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Brice Prairie, Wisconsin
Location of Brice Prairie, Wisconsin
Location of Brice Prairie, Wisconsin
Country United States
State Wisconsin
County La Crosse
Town Onalaska
Area
 • Total 4.59 sq mi (11.88 km2)
 • Land 4.59 sq mi (11.88 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation
666 ft (203 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 1,887
 • Density 411.39/sq mi (158.84/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code
54650 (Onalaska)
Area code(s) 608
FIPS code 55-09465
GNIS feature ID 1867653

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

Name

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.

Geography

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).

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.

Demographics

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1990 1,031 —    
2000 1,804 +75.0%
2010 1,887 +4.6%

As of the census of 2000, there were 1,804 people, 654 households, and 516 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 398.0 people per square mile (153.8/km2). There were 691 housing units at an average density of 152.4/sq mi (58.9/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 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 were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

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

In the CDP, the population was 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 were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 106.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.5 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $49,303, and the median income for a family was $49,952. Males had a median income of $31,766 versus $23,472 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $19,295. 3.8% of the population and 2.7% of families were 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 were living below the poverty line.

Recreation

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.

The Baron of Brice Prairie

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.

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