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Yesterday in La Crosse

“WE’VE HAD IT!” was the Tribune headline after a record blizzard, 61 years ago

Brad Williams



During the first week of March in 1959, a late winter storm brought 10 inches or more of snow to many parts of the state.  The blizzard left 22 inches of snow on La Crosse, with 13 inches falling just on March 5th.  Twenty-six years would pass before the next time La Crosse got that much snow in a single day. The heavy snowfall hampered local firemen who were battling an explosion and house fire in Shelby, because the streets were narrowed and hydrants were covered up.  A 26-year-old woman and her two young sons died in the fire.  Another big snowstorm hit the La Crosse area about a week later.  

If people were stuck in their homes the Thursday night of the big storm, they could always watch TV.  On Thursday nights, the three major networks had shows such as “Playhouse 90,” the Western “Zane Grey Theater,” “The Real McCoys” with Walter Brennan, and “The Ford Show,” sponsored by Ford Motors and starring Tennessee Ernie Ford.  Community Camera in La Crosse was selling the Philco “Slender Seventeener” portable TV with a remote control for $189 in 1959, yesterday in La Crosse. 

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