Black River Falls is a city
County, Wisconsin, United
The population was 3,618 at the 2000
is the county seat of Jackson
Nation has its administrative
center in Black River Falls.
Black River Falls was founded to utilize the waterpower
of the Black River
. As the area was
predominantly forest at the time, its primary use was in operating
. Some of the lumber produced was used in
the construction of the Mormon temple at
A large monument to Black River Falls' veterans of World War I
, World War
, the Korean War
, and the Vietnam War
, as well as to local Medal of Honor
winner Mitchell Red Cloud, Jr.
, was erected
near the Chamber of Commerce Building at 101 S. 2nd Street. Named
the "Field of Honor", the attached plaques provide accounts of the
veterans' services. This site is also the start of the four-mile
(6.5 km) Foundation Trail, a signed hiking and bike path that
circles the eastern part of the community.
Black River Falls is located at (44.297166, -90.849263) . According
to the United States Census
, the city has a total area of 3.2 square miles
), of which, 3.2 square miles
(8.2 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles
(0.3 km²) of it (3.08%) is water.
The city is located on the falls of the Black River
at the northeast edge of
the Driftless Area
, where the river
cuts through a region of granite. The falls are covered by a
, forming the
200-acre Black River Flowage.
As of the census
of 2000, there were 3,618
people, 1,563 households, and 886 families residing in the city.
The population density
1,146.4 people per square mile (442.1/km²). There were 1,679
housing units at an average density of 532.0/sq mi
(205.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.37% White
, 0.19% African American
, 0.08% Pacific Islander
, 0.55% from
, and 0.97%
from two or more races. Hispanic
of any race were 1.16% of the
There were 1,563 households out of which 25.8% had children under
the age of 18 living with them, 43.4% were married couples
living together, 10.2% had a female
householder with no husband present, and 43.3% were non-families.
38.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.6% had
someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average
household size was 2.15 and the average family size was 2.82.
In the city the population was spread out with 20.8% under the age
of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 24.2% from 25 to 44, 21.3% from 45 to
64, and 24.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was
42 years. For every 100 females there were 87.1 males. For every
100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $33,555, and the
median income for a family was $46,222. Males had a median income
of $31,481 versus $18,519 for females. The per capita income
for the city was
$21,532. About 3.7% of families and 7.7% of the population were
below the poverty line
, including 5.4%
of those under age 18 and 10.4% of those age 65 or over.
While the logging and lumber industry is still present in the area,
the current economy leans heavily on agriculture
Several locations support the tourism industry. Lake Arbutus, a
839-acre impoundment of the river, lies several miles northeast, as
does the multi-use Levis/Trow trail system.
Black River Falls is home to a casino
and hotel operated by the Ho-Chunk
Nation. Much of the surrounding land is
part of the Black River State Forest
City Hall, located at 101 S. 2nd St, houses the mayor, Ron
Danielson, the city clerk/treasurer, the Parks and Recreation
Department, and the Police Department. Offices for Jackson County
are located on Main Street.
Black River Falls High
Old High School
, the city's public high school located on the
southwestern edge of town, is administered by the Black River Falls
School District. The former high school, in the center of the city,
has been converted to apartments. Western Technical College
classes in the city.
Despite its size, Black River Falls has two newspapers, both
published weekly: the Banner-Journal
and the Jackson
WWIS Radio operates the only radio stations in Black River Falls:
WWIS 1260AM and WWIS 99.7FM. The AM station operates only during
Black River Falls is the focus of Michael
's book Wisconsin Death
(1973), which used photographs and newspaper cuttings
to highlight the harshness of life in the community during the late
nineteenth century and the effects it had on the psychology of the
inhabitants. The book was made into a film in 2000, which included
images from the community as it appears today. However the claim
that all the stories took place in and around Black River Falls is
false. Many/ majority of the stories origins are from all over the
state and not just this one city.
The Black River Falls area is home to a large population of the
. The city celebrates
with the Karner Blue Butterfly Festival held annually on the second
Saturday of July.
The primary artery of transportation for Black River Falls is
, which passes through
the eastern edge of the city. US Highway
, Wisconsin Highway 27
and Wisconsin Highway 54
pass through the city.
The Union Pacific Railroad
adjacent to the city, but does not pass through the center.