By Todd A. Jensen —
If you’ve been watching our Fox 25/48 “County by County” series of specials, you’ll know that each episode takes an in-depth look at the people, places and history of this region we call home. Previously on “County by County,” we covered Trempealeau, Monroe and Buffalo counties. In February, we focus on the most populous county along Wisconsin’s western border: La Crosse.
Formed in 1851, La Crosse County was named after a game called lacrosse, played by eastern Woodlands Native Americans and some Plains Indians tribes. An homage to this legacy is a sculpture that nearly everyone in the county will recognize. The original La Crosse Players statue was completed by artist Elmer Petersen in 1981, and an arguably more famous—and larger—replica was placed alongside Rose Street in 2005.
La Crosse County by the Numbers
La Crosse County covers 480 square miles, and roughly 20 miles of the Mississippi River flow along the county’s western edge. Near Onalaska, 10 million tons of cargo moved through Lock and Dam No. 7 in 2015. Approximately 118,000 people call the county home, and they travel along 159 miles of state highways, 282 miles of county roads, and 756 miles of local roads.
The Special on Feb. 25
“The goal of ‘County by County’ is to inform and inspire,” said Judson Beck, vice president and general manager of Fox 25/48. “Over the course of a week of dedicated coverage on-air and online, we will find stories about the special people and places in La Crosse County. If we can share a story you haven’t heard or highlight hometown heroes that were unknown to you, we all benefit. Maybe we can even motivate viewers to visit and explore the incredible places right in their own backyard.”
These incredible places in La Crosse County include both the new and the historical. One of the newest places is on the north side of La Crosse, where an entirely reworked boulevard welcomes travelers coming into the city off Exit 3. This $75 million project includes the addition of a Bald Eagle viewing area near the corner of Rose and George streets.
On the historical side, there is the Mindoro Cut on Highway 108 between West Salem and Mindoro. The Mindoro Cut is a 74-foot-deep rock cut and the second-deepest cut built by hand in the Western Hemisphere. The Mindoro Cut was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007 and enjoys protections not normally afforded to roadways that don’t comply with DOT requirements.
When and Where to Watch
Tune into the Fox 25/48 First News at Nine starting Feb. 19 to watch our nightly segments that lead up to the 60-minute special on Feb. 25 immediately following the First News at Nine. All our stories, facts, and findings will be posted on www.WIProud.com/county-by-county, including the full 60-minute special after Feb. 25. This “County by County” special is brought to you in part by Castle Realty and Murphy’s Frame and Axle.