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Onalaska

Trip Planner USA  /  Wisconsin  /  Onalaska
(4.1/5 based on 60+ reviews for 1 attraction)
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Onalaska is a city in La Crosse County, Wisconsin. The population was 17,736 at the 2010 census.Onalaska is built on a slightly elevated ridge above the Black River. Natural areas include both river bottom land and high, heavily wooded, scenic bluffs. A man-made reservoir at the city's western edge is known as Lake Onalaska. Onalaska is known as "The Sunfish Capital of the World."HistoryThe original village was platted by Thomas G. Rowe and John C. Laird in 1851. In its early days, lumbering and related industries served as a basis for its economy.The name for the city comes from the poem, "The Pleasures of Hope", by the Scottish poet Thomas Campbell. The original spelling of the name in Campbell's poem was "Oonalaska" .Other places named Onalaska are in Arkansas, Texas and Washington; they are historically linked to one another through the lumber industry. In Alaska, the modern day city of Unalaska and Unalaska Island are linked to the Onalaskas through Thomas Campbell's poem. Unalaska is the original Oonalaska or Onalaska or "Ounalashka" immortalized by Campbell.GeographyAccording to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.73sqmi, of which, 10.13sqmi is land and 0.60sqmi is water.Onalaska lies immediately north of La Crosse, Wisconsin, on the Black River. It is the second largest city in La Crosse County.
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