West Prairie Store

The West Prairie Store is located roughly between Liberty Pole and Redmound.

Wild West Days is happening in Viroqua this weekend, Aug. 17 and 18, and the Vernon County Historical Society will again have a space there. Stop by our little building to see Western-themed woodcarvings and old photos of De Soto, and to pick up information about Ho-Chunk history and culture.

The following weekend, on Friday, Aug. 23, the VCHS is hosting its third annual Pork Chop Dinner on the lawn of the Sherry-Butt House, 795 N. Main St. in Viroqua. Dinner will be served from 4-7 p.m. (or until the food runs out). The menu includes pork chops, baked potatoes, baked beans, coleslaw, applesauce, rolls, and dessert, all for only $10. Carryouts will be available. In case of rain, the event will move next door to the expo building at the fairgrounds.

Speaking of the fairgrounds, the Vernon County Fair is fast approaching. Of course the Vernon County Historical Society will be there, and we will be running our popular local history quiz game. Today we’ll go over a few more of the quiz questions so you’ll be ready for the fair.

Did you know that Vernon County has a National Fish Hatchery? Well, it does, and one of the quiz questions asks for its location: just south of Genoa, on Hwy. 35. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service operates the hatchery.

Another quiz question asks, What type of park is Wild Cat Mountain – a national park, a state park, or a county park? The answer is, a state park. The park is located near Ontario and is operated by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Here’s a more complicated quiz question: Several places in Vernon County have the word “Prairie” in their names. Can you list any of them? Our list includes eight names. Most of the names are associated with churches.

Coon Prairie is in the Westby area, and North Coon Prairie is around Newry, north of Westby. Both are home to Lutheran churches. Millard’s Prairie is north of Hillsboro, and was home to a United Brethren congregation.

Northwest and Southwest Prairies are both located roughly between Liberty Pole and Redmound, and are also names associated with Lutheran churches. Located in the same area is West Prairie, noted for its old general store.

The other two “Prairies” are associated with old country schools – Round Prairie, just north of Viroqua, and Hills Prairie, north of Hillsboro. Hills Prairie was also once the site of a Methodist church.

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