Houska Park was started as a gift to the City of La Crosse in December 1909. John Paul Lumber Company and C.L. Colman Lumber Company gave the entire tract of land known as "Isle La Plume."
In 1937, the La Crosse's Disposal plant was completed on Isle La Plume. Alderman Joseph Houska had the idea that the unusual connotation of a disposal plant could be eliminated by surrounding it with well planned grounds, both functional and attractive. It was named Isle La Plume Park.
A few years later in 1942, construction began for the park, which was once a marshy area used to dispose of rubbish. Sand was used to fill this area in and then it was covered with black loam. At this same time, donations came in from private citizens and organizations to beautify the area. A stone fireplace was donated by AF of L, the horseshoe courts and equipment from E.A. Tausche, and the entrance pylon was donated by the Elks Club.
In 1947, the parks name was changed from Isle La Plume to Houska Park. The parks control was transferred from the Department of Public Works to the Park Department in 1951. After a few years of control, the Park Department had an open shelter with a three story tower (for the view of the river) constructed (1968). New restrooms were constructed in 1981.