The Swarthout Museum is one of the few museums managed and cared for by the La Crosse County Historical Society. The museum showcases several exhibits about the history of the county, provides a detailed timeline about the economic prosperity of La Crosse from the past to the present. Collections of historical documents, photographs and artifacts are also within display. A shop inside the museum is also available as well.
The Swarthout Museum readily accepts guided tours for school field trips, civic groups, and historians looking for research. These tours should be made under reservation by walk-in appointments, a phone call or through emails. The museum operates during Tuesdays and Sundays while Monday is closed for cleaning and maintenance. Admission is free; however, a donation, either monetary or items (artifacts or memorabilia) is accepted and must be addressed to the La Crosse County Historical Society.
While one can enjoy roaming around and looking at the displays at the museum, there is also another area within the building to visit. That is none other than the La Crosse Public Library. This library was established in 1888 and provides library services and programs. This library mainly survives from the taxpayers? budget of La Crosse.
The La Crosse County Historical Society is a non-profit organization that is responsible for the upkeep, maintenance and operation of the library, the Swarthout Museum, the Riverside Museum and the Hixon House. The organization seeks to protect the local history within the area and educates the public, particularly the young children, about their heritage.
The organization hosts a series of events that foretell the town?s history, such as the Spotlight lecture series, the Silent City cemetery tours, period re-enactments, bus trips, and other social events within the community. They also accept anyone who offers historical documents, submit artifacts and allows future historical memorabilia that reflects the heritage of the town. These collected artifacts are displayed at the Swarthout Museum.