The group was named the...
The group was named the 'Grandad Sky Rockers' in 1929 only a few months after the market crash of the Great Depression that had already gripped the farm economy of the Midwest. As a sign of optimism and faith, The Original 10 donated $10 each of their own money, purchased fireworks from a catalog and started the formal tradition of the New Year's Eve fireworks from atop Grandad's Bluff.
Mississippi Crossing at La Crosse
"Life on the Mississippi"
As the Mississippi saunters its way southward to the Gulf of Mexico from the northwoods of Minnesota, there are places where it broadens out into wide basins that resemble lakes. How much of this is due to the Army Corps of Engineers, and how much to the Mississippi's own lassitude, I can't say.
Mark Twain passed through here in 1878, as he was undertaking the riverboat journey that he transformed into "Life on the Mississippi." There's some wonderful writing in it. I recommend it if you are planning to spend anytime along the Big River.
"We added several passengers to our list at La Crosse; among others an old gentlemen who had come to this northwestern region with the early settlers, and was familiar with every part of it. Pardonably proud of it, too. He said, 'You'll find scenery between here and St. Paul that can give the Hudson points. You'll have the Queen's Bluff - seven hundred feet high, and just as imposing a spectacle as you can find anywheres; and Trempeleau Island, which isn't like any other island in America, I believe, for it is a gigantic mountain, with precipitous sides, and is full of Indian traditions, and used to be full of rattlesnakes; if you catch the sun just right there, you will have a picture that will stay with you. And above Winona you'll have lovely prairies; and then come to the Thousand Islands, too beautiful for anything; green? why you never saw foliage so green, nor packed so thick; it's like a thousand plush cushions afloat on a looking glass. . ."