Arcadia was founded and settled by four men from Dodge County, Wisconsin, Collins Bishop, George Dewey, George Shelley and James Broughton. They arrived in the autumn of 1855 and Bishop hired Broughton and a Mr. Davis to build a house on his land.

In 1856, the settlers petitioned to become a town. They needed a name for the new town, which up until this time had been called Bishop's Settlement, for its founder, or Barntown, for the many barns built by the early settlers. At a meeting, the women of the settlement were given the privilege of naming the town. Mrs. David Bishop offered the name Arcadia, which had been suggested to her by Noah Comstock. Comstock, a well travelled resident, said that the area reminded him of the mountain region of far away Greece, where the Arcadian peasants led a life of simple contentment amidst their wild surroundings.

At the first town meeting, in the Spring of 1857, Bishop was elected chairman. The first school was started that year, with Sarah McMasters the first teacher. George Shelley opened a store, and Albro C. Matterson started a blacksmith shop the next year, 1858. Dr. Briggs and David Massuere began work on a flour mill in 1860, but all development slowed to a crawl while the Civil War raged, and the mill didn't begin operation until after the war.

By 1867 times began to improve leading up a big boost in 1873 with the completion of the Green Bay and Lake Pepin Railroad. There was some difficulty planning the railroad's route. Its final placement along the Trempealeau River caused the town of Arcadia to move from the original upper town to the lower town where it is located today. The story is told that part of the reason for the final location of the railroad was that the person that owned the land in lower Arcadia gave the railroad the right of way so that the rest of his land would become more valuable. Arcadia has suffered from regular flooding ever since. The railroad was important to the growth of Arcadia and still plays an important role in its continued prosperity.

We have created this website to share some of the rich history of Arcadia. Please take a little time visiting our web pages which include mostly historic views of the Arcadia Area. Our museum is available for a far more in-depth study of the history of our area. Please visit us sometime.

(Rolling Through Time: Trempealeau River Valley Towns and Trains, by Clarence Crum)


In the beginning, before Dodge was born, it was home to the Winnebago Indians (now known as the Ho Chunk Nation.) Chief Decorah ruled the tribe from a village at the mouth of the Black River. In about 1854 Michael Cierzan became the first settler of Dodge, but the town was not named until 1866, or platted until 1874. It was never incorporated.

A stagecoach line served Dodge on a route from Trempealeau to Fountain City and Arcadia before the coming of the train. The horses were rested and changed in Dodge.

Land for the railroad line through Dodge was donated by Fred Hoesley (1851-1936) and the first train arrived in Dodge carrying passengers, freight and express mail in December 1875. Dodge was named for William E. Dodge, a New York Philanthropist and Banker who engaged in the construction of a railroad through the Trempealeau River Valley in 1873.

Dodge drew a bustling business from both sides of the fertile Trempealeau River valley. It had a bank, three general stores and four taverns. Fred and Rosa Hoesley built the Dodge Hotel and for many years accommodated salesmen, visitors and railroad workers. The town also boasted a saw mill, creamery, three blacksmith shops and a school. The church was built in the "sister city"; of Pine Creek about two miles away. Louis Literski was an early postmaster and merchant in Dodge from 1889-1897.

During the Prohibition Era there was a whiskey still located just north of Dodge on the Alex Pellowski farm. The sugar for the still was brought in by rail to Dodge and then trucked north to the farm. The still ran for about three months. The finished product was transported by automobiles with tanks built under their seats to Chicago. Al Capone, the famous gangster, financed the operation of the still.

Another contribution to the history of Dodge was the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp located near the south edge of the town on the former John D Herek farm in 1933. The CCC was part of the New Deal programs of Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Dodge camp was one of Wisconsin's largest.

(Rolling Through Time: Trempealeau River Valley Towns and Trains, by Dave Hoesley)

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Glencoe was organized around St. Joseph Catholic Church in 1857. In 1867, a new church was built and dedicated by Fr. Spitzenberger who attended it from Fountain City. St. Joseph Church was made a mission of the OLPH Church in Arcadia from 1888 to its closing in 1947. The church bell from St. Joseph resides in the Bell Tower of the Museum.


North Creek

North Creek lies wholly in the town of Arcadia. The name came to be applied this way: In the early pioneer days the valley was north from the Bishop settlement (now Arcadia) and hence was called North Creek. North Creek refers to a little trout stream that divides the North Creek Valley, running from east to west and emptying into the Trempealea River. Its very first settlers were Polish families - those of Albert Bautsch, Joseph Stanoskey and a man named Weaver, who settled there in 1867, and who was soon followed by Louis Wojczik and others in 1868, 1869, and 1870. Thereafter, up to 1875, Polish families continued to come in and the valley became the very first Polish settlement north of the ridge in the county. The public school was built on the north half of the northeast quarter of 26-21-9, and a church was built nearby with a cemetery in 1872-1873. St. Michael's Parish church was destroyed by fire in 1920 and the current building was constructed shortly thereafter. A school was built near the church in 1887. This original building burnt in 1909 with a new school constructed in 1910. In 1940, the school became part of the Arcadia Public School systemThis is a text! You can edit, move, copy or delete it.




The Waumandee country was first settled in 1853 by Henry Mueller and Mathias Profitlitch. A short time later Theodore Meuli settled in the Big Waumandee Valley. In 1854 came Ulich Knecht, J. H. Manz, and probably John Bringolf. Robert Henry came here that year, and then returned to Racine for his family, which be brought here the following spring, making the trip here with an ox team and a covered wagon.
(Deleted section - List of settlers)

At the first election Robert Henry was elected chairman and town superintendent, and Levi Card town clerk. At that time there was no mill in operation in this valley or neighborhood and the earliest settlers were obliged to go to Rollingstone to get their grain reduced to flour. That they had to get groceries and other necesssary things in Fountain City or Alma was a matter of course. In 1862 Caspar Schmitz and his wife came to the Big Waumandee and began to keep store and saloon near the Catholic Church. The organization of the town was begun by a resolution of the county board March 13 1856 and about 1870-1880 could boast to two stores, two taverns and several blacksmith shops in different parts of the township.

Waumandee post office was established in 1857 with J. H. Manz as postmaster. Waumandee village was platted June 27 1871. Anchorage post office was established February 12, 1868 with Robert Henry as postmaster.
(History of Buffalo and Pepin Counties Wisconsin, Compiled by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, 1919)

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"Marshland was asleep in its early years. There was only the early settler traffic following Trail #35. Its existence was hardly noticed. Building the Green Bay railroad in 1873, the workers needed a place to stay along with entertainment and liquor. The Marshland House became a realilty. " " The activity started as passengers needed a place to transfer between trains. This is when Marshland really developed because of the railroad junction. A depot had to be built for the travelers to change trains and purchase tickets, a well drilled for the water tower, and spurs had to be built in a yard to transfer freight cars. It also had a saloon with a post office for handling the mail in the area as well as transferring the mails between trains and stages that were still operating."

"In July of 1874, work was to commence on a turn table where the engines could be turned around for the return trip to Green Bay."

"In 1874, Ketchum & Company operated a steam and water sawmill in Marshland that produced lumber and large quantities of timber for the trestle work in the area. ... This was a cheap way for the settlers to get lumber they needed and gave the company more business then they could handle."

Marshland & Whistler's Pass on Trail #35 by Ron Galewski



Pine Creek

This is a text! You can edit, move, copy or delPine Creek put down roots in 1862 when John Schmangle settled there. In 1863, there were no improved roads into Pine Creek. The market points were Trempealeau Village and Fountain City all the year around, and Winona when the river was frozen. With no improved road over the ridge, communication with Arcadia was most difficult. A mill was built in Pine Creek in the 1860's. It was washed out by a flood in 1872 and was not rebuilt.ete it.