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Plans for new history museum proceed to next phase in La Crosse



FILE - Former Mayor Tim Kabat announces plans for a history museum task force in front of an old fire engine at City Hall back in December of 2017.

Finding the proper place to display decades of local history may take a few years to accomplish. But a city history museum task force has finished its work, and a steering committee is expected to take over the project soon.

County historical society director Peggy Derrick says organizers want a place where storing and displaying artifacts will be relatively easy.

Right now, many of their items are stored at a former church on West Avenue.

“Ninety per cent of it is in a basement with no elevator,” said Derrick. “Everything down there was carried down by myself and volunteers, and it was not easy. It was also not safe for volunteers, or for artifacts.”

Derrick wants a building which would be easily accessible, preferably with elevators. She also says sites in the downtown area are preferred.

“Looking at the tourist-y area, the downtown La Crosse, in the future Riverside North has a lot of potential,” Derrick says. Specifically, she hopes to have a site near the riverfront, easily available to visitors taking riverboat cruises.

The initial task force for the project, which has been meeting for more than three years, has issued a report and been disbanded, and there’s a developer on board.

Former Mayor Tim Kabat announced the plan for a museum task force during a 2017 news conference at City Hall.

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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