DataViz as History: Visiting The La Crosse, Wisconsin Riverside Museum


Last week, I took some time off from work to visit family in La Crosse, Wisconsin. I am a big history buff, so we visited the La Crosse Riverside MuseumThe Riverside Museum is filled with the history of logging, steamboats, pearl button making, settlers, prehistory artifacts from the Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center, and more. It is a self-guided tour of the museum and I wanted to share some of the photos I took of things that are in my wheelhouse: maps, visual displays, storytelling, etc.

I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I had taking them.

Best regards,


The Riverside Museum


Next to the Riverside Museum is the Riverside International Friendship Garden – A place of beauty that reflects an appreciation for the diverse cultures that share the earth. Here, you’ll find gardens to represent six different nations from around the world. La Crosse enjoys thriving relationships with sister cities, business partners, students and people from around the world. To celebrate the success of these partnerships, and build a tribute to the culture and traditions, the township decided to create a garden filled with the flowers and decorations closely resembling a garden that could be found in each one of these sister cities. In the Chinese Gardens, principles of Feng Shui are showcased as rock, soil, water, architecture, and plants are harmoniously and meticulously to create a free-flowing movement, just as they would be arranged in ancient China. In the French Garden, finely trimmed plants, granite statues, and elegant fountains are arranged in a formal and geometric pattern, recreating the sophistication and romance found in France. The German Garden is adorned with colorful hydrangea, roses, and fruit-bearing shrubs, which set a vibrant contrast to the Rock Garden and pergola. Inside the Norwegian Garden, many waterfalls trickle past luscious rhubarb, strawberry, and blueberry plants creating a pleasantly aromatic environment. Conclude the day at the casual Russian Garden, with tree-filled groves, an elegant “Basedka” structure centerpiece, and beautiful sculpture focal points.ment. Conclude the day at the casual Russian Garden, with tree-filled groves, an elegant “Basedka” structure centerpiece, and beautiful sculpture focal points. [1]


My brother, Phil, standing on the bridge that goes over the Black River.



25-Foot-Tall Hiawatha Statue

The 25-foot-tall, 20-ton cement Indian stands with arms crossed. He was unveiled in October 1961, after four years of work by local high school art teacher Anthony Zimmerhakl.

The 25 Ft. statue of Hiawatha, stands in Riverside Park where the Mississippi, LaCrosse and Black Rivers meet.


Inside the lobby of the Riverside Museum is a large map that shows a scenic route along the Mississippi River.


Displays of Artifacts in the Riverside Museum



Describing an Archaeologist and What They Do


Historical Maps of La Crosse


Surveying in La Crosse


Some Interesting Visuals Related to Logging


Freshwater Mussels of the Upper Mississippi River Basin


Mussels Became Buttons in the Old Button Factory


I Love Old Bottles! The Bottle Age of La Crosse







Manufacturer’s Marks on Dishware from the Historic Sidewheel Riverboat, The War Eagle


Adinkra Symbols (The Pump House Regional Art Gallery)



[1] –, Riverside Museum & Riverside International Friendship Garden, PocketSights,–5477.


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