Brice Prairie, Wisconsin

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Brice Prairie, Wisconsin
Location of Brice Prairie, Wisconsin
Location of Brice Prairie, Wisconsin
Coordinates: 43°56′24″N 91°18′37″W / 43.94000°N 91.31028°W / 43.94000; -91.31028Coordinates: 43°56′24″N 91°18′37″W / 43.94000°N 91.31028°W / 43.94000; -91.31028
CountryUnited States
CountyLa Crosse
 • Total4.5 sq mi (11.7 km2)
 • Land4.5 sq mi (11.7 km2)
 • Water0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation666 ft (203 m)
 • Total1,887
 • Density420/sq mi (160/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
Area code(s)608
FIPS code55-09465[2]
GNIS feature ID1867653[1]

Brice Prairie is a census-designated place (CDP) in La Crosse County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 1,887 at the 2010 census.[3] Brice Prairie is located in the town of Onalaska.

It is also an urban reserve area of the city of Onalaska as noted in that municipality's Smart Growth Comprehensive Plan.


Brice Prairie is named after pioneer farmers Alexander and Lucy Brice, who settled there in 1855. Alexander was a United States veteran of the War of 1812.[4]


Brice Prairie is located at 43°56′24″N 91°18′37″W / 43.94000°N 91.31028°W / 43.94000; -91.31028 (43.939909, -91.310356).[5]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 4.5 square miles (11.7 km²), all of it land.

Brice Prairie borders Lake Onalaska and the Black River to the south and west. Halfway Creek empties into Lake Onalaska at the southeastern corner of Brice Prairie. This CDP also borders the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, La Crosse District. Historically, the area has been divided into Lower Brice Prairie and Upper Brice Prairie.


Historical population

As of the census[2] of 2000, there are 1,804 people, 654 households, and 516 families residing in the CDP. The population density is 398.0 people per square mile (153.8/km²). There are 691 housing units at an average density of 152.4/sq mi (58.9/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP is 96.29% White, 0.28% African American, 1.50% Native American, 0.72% Asian, 0.22% from other races, and 1.00% from two or more races. 1.05% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 654 households out of which 41.1% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 68.8% are married couples living together, 5.8% have a female householder with no husband present, and 21.1% are non-families. 15.9% of all households are made up of individuals and 5.0% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.76 and the average family size is 3.08.

In the CDP, the population is spread out with 29.2% under the age of 18, 6.3% from 18 to 24, 34.6% from 25 to 44, 23.6% from 45 to 64, and 6.3% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 35 years. For every 100 females, there are 106.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 102.5 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP is $49,303, and the median income for a family is $49,952. Males have a median income of $31,766 versus $23,472 for females. The per capita income for the CDP is $19,295. 3.8% of the population and 2.7% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 1.0% of those under the age of 18 and 11.6% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.


The Upper Brice Prairie Landing, and Mosey Landing both offer access to Lake Onalaska and the Mississippi River, Lytles Landing is a canoe landing offering access to the Black River. The Great River State Bike Trail runs along Brice Prairie, and the Midway Railroad Prairie State Natural Area encompasses the eastern entrance to the prairie. Neighborhood parks are in residential areas, including Swarthout Park.

Brice Prairie holds an outdoor music festival the fourth Saturday in August. "Rockin' The Prairie" is held at the Brice Prairie 1st Responder building. Proceeds benefit Brice Prairie EMS and Rescue.[6]

Public safety[edit]

Brice Prairie is served by Brice Prairie EMS and Rescue and the Holmen Fire Department. Law Enforcement coverage is provided by the La Crosse County Sheriff's Department, with mutual aid provided by both the Onalaska Police Department, and Holmen Police Department.

The Baron of Brice Prairie[edit]

Brice Prairie's most famous former resident and landowner was industrialist and philanthropist Vern Dale, who was known as "The Baron of Brice Prairie." Dale, a World War I veteran, was born in Galesville, Wisconsin. Former La Crosse County Sheriff Karl "Butch" Halverson once referred to Dale as "The Patriarch of Onalaska and Brice Prairie." Prior to his death, Vern Dale, president of Outers Laboratories, owned homes in both the City of Onalaska, Wisconsin, and Brice Prairie.[7][8]


  1. ^ a b "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  3. ^ "American FactFinder". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 29 March 2011.
  4. ^ Asbury Cemetery Archived October 15, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  6. ^ "Onalaska's Rockin' the Prairie draws hundreds of visitors". WKOW. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  7. ^
  8. ^

External links[edit]