La Crosse

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Segments feature a look at the un-glaciated topography of the area; the discovery of a culture called Oneota; how steam engines and steam-powered sawmills drove the economy; the arrival of Adolf Gunderson and the rise of medical care facilities; the decline of the lumber industry; and the growth of higher education institutions.

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Video Segments and Teaching Resources

Segment Summaries  |  Lesson Plans  |  La Crosse, Then & Now PowerPoint

Credits: Sandy Brauer (School District of La Crosse), Anita Doering (La Crosse Public Library), Rachel Fawver (Gale-Ettrick-Trempleau School District), Carol Popelka (CESA 4), Roxanne Fox (School District of La Crosse), Cathy Maringer (School District of La Crosse), Eric Martin (School District of La Crosse), Cindy Stuhr (School District of La Crosse), and Ron Sunne (School District of La Crosse)

Segment 1: Intro (01:39)
Follow the evolution of the city at the junction of three rivers.
Segment 2: Early History (06:14)
The three rivers gave life to the city in the middle of driftless area.
Segment 3: Oneota (05:08)
The ancient Oneota culture formed a densely populated area in La Crosse.

Segment 4: Steam (08:50)
Steamboats, steam engines and steam-powered sawmills drove the economy to prosperity.
Segment 5: Medicine Men (10:10)
Adolf Gundersen arrived in La Crosse from Norway and revolutionized medical care in town.
Segment 6: Reinvention (10:36)
La Crosse became an industrial town after the decline of the lumber industry.
Segment 7: College Town (04:22)
The growth of its colleges La Crosse's adaptation to the post-lumber economy.
Segment 8: Ebb & Flow (09:30)
Revitalized La Crosse is characterized by high tech and higher education.