1852, the year the first township settlers came, there were two roads in the
area, the Military Road from Brownsville to Wabasha Prairie (Winona) and a trail
from a landing spot opposite La Crosse, along Pine Creek, which led to the
future site of Rushford.
first settler built his home half in Houston County and half in Winona County,
in an area which soon became known as "Pine Creek Settlement."
Six years later La Crescent Township was created on April 5, 1858.
the early years, the Wild Kate ferry, which was pulled ashore by two horses, and
later the steam-operated Honey Eye brought settlers across the river. By
1853, oxen teams were available for rent for the journey inland.
1855, the stage road from St. Paul was connected by ferry with La Crosse.
The four horse teams were changed every 12 miles. Accommodations for
travelers were the Lorette House 12 miles west of La Crescent and a hotel in La
Crescent built by Colonel Mercer. Both the St. Paul to Dubuque road and
the Chatfield to La Crescent road followed the ridges, entering the valley to
approach the river.
stagecoaches were discontinued, mail was transported by horseback riders to the
first stop at the old settlement of Centerville, approximately 50 miles toward
of the township land is in corn, hay, oats, and pasture for Holstein
cattle. The Pine Creek Creamery, begun in the early 1900s was operated in
succession by Henry Abnet, Paul Arnson and Herbert
Barge, Sr. After it was destroyed by a tornado in 1965, farmers
have been served by milk company trucks. The Pine Creek Store begun by
William Weist in 1910 closed about 1960.
the late 1940s, four townships' schools had consolidated with the La Crescent
School District. Prior to 1965, La Crescent students attended high school
in La Crosse. In that year, a high school was built. Ready Bus Line
operates a fleet of school buses to bring students from rural areas and Hokah.
the late 1950s, Pine Creek golf course was developed by Sylvester Krajewski at
Toledo, a cluster of homes on N. Pine Creek Road, once the location of a flour
mill built in 1860 and a woolen mill built in 1865. A Snowmobile Club has
about 20 miles of trails. The Sportsman's Club holds weekly target
practice at its clubhouse in a valley off Pine Creek Road.
township's natural beauty and excellent roads have resulted in the development
of residential areas two or three miles outside the city. The township has
a zoning board created to avoid future problems which might occur through
annexation. In 1930, the census figure for the township was 395, growing
to 1,441 in 1980.
present township officials are: clerk, Teresa A. Walter; treasurer, Art
Stender; chariperson, Terry Harger, supervisors, Ruth Miller and Gary Oldenberg.
by Neva Auenson
1860 La Crescent Census Index
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