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 Help make local history on the North Side 

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UW-La Crosse’s award-winning community oral history project, Hear, Here is offering a new public class to collect oral histories from the North Side of La Crosse. The class is open to anyone.  

Two consecutive classes, HIS 318 and HIS 418, will be offered to both community members and UWL students. Taught by UWL History Professor Ariel Beaujot, both classes are 15-weeks long.  

Class dates 

  • Sept. 6-Dec. 20
  • Jan. 24 - May 8 

Class times: Wednesday evenings from 5:30-8:15 p.m.   

Location: Black River Beach Neighborhood Center.   

Cost to audit

Audit means taking the course not-for-credit. This class is available to audit. Seniors citizens age 60 or older who are Wisconsin residents can audit for free or a minimal fee, depending on materials needed. Other auditors will pay $246 (Wisconsin resident), $324(Minnesota resident) or $1,062 (non-resident) for the three-credit class.  

Registration information

Registration information is located in the orange information box on the right of your browser.

What will we do in the class?  

The aim of these two courses is to learn about and tell untold local history. The classes will use 30 stories that have already been recorded from UWL’s Oral History Program. Every student will record and edit at least two additional stories during the first semester. It is anticipated the project will include a total of about 70 North Side stories when it launches in April 2024.    

For the first class, HIS 318: Exhibition Development and Design I:  

  • How to conduct oral history interviews  
  • Conducting research on the North Side of La Crosse  
  • Researching stories in archives  
  • Contacting narrators  
  • Conducting interviews and editing them   

For the second class , HIS 418: Exhibition Development and Design II:  

  • Adding stories into the Hear, Here website  
  • Developing a brochure with story locations  
  • Preparing signs and having them mounted  
  • Moving stories into the phone system  
  • Preparing social media and a launch event for the community 

What is Hear, Here? 

Hear, Here is based on the concept that everyday people can share their location-based stories, providing a unique way to communicate history through multiple narratives, including voices that are normally overlooked. 

The basis of the original Hear, Here project was developed by UWL History Professor Ariel Beaujot and her students in 2015. The project provides audio recordings of stories from people of all backgrounds at specific downtown La Crosse locations. The project is now expanding to the North Side of La Crosse. They are accessed by dialing a toll-free number at orange street signs. 

Since 2015, the Hear, Here project has become international, being replicated in London, Canada (2018); Luxemburg Europe (2022); and Guelph Canada (2023). It includes not only stories from the past but poetry and partnerships with other UWL departments, K-12 education and community organizations. Hear, Here has won four major awards in the U.S. and Canada, as well as a provincial award in Ontario.  

“For me the most exciting part is that we get to keep expanding the project worldwide while keeping the original project in La Crosse,” says Beaujot. “We can take pride in such a successful international project originating in La Crosse, Wisconsin.” 

Visit the Hear, Here website

Why the North Side?  

The original Hear, Here project started in downtown La Crosse in 2015. Since then, the project has expanded internationally. Beaujot wanted to expand to the North Side because of its unique history in La Crosse. The North Side started as a separate community, connected to the South Side by a plank road, which is now Copeland Avenue. After the lumber industry crashed at the turn of the 19th century, it was the North Side's industrial growth that employed laborers looking for jobs, and it was this growth that makes La Crosse what it is today. The North Side was the home to factories like the La Crosse Rubber Mills and Electric Auto Lite, and dozens of sawmills that lined the riverbank. The locals supported their own downtown that included a theater, butcher shops, spaces for social groups, a library, and small grocers. As a result, the North Side has its own rich history that should be celebrated, explains Beaujot. 


Register online

Here’s How: 

  • Get Dr. Beaujot’s permission to audit the class by emailing her at   
  • Then apply to UW-La Crosse through the UW System Online Application. When choosing program, select “Senior Citizen Audit.” if not a senior citizen select “Audit” 
  • If you audited a course in the previous semester, you do not need to apply. 

Help with signing up? UW System Help Line 800.442.6459 

Want more information about the course? Dr. Beaujot, 608.785.6798