FOX2548 & WIProud is excited to announce an original production, a spooky special – Rivertown. In this 30-minute special program, we uncover the historic underbelly of early small-town life in the La Crosse area. Explore the gritty history of our Rivertown with interviews with local historians and dramatic reenactments of the shocking events in our small town’s history. Rivertown will air twice this Halloween season, Sunday October 25th and Saturday October 31st after First News at Nine on FOX2548.
UPDATE: Due to the outpouring of support and excitement for Rivertown FOX2548 will have a third airing of the show on Thursday, November 12th at 6 p.m.
Rivertown will feature three stories of the dark-side of early La Crosse life.
The making of Rivertown La Crosse
Murder in Mormon Coulee
In 1852, the first murder was recorded in La Crosse, involving David Darst and William Watts. The sordid tale of two pioneers shows the violent end to their shared dream of finding riches in the mid-19th Century Frontier.
The Life and Husbands of Emma Cameron
In 1846, Emma and Peter Cameron were the first recorded marriage in La Crosse. Emma, at the age of 22, was getting married for the 4th time. She soon became known around town for her beauty, her sharpshooting skills, and a suspicious number of dead husbands. Peter’s death in 1855 sent Emma into a 40 year legal battle with the City and the Cameron family, over much of what is now downtown La Crosse, including Cameron Park. At the time of her death in 1905, she had married and “outlived” 9 men.
The pit on French Island
In 1918, Dr. Lemial Jones, a 60-year-old veterinary surgeon suffered from Lump Jaw. Jones elaborately planned a day that centered around the creation of his final resting place.
Grab a blanket and get the popcorn ready to explore the spooky, dark-side stories of our Rivertown, La Crosse.
Rivertown La Crosse is an original production by the FOX2548 team. Creative Director, Paul Bjorge, and Producers, Tyler Ike, Wyatt Matson, and Tori Charnetzki.
- John Kabliska as William Watts
- Barry McKnight as David Darst
- Jaclyn Freeberg as Emma Cameron
- Jaye Schmoll as Dr. Lemuel Jones
- Paul Bjorge as Daniel Cameron
Thanks to Anita Doering and Scott Brouer from the La Crosse Public Library, and Therese Berns Samudio for their appearances. Thanks to these organizations for their help in research: La Crosse Public Library, Murphy Library at UW-La Crosse, La Crescent Historical Society, McGregor Historical Museum, and Dahl Automotive. And special thanks to Ron Harris for additional research. Thanks to Norskedalen Nature & Heritage Center, The Court Above Main for their generosity. Rivertown is made possible by our sponsors, Blue Moon, Explore La Crosse, River Bank, and American Home Fireplace & Patio!