Poage Park


500 Hood Street
La Crosse, WI 54601


Park Description

Poage Park was opened in the year 1909 and is located on the South side of La Crosse. This park is filled with activity from ice skating in the winter to a large open field and is also located less then a block away from the South Side Neighborhood Center. Poage Park has a newly built playground, shelter, and splash pad. 

Park Amenities

  • Restrooms
  • Open Area
  • Shelter
  • Playground
  • Ice Skating
  • Open Air Patio
  • Splash Pad

Park History

George C. Poage Park, originally named Hood Park, was opened in 1909 by Michael Brewing Company and is located on the south side of La Crosse at 500 Hood Street. The purchase was for $3,900 for the Adams Street Playground. As with Powell Park, it was bought one year after the Board of Park Commissioners was created and was working on establishing a comprehensive park system. Poage Park was designed to have an open field area for games and skating, with a shelter to be constructed as a warming house. In 1910, the skating shelter house was constructed for $567.12. Many years down the road, 1969, a fence was installed around the park.

In June 2013 the name of the park was officially changed from Hood Park to George C. Poage Park.

George C. Poage was the first African American athlete to medal in an Olympic games. Poage came to La Crosse in 1884 at the age of 4 and was an 1899 graduate of La Crosse High School, the second highest in his class. He went on and became a track star at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Shortly after college graduation Poage won a pair of bronze medals in the 200 and 400 meter low hurdles at the 1904 Olympic Games.

The Poage project replaced the existing buildings and playground equipment. Sculpture by Elmer Peterson has been commissioned, and shows four separate renditions of Poage as he clears a hurdle. 

Poage Park Grand Opening Ceremony was held Saturday, August 20th, 2016.