-5pm.
04/22/2021

Come see this World's Fair medal this weekend. The Heritage Center is open Friday-Sunday, 10am-5pm.

Artifact Close-up from the La Crosse Area Heritage Center.

The Exposition Universelle Internationale was a world’s fair hosted by the city of Paris in 1900. Exhibiting at the fair was La Crosse’s largest beer maker, the John Gund Brewery. Gund entered his Peerless Beer in the brewing competition. The Peerless brand earned this gold medal for the brewery.

The medal is two and one-half inches in diameter and features an image of France wearing a liberty cap. The backside shows Nike, the goddess of victory, carrying an athlete on her shoulders. Below the goddess, it reads “J. Gund Brewing Company.” The medal is made of bronze but is gold-plated.

More information: https://bit.ly/3tGBbfi

Gund Brewery's medal can be seen at La Crosse's new local history museum in downtown, the La Crosse Area Heritage Center at 506 Main Street open Friday-Sunday, 10am-5pm.

Come visit the camera named for La Crosse this weekend. Open Friday-Sunday, 10am-5pm.
04/16/2021

Come visit the camera named for La Crosse this weekend.

Open Friday-Sunday, 10am-5pm.

Artifact Close-up from the La Crosse Area Heritage Center.

This camera named the "La Crosse" was manufactured in La Crosse in 1896 by the Aiken-Gleason Co. The company was founded in 1893 by Frank Aiken and his son-in-law Eugene Gleason. Both men were longtime local residents, so it makes sense that they had enough pride in the city to name a camera after their hometown.

The "La Crosse" camera was an up-to-date device for the amateur photographer of the day. Made of wood covered in fine grain leather, it featured a leather handle, a tripod socket, and a viewfinder. Its fixed focus lens was accompanied by a patented shutter that allowed both timed and instant exposures. The La Crosse camera cost $3.50, with a smaller version available for $2.50.

The "La Crosse" camera can be seen at La Crosse's new local history museum in downtown, the La Crosse Area Heritage Center at 506 Main Street open Friday-Sunday, 10am-5pm.

Open today and tomorrow, 10am-5pm!
04/10/2021

Open today and tomorrow, 10am-5pm!

Learn something new about La Crosse this weekend at the La Crosse Area Heritage Center. The Heritage Center is conveniently located at 506 Main St. in downtown La Crosse. Open Saturday and Sunday, 10am-5pm.

04/01/2021

We are proud to announce that Doc Powell got his second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine today and is ready for visitors at the La Crosse Area Heritage Center!

Visit Doc Powell this weekend in downtown La Crosse, Friday and Saturday, 10am-5pm.

03/13/2021

The La Crosse Area Heritage Center is open this weekend, 10 AM-5PM. Head on down and learn something new about the region!

Photo: LCHS Members Dale and Mary Wetterling at the La Crosse Area Heritage Center with the houseboat model from their rental company Great River Cruises. The Wetterlings donated the model to LCHS in 2013.

02/28/2021

Orby Moss, the son of Zachariah Henry and Emma (Waldon) Moss was born in La Crosse in 1902. Like his father and grandfather, Orby was a barber on the North Side of La Crosse on Copeland Avenue. He is remembered for continuing his family's barbering and boxing legacy in La Crosse. Though Orby was the last barber of his family, other descendants of Zachariah still reside in the county.

La Crosse's Black Barbers from the gallery at the La Crosse Area Heritage Center. #BlackHistoryMonth
Research: Enduring Families Project
Photo: Orby Moss, courtesy of the Moss Family

02/25/2021

John Birney was born free in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1834. As a young man, he and his wife, Penelope, and daughter Mary Ellen moved to La Crosse. John Birney was one of the first barbers in La Crosse. In 1857, he had an eight-chair barber shop in John Levy's Augusta Hotel on 2nd and Pearl Streets. He was an investor and owned many La Crosse properties. Birney was a wealthy man who Governor Rusk appointed to represent Wisconsin at the 1884 World Centennial Exposition in New Orleans. In 1885, his daughter Florence attended a prominent teacher's college, Eastern Colored School, in Kentucky. The Birney family joined her in Louisville, where they spent the rest of their lives.

La Crosse's Black Barbers from the gallery at the La Crosse Area Heritage Center. #BlackHistoryMonth
Research: Enduring Families Project
Photo: Birney and his family, taken sometime before December 1878, courtesy of the La Crosse Public Library Archives.

We're open!
02/20/2021

We're open!

Spend some time with La Crosse's history this weekend. The La Crosse Area Heritage Center is open Saturday and Sunday, 10-5.

02/19/2021

Ashley Shivers was born in Crocket County, Tennessee as a slave in 1859. At the age of seven, his mother passed away. He and his younger brother Thomas were fostered by a slave named Charlotte. After the Civil War, the young family met a freeman soldier by the name of Edmond Harris. He married Charlotte, adopted Ashley and Thomas, and moved them north to Revels Valley in Vernon County, Wisconsin. In Revels Valley, they met a community that grew together as a family. Each shared their home with those who were less fortunate. Thomas farmed and increased the acreage purchased by Edmond Harris. Ashley moved to La Crosse, established himself within the community, and built a successful barber business. His best-known shop and home were at 418 Mill Street (Copeland Avenue).

La Crosse's Black Barbers from the gallery at the La Crosse Area Heritage Center. #BlackHistoryMonth
Research: Enduring Families Project
Photo: Ashley Shivers, courtesy of the Cheyenne Settlers Heritage Society

George Edwin Taylor (1857-1925)
02/16/2021
George Edwin Taylor (1857-1925)

George Edwin Taylor (1857-1925)

George Edwin Taylor was an orphan stowaway who arrived in La Crosse, Wisconsin in 1865 at the age of 8. Nathan Smith takes in the unruly young man and helps...

02/15/2021

Twins, Sherman, and Sheridan Waldon were born in Cheyenne Valley near Hillsboro, Wisconsin, in 1865. Cheyenne Valley was settled in the 1850s by a multi-racial group where many families intermarried. As time went on, the medium-sized farms could no longer support the valley's large families, and residents began to move into the surrounding areas to seek new opportunities. The brothers operated a barber shop on Oak Street in Sparta, Wisconsin, and lived in an African American community on Myrtle Street. Four of their sisters lived in the households of two of La Crosse's barbers, Zachariah Henry Moss and Ashley Shivers.

La Crosse's Black Barbers from the gallery at the La Crosse Area Heritage Center. #BlackHistoryMonth
Research: Enduring Families Project
Photo: Sherman & Sheridan Waldon, courtesy of the Cheyenne Settlers Heritage Society

02/10/2021

Zachariah Henry Moss, the son of Zachariah Lewis and Mary (Hunter) Moss, was born in La Crosse in 1865. As a young man, he joined Moss and Son Barber Shop with his father at 610 North 3rd Street. He learned the barber trade and inherited his father's talent in boxing and entertaining the clientele. He and his father were well-known for their ability to tell a good story, their sense of fairness, and for keeping a clean shop. They were also recognized for their patience, especially when teaching the trade and boxing to other young men in the neighborhood.

La Crosse's Black Barbers from the gallery at the La Crosse Area Heritage Center. #BlackHistoryMonth
Research: Enduring Families Project
Photo: Zachariah Henry Moss, courtesy of the Moss Family

Nathan Smith (1820 – 1905)
02/09/2021
Nathan Smith (1820 – 1905)

Nathan Smith (1820 – 1905)

Nathan Smith was very active in La Crosse, Wisconsin politics. Many men and women, of all races, sought his counsel. Nathan Smith and his wife, Sarah, took i...

La Crosse County Historical Society
01/16/2021

La Crosse County Historical Society

This elegant pillbox hat sewn by La Crosse milliner Aletta Werel offered its wearer the height of style in the late 1950s to 1960s.

Handcrafted of gold and silver brocade with cream veiling, it was just the thing for a woman to wear to a fancy party or wedding to make a fashion statement.

This hat can be seen on display at the La Crosse Area Heritage Center!

#nationalhatday #1960sfashion

La Crosse County Historical Society
01/16/2021

La Crosse County Historical Society

La Crosse Area Heritage Center is open this weekend! Stop on down for a visit!

Address

506 Main Street
La Crosse, WI
54601

Opening Hours

Tuesday 10am - 5pm
Wednesday 10am - 5pm
Thursday 10am - 5pm
Friday 10am - 5pm
Saturday 10am - 5pm
Sunday 10am - 5pm

Telephone

+16087821980

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About Us

As a curated museum of the La Crosse County Historical Society, cultural center and gathering place, the La Crosse Area Heritage Center is both seeker and keeper of stories that matter. The Heritage Center provides unique opportunities for visitors to discover the astounding stories of all who came before. Experience the surprising connections between our past, our present, and each other.

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