Q: What is the origin of Mormon Coulee Road?

A: The La Crosse Public Library Web site in its "Brief History of La Crosse" tells of the arrival in October 1844, of a community of 20 families of the Mormon faith from Nauvoo, Ill. They had been in the Black River pineries as early as 1839, harvesting lumber for their Temple at Nauvoo.

The La Crosse contingent built several cabins, 25 or 30, in the area now called Mormon Coulee in the town of Shelby. Several of the men were employed by trader Nathan Myrick to cut cordwood and make shingles over the winter. Myrick paid them for their services in food and other provisions for the fledgling community.

In the spring of 1845, the settlement left the La Crosse area en masse, burned their houses, and eventually moved to Texas.

Despite their brief time in what was to become La Crosse County, the Mormons left their name on two important pieces of real estate: Mormon Coulee and Mormon Creek. The Mormon Coulee area follows the Mormon Creek from Running Slough in the town of Shelby on the west through the town of Greenfield and to the western part of the town of Washington to the east on St. Joseph Ridge. It is bounded on the north by St. Joseph Ridge and on the south by Brinkman Ridge (initially called Brecken Ridge). Brinkman Ridge spills over into Vernon County.

Q: What is the deal with the Pettibone Resort property? Wasn't it supposed to be donated to the city of La Crosse for use as public property? What was the intention of the Pettibone family for this property when donated to La Crosse?

A: The property was given to the city by the Pettibones around the turn of the century to be used for a park, said City Attorney Pat Houlihan. It is supposed to be open to the public. If a person is denied entry, he advised contacting the city attorney's office at (608) 789-7511 or the Parks and Recreation office at (608) 789-7533.

Q: What was located on the Menard Plaza site in La Crosse before Menard's was built there?

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A: A longtime resident recalls houses and an old bar on the property before Menard's.

Q: Who owns the private land located just east of the Lang Drive bridge in La Crosse? Is it an old farm? Does the city of La Crosse have any plans to develop the


A: It is owned by the Halverson family, said City Engineer Randy Turtenwald. There are no plans to develop it, and development would be difficult because of flood plain issues, he said.

In cooperation with the La Crosse Public Library, the Tribune invites

readers to call or e-mail questions of local general interest, and we'll try to find the answers and print them. The phone number for Ask the Trib is (608) 791-8450. To submit questions by e-mail, send them to news@lacrosse

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