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  • Writer's pictureBe Local La Crosse


Updated: Jan 1, 2021

Since earlier this November, the La Crosse Heritage Center continues to stay positive as they open their doors to the public in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The following feature was written by:

Peggy Derrick, Executive Director of the La Crosse County Historical Society

Hi, my name is Peggy Derrick and I'm the executive director of the La Crosse County Historical Society, and I've been working with the Historical Society for 11 years now.

For many years we had a small museum in the Fish Hatchery building at the north end of Riverside Park, hosted by the city, which owns the building. They had other plans for the space at the end of 2019, and we were asked to leave. This was just the “kick in the pants” we needed to dedicate ourselves to creating a replacement museum that is more attractive, more informative, and more fun than the old Riverside Museum.

Our mission is to preserve and share the history of the region. The Heritage Center is the most recent effort on our part to keep sharing local history.

The La Crosse Area Heritage Center is now located at 506 Main Street.

One of the best ways to support LAHC is by visiting! You can bring visitors from out of town or your kids and families and expose them to the stories of the place they are from. Click HERE for admissions rates and more information about your visit.

Another amazing way to support the Heritage Center is to become a member of the La Crosse County Historical Society, which gives you a FREE year of admission to the Heritage Center, and supports our hard work for the entire year.

When I'm not at the Heritage Center, I can usually be found in our offices located at 145 West Ave S, or our historic house museum, the Hixon House, at 429 7th Street N. On weekends, I am most likely working on a sewing project or hiking with my two Vizslas.

"I love Downtown La Crosse because it’s vibrant, it’s human-scaled, it invites walking, and it’s steeped in local history." - Peggy Derrick, Executive Director of LAHC

Some of my favorite memories of downtown La Crosse go back to when I lived in rural Minnesota and would come to La Crosse to shop or have a nice night out. The old Piggy’s, right on the water, was a favorite. My shopping trips often included a visit to Soell’s Liquors, where Mr. Art Soell would entertain with recommendations and often a visit to his “tasting cave.” Now that space is Monet Flowers, right across the street from the Heritage Center.


La Crosse Area Heritage Center

506 Main Street

Winter hours (Jan- Feb):

Open Fri-Sun, 10 AM-5 PM




Peggy Derrick

Executive Director

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