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Yesterday in La Crosse

Jackson Plaza was a pretty big shopping center, 63 years ago

Brad Williams



The strip mall at Jackson Plaza had its grand opening on Jackson Street in ’57.  The complex was anchored by Major Rexall Drug and a Piggly Wiggly store, and it was just a few blocks west of another big southside shopping center, the Village.  Other businesses at Jackson Plaza included the Sew ‘N Sew store…Pappy’s Chicken Little restaurant…and Duane’s Record Room, a record store run by local radio deejay and TV weatherman Duane Moore.   

Students from Central High School got to run a downtown store for a day in ’57.  The students at Central’s retail selling class took the place of the usual sales and management staff at Penney’s on 5th Avenue.    

Milwaukee had a winning team in October of 1957.  The Braves won the World Series over the Yankees that fall.  The Series was still played in the daytime, so TV sets showing the games popped up all over Wisconsin.  Doerflinger’s had five sets in their store, and banks and hospitals also had TV’s available for viewing baseball.  La Crosse city police had to listen on the radio to the big series…1957, yesterday in La Crosse.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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