The old train depot in La Crosse

The small town of La Crosse is in the "Potato District" of Florida, about 15 miles north of Gainesville. Other products grown in the area include vegetables, tobacco and beef cattle. Back in the days of King Cotton, La Crosse was a larger and more affluent town.

La Crosse was founded by John Eli Futch. He was a cotton buyer and he built his home near his store and warehouse here. The store shortly became the first post office and it was Mrs. Futch who named the town "La Crosse." The post office was established in 1881, the town incorporated in 1897. Business was good and the town had two cotton gins and grist mills, then came the boll weevil and ended the cotton era. Another prominent industry in the area was "Naval stores" (turpentine, primarily) but that business ended in the 1940's. Business was shifting into the growing of potatoes and to facilitate that shipping, a large cooper's shed was built in La Crosse to make barrels. That worked well up until the railroad stopped running and the freight business moved to using trucks.

The population of La Crosse is up more than 150% since 2000.