Soldier's Grove Relocation


Relocation of the Soldiers Grove Business District: The Village of Soldiers Grove was incorporated in 1888 along the banks of the Kickapoo River in northern Crawford County. Throughout the next 90 years, the village experienced nearly a dozen major floods, each prompting a clean up and re-building process. The proposed La Farge dam was projected to alleviate flooding problems in Soldiers Grove, but in 1975 the decision was made not to build the dam (see History of the La Farge Dam Project inset). A few years later, after the 1978 flood, the citizens of Soldiers Grove decided to give the floodplain back to the river and move its entire business district to higher ground along Highway 61, which no longer traversed the downtown business district. This move was highlighted by another dramatic decision -to make all new buildings energy-efficient and solar-powered. The new Soldiers Grove would be the first business district of its kind in the nation. The move was completed by 1983 and was coupled with relocation of the community well out of the floodplain and the development of a park in the old business district.

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