Monday, August 6, 2012

LaValle Celebration Time

One of the special collections at the library is the local history collection. We are a collector of histories, photos, and articles on not only Reedsburg but also local communities like LaValle, Loganville, Rock Springs, and Ironton. With the LaValle annual celebration this weekend, we wanted to shine the spotlight on a rare item in our collection, an issue of the LaValle Weekly. One of four papers that were printed in LaValle, this one was published from 1941 to 1943. Many think that LaValle was named because of the French term the “valley” but the June 4, 1941 issue has a different story. H.E. Blank’s local column talked about his interview with Peter LaValle whose father founded LaValle. He stated that his father, Martin LaValle, was born in 1835 in Stevens Point. He studied civil engineering and became a federal surveyor. In order to maintain communication with the Surveying Department of the government, it was necessary to give a locality the name where he was working. So he called it the LaValle Government Post. Martin LaValle, founder, was an Irishman, not French, and the father of three sons. His son Peter was only five when his father died and they were living near Missoula, Montana at the time. Victor lived in Idaho and Markus in Colorado. None of the LaValle brothers had any offspring. So the family name LaValle was doomed with the passing of the three sons of the founder. And now you know the rest of the story…

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