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Hillview Health Care Campus - History


The heritage of the Hillview Nursing Home has grown through the many years of dedicated services to the citizens of La Crosse County and the encompassing area.

For many years La Crosse County has been and still is considered the hub of health care to the Greater Western Wisconsin area.

Back to the 1880's, La Crosse County government realized its role in the care of the elderly, poor, and infirmed.  It was then that La Crosse County purchased the present site from the City of          La Crosse for use as a County poor Farm.   In 1894 the first of four structures were completed which provided a central dietary area and sleeping rooms.  In 1937 the second phase provided 30 additional beds to the complex.  In the early 1950s the County Board once again evaluated the needs of the community for health care and agreed to construct a new 167 bed facility.  These structures are today's Carroll Heights Apartments occupying the 1937 and the 1950's building on the Southside of La Crosse, located at the foot of the bluff, near State Road School and Shelby ballfields. 

Another county home during this time was Oak Forest's, whose role in the early 1900's centered on the care of T.B. residents.  In 1960 this facility (located above where the now Harley Davidson is in Onalaska), extended its role to caring for the elderly and in 1966 24 skilled care beds were constructed to meet the needs of the Onalaska area.  In 1973 the in-patient care for T.B. was phased out and Oak Forest devoted its full attention to the care of the elderly. 

With many regulatory requirements not being met in these two facilities and the County Board realizing the continuous importance of caring for the elderly, a decision was made to study the replacement of these buildings began in 1977 (August 18, 1977).

May 11, 1978, the County Board authorizes bonding for the project.  On September 20, 1978, the State of Wisconsin authorized La Crosse County to construct a new and modern 204 (which became 228) bed replacement health care center.  On June 27, 1979 ground-breaking ceremonies and construction began on this complex and the many hours of planning and decision making would soon be a reality.

On April 11, 1981, this dream came true when the residents of the old Hillview (Carroll Heights), moved into their new home (today's Hillview Health Care Center).  On April 14, 1981 the Oak Forest residents moved into Hillview to complete this complex and this exciting endeavor. The old Hillview was eventually converted to today's Carroll Heights Senior Apartments.

The history of La Crosse County health care services has and will continue to be one of excellence, dedication and total support of the County Board.  


Carroll Heights picture 1952 remodeled in 1984

HHC 100 years of caring newsletter

May 17 1953 dedication to La Crosse County Home and Infirmary Building

City Poor Farm 1857

1887-1997 recognition certificate 100 years

layout of the old Hillview 1934 1951 1890



Robert G. Carroll is where Carroll Heights received its name after a county board member.  This was the last county building allowed to be named after a person.  

Carroll Heights is an apartment complex for seniors owned and operated by La Crosse County as an integral part of La Crosse County's health care services.

The present concrete and brick building 1951/1952 was built at a cost of $650,000 and dedicated on May 17, 1953.  From 1953 to February 1, 1982, the building served as a skilled nursing home.  On January 31, 1982, the last nursing home resident moved to the new facility adjoining Carroll Heights. 

On October 20, 1983, the board authorized the renovation project to remodel the building into 62 apartments for seniors 55 years of age or older.  Today we say 62 years of age or older and we consist of 55 apartments.  

In 1984 while construction was still in progress, the first tours were given prospective tenants.  On July 1st, 1984, the first tenants occupied their units.  The units were entirely committed as of the end of January 1985.

The apartments today are in the 4-story structure, sprawling North to South and contains 55 simple senior apartments.  The current 1934 portion of the building remains as well.  It is the 3-story portion projecting to the east.  Currently this area houses the generator, electrical rooms, water softener and maintenance areas on the first floor.  It houses our large dining room on the second floor (formerly known as the nutrition center).  On the fourth floor of the 1934 section is apartment specific storage.  The 1890 portion was demolished and remains buried not far away. 


Hillview Terrace was built to meet an existing need of our current customers.  Many tenants living at Carroll Heights, needed assistance or comfort of having others around them for those simple care needs but did not meet the need of a skilled nursing home nor did they want to pay the cost of a skilled nursing home.  Hillview Terrace also filled a unique need in our community of a simple and secure and most importantly affordable assisted living.  Hillview Terrace was designed using an ala carte pay for service system.  You only pay for the services you need.  Hillview Terrace is a type of assisted living (RCAC) or Residential Care Apartment Complex.  Hillview Terrace opened their doors on December 16, 2011.