The Way it Was: South Salem Road in the Early 1900s

South Salem Road was the old name of the highway connecting Campbell Road and West Salem.

Looking north, this rural road scene of South Salem Road was the old name of the highway that connected the east side of La Crosse from Campbell Road with West Salem along the southeast side of the La Crosse River.

In the 1930s, the bridge in the foreground was replaced with the Monegan Overhead and the road was relabeled State Hwy. 16.

An old stone farmhouse visible on the left is believed to be the William and Alice Neumeister home, with Miller's Bluff in the background.

Anyone with more information about this photo or wishing to donate photos of the Coulee Region may contact the La Crosse Public Library Archives at 608-789-7136.

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(2) comments


Wonder if this house was the Stone house tavern later. The road also looks to be in considerable condition than many of the city streets.


This was probably a familiar route and landscape to Hamlin Garland, who kept a residence in West Salem and would travel frequently up from Chicago by rail to go "home". In the first two decades of the century he was regarded as America's leading man of letters. In fact, about this time another great figure of 20th Century intellectual life, Howard Mumford Jones, a renowned Harvard University professor, social observer and critic and author, traveled back and forth from his home in La Crosse as a teenager to Garland's West Salem home, perhaps on this road about this same time to work as Garland's personal secretary and typist.

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