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The Ridge History Park is dedicated to the preservation of the history of Western Wisconsin's Ridge communities through education and land conservation.


The Ridge History Park will utilize its historical documents, buildings, exhibitions and grounds to build a deeper understanding of the dynamic contributions of people living in rural Wisconsin. The Ridge will be a destination for people of all ages to gather and share the commonalities of rural life and will provide resources to conserve the land for future generations.

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The Ridge History Park was established in 1999 when the original "Little School House" was moved to the site.  The historic school house, gas station and community center house museum exhibits that depict rural life on the Ridge in the 19th and 20th centuries.

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The Park utilizes structures, artifacts and historical research to engage visitors in an immersive experience of living, farming and thriving in a rural Wisconsin community.  Project-based learning for K-12 students and hands-on workshops are offered for all ages.

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Land Conservation

The Ridge History Park is located on a plot of land in Middle Ridge, Wisconsin, between Cashton and

La Crosse.  The farm land surrounding the property was originally a prairie when Indigenous People from the Ho Chunk tribe inhabited the area.  The Park's mission to promote environmental responsibility lies in education of sustainable farming and land conservation.

Western Wisconsin Ridge Communities

The Ridge History Park encompasses a large central ridge running through the entirety of Washington Township’s northern and central section from east to west. The History Park focus is the segment of the ridge approximately twenty five miles long, beginning in the Cashton area and culminating at La Crosse’s western end, as well as the valleys directly adjacent to the ridge. The ridge is part of the "Driftless" region.  


"The Driftless Area, a topographical and cultural region in the American Midwest, comprises southwestern Wisconsin, southeastern Minnesota, northeastern Iowa, and the extreme northwestern corner of Illinois.  Never covered by ice during the last ice age, the area lacks the characteristic glacial deposits known as drift. Its landscape is characterized by steep hills, forested ridges, deeply carved river valleys, and karst geology with spring-fed waterfalls and cold-water trout streams."  ~Wikipedia


Because of the link between producer and consumer, the ridge became historically an important artery of transportation. St. Mary's Ridge, Cashton, Portland, Newberg Corners, and St. Joseph's Ridge bookend Middle Ridge at the center. 


This picturesque area of Wisconsin is where Indigenous peoples from the Ho-Chunk Nation thrived, and European immigrants settled in hope of building new, prosperous lives. The history is rich and diverse, the stories colorful, heartbreaking and joyous. The Ridge History Park was founded to capture and preserve these stories, share them with the community, and to collect new stories that promote the contributions of people living in rural Wisconsin. 

Learn more about Wisconsin's Driftless Region
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