Mystery Place: Before the music, Alpine Valley was farmland

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Ginny Hall | March 17, 2017

This week's column looks at a more recent venue that  mainly is in the town of Lafayette, although a small section of Alpine Valley Resort sits in the town of Spring Prairie. 

The resort opened in December 1964 with ski runs, a golf course, an outdoor pool and tennis courts.

The first summer of concerts, in 1977, included Boz Scaggs, Neil Sedaka, Helen Reddy, Bob Seger, Harry Chapin, Jimmy Buffett, Kansas and Frank Sinatra. Concertgoers also will remember concerts over the years by the Grateful Dead.

Alpine Valley made the news on Aug. 27, 1990, when Stevie Ray Vaughn died when his helicopter crashed in a hill at Alpine Valley.

The ski hill, which is almost 400 feet high, is a popular spot in the winter. There are 18 runs, from beginner to expert, and snowboarding.

Over the years there have been many different owners of land that is now part of Alpine Valley.  Two early landowners in Section 6 in the town of Spring Prairie were George Ward and then Lawrence Kneip.           

The 1919 Prairie Farmer's Reliable Directory of Farmers and Breeders lists Henry Ward living in Section 6 in the town of Spring Prairie on his farm called Spring Brook. His family came to the county in 1853.

That same book lists Guy Moat as the owner of land in sections 1 and 12 in the town of Lafayette.  He married Lizzie M. Swoboda.  Their children were Lloyd A., Melvin M., Virgil E. and Norman W. Their farm was known as Border Farm.

There have been many changes at the resort over the years, but one thing that remains the same is the wood roof pavilion.


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