In 1854 two public steam ferries were introduced to the LaCrosse area to run between the Wisconsin and Minnesota shores on the Mississippi River. These were the first ever ferries to exist at LaCrosse.
"One of these, the Honey Eye
, which ran from the foot of State Street to the Minnesota shore at a point below the present railroad bridge, came into the control of Thomas McRoberts, western representative of the Kentucky Company;..." A History Of La Crosse Wisconsin 1841-1900, Sanford & Mirscheimer
On the evening of 3/23/1857, the steam ferry Honey Eye
was crushed by ice at the upper dock at La Crosse, Wisconsin, at the foot of State Street. High water levels later in the spring prevented the recovery of the vessel, and reportedly, it was never raised. The present shoreline at La Crosse extends further offshore than in the 1850's, and the wreckage of the Honey Eye
may possibly be under dry land within the city limits of La Crosse.
The Honey Eye's
remains are believed to be under the present day Riverside (Spence's Landing) Park.
"The rise in the Mississippi has defeated all efforts to raise the large Ferry Boat at the foot of State Street." 05/05/1857 Nat'l Democrat