Onalaska Area Historical Society

Onalaska Area Historical Society Open year-round, Wed-Fri, 2-4pm. Sat 9am-12:00 pm. Oct 1-March 31 Mon 6-8 pm

Operating as usual

New intern, Hannah; Society  President, Ward Keil; and former intern, Carmen at our meeting this evening.
05/22/2013

New intern, Hannah; Society President, Ward Keil; and former intern, Carmen at our meeting this evening.

05/13/2013

Happy Mother's Day!

Nancy Tolvstad and Carol Krogan did a wonderful job on the Frank M. Pooler exhibit! Our hours are Wednesdays, Thursdays,...
04/24/2013

Nancy Tolvstad and Carol Krogan did a wonderful job on the Frank M. Pooler exhibit!

Our hours are Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays 2-4pm and Saturdays 9:30-12:30. Come visit us! :)

04/06/2013

Happy Frank Pooler Day! Have you seen our exhibit yet? Come on in! :)

03/30/2013

Everyone have a wonderful and safe holiday weekend! And don't forget to stop in next week to see the Frank M. Pooler exhibit!! :)

03/19/2013
Nocturne.mov

Frank Pooler exhibit coming April 2nd!

Pictorial Montage - Rhonda Sandberg From the Frank Pooler Choral Archives and Special Papers at the main library of California State University at Long Beach...

Reminder! Centering Onalaska's Banner Contest will end March 15, 2013. Click here for details.
02/28/2013
Banner Contest

Reminder! Centering Onalaska's Banner Contest will end March 15, 2013. Click here for details.

Help us design a new banner for our light poles.

02/19/2013

Congratulations to Sandy Musolf on receiving the Jefferson Award for her outstanding volunteerism in Onalaska! Keep up the great work! :)

Have you seen our beautiful dress display yet??
02/15/2013

Have you seen our beautiful dress display yet??

Happy valentines day! :)
02/14/2013

Happy valentines day! :)

Valentine of the day!
02/13/2013

Valentine of the day!

Found another one today and couldn't help myself.
02/13/2013

Found another one today and couldn't help myself.

Timeline Photos
02/12/2013

Timeline Photos

Happy Valentines Week!
02/11/2013

Happy Valentines Week!

Check out a local contest that's going on. It's for Centering Onalaska and you could win $100! Details here.
02/11/2013
Banner Contest

Check out a local contest that's going on. It's for Centering Onalaska and you could win $100! Details here.

Help us design a new banner for our light poles.

A valentines postcard sent in 1912
02/07/2013

A valentines postcard sent in 1912

Have you been the Onalaska Historical Society Musuem before?
01/28/2013

Have you been the Onalaska Historical Society Musuem before?

01/02/2013

What did you do for New Year's Eve? Go out, stay in, travel?

Happy New Year from the Onalaska Area Historical Society!
01/01/2013

Happy New Year from the Onalaska Area Historical Society!

Onalaska Main Street looking East- 1917Photo From Sawmills to Sunfish by John and Joan Dolbier
12/27/2012

Onalaska Main Street looking East- 1917
Photo From Sawmills to Sunfish by John and Joan Dolbier

12/19/2012

When do you get your holiday shopping done?

Discover Onalaska
12/07/2012

Discover Onalaska

Trivia time! How did Onalaska founder Thomas G. Rowe choose the city's name?

12/03/2012

A costly fire during the early days of Onalaska occurred
on October 9, 1895, when the wooden two-story
school building that housed both the grade school and
high school students was lost. Onalaska lost another
school in 1978 when the new Middle School on Quincy
Street burned in a $2 million-dollar fire that was caused
by arson. -From Sawmills to Sunfish by John and Joan Dolbier

Timeline Photos
11/12/2012

Timeline Photos

11/05/2012

American Legion Struck-Klandrud Post No. 336 is named in honor of the memory of two young Onalaska men who died in the First World War. They are Otto Struck, born in 1888 and died in 1918; and August Klandrud, born in 1892 and also died in 1918.
In the earliest days, the post held its meetings in the Onalaska High School building located on Main Street. That building burned down in 1925. During the 1970’s, the Legion purchased land in Sand Lake Coulee. The first building consisted of a roof over a dirt floor, but improvements continued during the 70’s.
Presently the nine-acre site at 731 Sand Lake Road consists of a softball field, a 5,500 square foot building and a 50-car paved parking lot. - From Sawmills to Sunfish by John and Joan Dolbier

10/29/2012

The area lumber industry which grew so rapidly in the late 1800’s and was so important to the development of our region also had some negative aspects. Only choice logs were used and timber with the slightest blemish was left to rot. The treetops and limbs were burned. Even many of the choice logs were lost in the river. It was estimated that not more than 40 per cent of the lumber that was cut ever reached a sawmill. This caused vast timber forests of high grade pine, hemlock, spruce, cedar and hardwoods to be completely cut down or “timbered off” in about 40 seasons. The harvests of this timber, however wastefully done, made way for the cultivation of the land and establishment of the farming industry we have in Wisconsin today. Many of the original barns and sheds built when the farms were being established in the Coulee Region were constructed from pine lumber that was sawed at the Onalaska mills. - From Sawmills to Sunfish by John and Joan Dolbier

10/22/2012

When Jean Nicolet discovered Wisconsin’s land in 1634, 30 million of its 35 million acres were covered with forest. Running through these forests were rivers forming seven principal drainage systems. These systems are the Wisconsin, Chippewa-Flambeau, St. Croix, Black, Rock-Pecotonica, Fox-Wolf, Illinois-Fox. The Mississippi is the only Wisconsin River having its headwaters originating exclusively outside of the state. This explains why the Indians called the river Mississippi, which means the “gathering of waters.” - From Sawmills to Sunfish by John and Joan Dolbier

10/15/2012

In 1934, in the Coulee Region, a new era of logging and lumbering began. Edmund Erickson, then farming near West Salem, decided to cut timber on the home farm and sell it for railroad ties to the Webster Lumber Company of Minneapolis. The following year, he and his brother Julian went into full scale logging and established the firm of Erickson Brothers. Another brother, Lawrence, became woods foreman and timber buyer. The Erickson’s first mill was located in West Salem. They soon realized the necessity of locating their operation near both the Burlington and Milwaukee Railroad tracks. Edmund went to Onalaska Mayor Osgard and rented a three acre tract owned by the city, which was located between the Burlington main track and Milwaukee side track. The Erickson’s first mill in Onalaska was a Diesel Power Unit and they sawed 40,000 to 50,000 ties per year. The cost of a hearty home cooked meal a the Pete Lee Café was breakfast, 20cents; full noon dinner, 25 cents; and supper, 25 cents. An older woman living in a small home on adjoining property resented the intrusion of the sawmill. Her favorite pastime was trying to shoot the men with a rifle. - From Sawmills to Sunfish by John and Joan Dolbier

09/24/2012

An early business of the city was the Randall Cement Company. This company made cement blocks that were used to make many of the sidewalks throughout the city. The site of the business is unknown. Walvin M. Kommerstad had a printing press in his building located on North Eighth Street between the two Walker homes at the turn of the century. He advertised that he would print 1000 envelopes or business heads for $2.00 and with every $2.00 order you were given “The Gem Cook Book” free. - From “Sawmills to Sunfish” by John and Joan Dolbier

09/17/2012

In 1941 a sudden snow storm with high winds hit the region, and the temperature fell rapidly. The day started out warm and balmy. It was known as the Armistice Day Storm. To alert fishermen to get off the lake and river, the fire bell and all the church bells were rung, but people didn’t know why the bells were ringing. - From Sawmills to Sunfish by John and Joan Dolbier

Onalaska Area Historical Society's cover photo
09/11/2012

Onalaska Area Historical Society's cover photo

09/04/2012

Midway came into being as a small trade center for the
nearby farmers when the North Western Railroad went
through the area. It got its name from being “midway”
between Onalaska and Lytles Sta on. In a short me it
developed into a small community with a business district
that included a hotel, a store, a blacksmith shop, and a
grain elevator which was owned by J.B. Canterbury. The
elevator had a capacity of 10,000 bushels of grain.
From “Sawmills to Sunfish” by John and Joan Dolbier

Address

741 Oak Ave S
Onalaska, WI
54650

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Nearby museums

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Go to their other page. This one is not active.
Something you may be interested in - Fauver Hill School Commemorative Brick Sale Salute the Past, Embrace the Present, and Make Your Mark on the Future The Onalaska Education Foundation is pleased to announce the Fauver Hill School Commemorative Brick Sale. Many of you have fond memories of this historic Onalaska school along with the wonderful teachers and staff that worked there. This is a unique opportunity for the community to purchase a keepsake brick from this historic Onalaska school and give back to the Onalaska Education Foundation. This school joined the Onalaska School District in 1960 and was used as an elementary school until 1983 when it became the Fauver Hill Kindergarten Center, housing all the kindergartners in the district. The Center closed in 1999. It will be demolished by Gundersen Health System to make way for future heath facilities. We are selling a limited number of historic bricks for $20 or three for $50. Each brick will have a Fauver Hill commemorative plate. Stop by the Onalaska District office to fill out a pre-sale form. Or, send your money to OEF 237 2nd Ave S Onalaska, WI 54650 along with your contact information (name, address, e-mail and phone number). There will be a limited number of bricks available so get your order in early. The bricks will be sold in the order that the payment is received by the district office. The bricks will be available for pick up on a later date. We will contact you with information as soon as a date is set.
Attention friends & fans of Onalaska Historical Society; Please UNLIKE & UNFOLLOW this page and FOLLOW & LIKE THE NEW page found here: https://m.facebook.com/Onalaskaareahistoricalsociety/ Thank You!
This is an old page, unchanged since 2013. The Onalaska Area Historical Society has made numerous requests to Facebook to either take this page down or give the Onalaska Area Historical Society control of this page. Facebook has not been helpful.
https://www.facebook.com/Onalaskaareahistoricalsociety/ Please go to the new page to see current postings!
To whom it may concern, this is no longer an active page. It has been replaced, and you are requested to unlike, and unfollow this older page. For the current page, please go to https://www.facebook.com/Onalaskaareahistoricalsociety/ for the active page of the Onalaska Area Historical Society.