La Crosse Area Archaeological Society (LAAS) was the first archaeological organization in the Coulee Region. LAAS was started in 1977 when Dr. James Gallagher first moved to La Crosse and discovered the area’s enormous interest in archaeology. The LAAS was founded to meet this interest and provide monthly programs and activities (field trips, volunteer opportunities, etc.) for avocational archaeologists and the general public.
In 1982 the Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center (MVAC) was formed. It was organized as one of the early public archaeology institutions in the nation. With its public orientation, MVAC began offering more and more volunteer opportunities, field work, public programs, etc. As this took place the lines between MVAC and LAAS became more blurred. In 1997 LAAS ended and members were encouraged to join Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center.
LAAS was the first archaeological organization in the Coulee Region and really got archaeology started in the Coulee Region.
Pictured is an early LAAS t-shirt.