Trempealeau County, Wisconsin

March 26, 2024

Trempealeau County, Wisconsin

Where Community Thrives


Coming together to profit from a charming past and a dynamic future to look forward to

The essence of Trempealeau County is encapsulated in its small-town charm, nestled within the embrace of nature’s grandeur. With a population of around 30,000, Trempealeau County is a tight-knit community comprised of various municipalities, each possessing its own distinct character. From the bustling streets of Arcadia, home to the renowned Ashley Furniture Industries, to the tranquil village of Ettrick, where neighbors know each other by name, every corner of the county exudes warmth and hospitality.

Dave Carlson, Trempealeau County Economic Development & Tourism Manager, aptly describes, the county’s allure resides not only in its picturesque landscapes but also in its people—the backbone of its strength and resilience. Visitors and newcomers alike are welcomed with open arms, finding solace in the genuine friendliness of its residents.

Anna Ledebuhr, owner of Coulee Boutique in Galesville, articulates the sentiment shared by many who call Trempealeau County home. Despite coming from a larger city background, she was enamored by community and pride permeating every aspect of the county’s life. Whether supporting local businesses or actively engaging in community activities, there’s a shared allegiance to uplifting one another—a sentiment echoed by Cole Bawek, Director of Public Relations at Ashley Furniture Industries.

Challenges and triumphs

In recent years, Trempealeau County has faced its share of challenges, from the decline of industries like frac sand mining to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, adversity has only galvanized the community, sparked innovation, and fostered economic growth. It has demonstrated remarkable resilience in adversity, from embracing digitalization to diversifying industries, local businesses, and organizations.

Joni Olson, CEO of Gundersen Tri-County Hospital and Clinics, exemplifies the strength of Trempealeau County’s healthcare sector. Located in the county seat of Whitehall, Gundersen Tri-County Hospital and Clinics underwent a transformative $52 million project, culminating in the opening of a state-of-the-art critical access hospital and renovated clinic in July of the previous year.

This endeavor addressed a critical rural healthcare need, enhancing the county’s medical infrastructure and reaffirming its commitment to providing high-quality care to residents. Throughout the pandemic, the healthcare community, including Gundersen Tri-County Hospital and Clinics, demonstrated remarkable resilience and determination, navigating overwhelming patient volumes.

Notwithstanding the most challenging circumstances, Trempealeau County remained positive, particularly in its thriving tourism sector. With nationwide declines in visitor spending, the county experienced minimal setbacks, thanks to its abundant outdoor recreational opportunities. As Carlson highlights, “Trempealeau County fared the best of any county in the state of Wisconsin,” with the county’s natural wonders offering solace and rejuvenation, serving as a reminder of the enduring spirit of its people.


Unique investment appeal

Trempealeau County is more than just a place on the map—it’s a testament to the indomitable heart of its residents. As the county continues to navigate the ever-changing landscape, one thing remains constant: its sense of community and camaraderie. In Trempealeau County, the beauty of nature is rivaled only by the warmth of its people—a timeless allure that continues to captivate all who have the privilege of calling it home.

Trempealeau County’s appeal as a prime location for investment and family relocation lies in its unique blend of attributes, as highlighted by the insightful perspectives of its residents and stakeholders.

Rental space and business development

Ledebuhr’s journey as a small business owner in Trempealeau County exemplifies the seamless integration of entrepreneurship into the community’s fabric. For her, the decision to establish Coulee Boutique in the county was not just a business move but also a reflection of the area’s robust industry and supportive business landscape.

“Collaboration is just such a core word here for Trempealeau County,” Ledebuhr expresses. With a strong retail sector complemented by a welcoming community spirit, Trempealeau County fosters an environment where businesses thrive and relationships flourish.

Carlson elaborates on the resurgence of downtown areas within the county, noting a concerted effort to revitalize these spaces. Through strategic investments and community-driven initiatives, downtown districts like Galesville are experiencing a renaissance, attracting entrepreneurs and visitors alike.

The affordability of rental spaces in smaller communities offers a competitive edge, making Trempealeau County an attractive option for budding businesses seeking to establish themselves.

Diverse economy

The county’s allure extends beyond its economic prospects, as Olson emphasizes its workforce’s unmatched work ethic, “it includes manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, healthcare, education, and retail. Not many counties offer a diverse economy that can be sustainable for all the different ups and downs.” The diverse economic landscape ensures sustainability and presents a wealth of opportunities for investment and growth.

Bawek stresses the strategic advantages of locating businesses in Trempealeau County, citing its central location and access to a skilled workforce. With a robust infrastructure and a supportive business ecosystem, the county offers an ideal setting for businesses to thrive and innovate.

Carlson’s vision for a county-wide parks and recreation system also reflects a proactive approach to enhancing the quality of life and fostering community cohesion. As stakeholders collaborate to harness the county’s full potential, Trempealeau County emerges as not just a place on the map but a destination of choice for those seeking prosperity, community, and a high quality of life.

As Ledebuhr’s account of community-focused events demonstrates, the collaborative philosophy that permeates Trempealeau County extends beyond the business realm. Through initiatives like the Downtown Galesville Business Alliance and various festivals across the county, residents and businesses come together to celebrate local culture, promote community pride, and support economic vitality.


Galesville downtown scene.

Ashley for the Arts

Ashley for the Arts is one of Trempealeau County’s flagship cultural events, attracting visitors from the Midwest and beyond. This multi-day festival, held in Arcadia, Wisconsin, unfolds against the backdrop of the picturesque 54-acre Memorial Park. It provides a relaxing setting for attendees to immerse themselves in a vibrant music, arts, and community celebration.

With headline entertainment featuring artists such as Journey, Old Dominion, Fred Michaels, LoCash, and Neil McCoy, Ashley for the Arts offers a diverse lineup that caters to a wide range of musical tastes. From rock and country to pop and beyond, the festival ensures there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

In addition to the stellar musical performances, Ashley for the Arts boasts an extensive art and craft fair, showcasing the talents of over a hundred artisans and vendors. Attendees can peruse various handcrafted goods, including jewelry, pottery, paintings, and more, providing a unique shopping experience while supporting local artists and creators.

What truly sets Ashley for the Arts apart is its commitment to community philanthropy. Since its inception in 2009, the festival has raised over $3 million, with proceeds benefiting more than 70 nonprofit organizations, predominantly local school districts.

The success of Ashley for the Arts wouldn’t be possible without the dedication of its volunteers, numbering over 4,000 individuals who selflessly contribute their time and effort to ensure the smooth operation of the event. Their collective effort showcases the unity and collaboration that characterizes Trempealeau County, featuring the festival’s status as a community-driven initiative.

A bright future for Trempealeau County

The COVID-19 pandemic catalyzed change, opening eyes to new possibilities and highlighting the strength of the county’s tight-knit communities. While other regions faced steep economic declines, Trempealeau County held its own, buoyed by a mutual support and collaboration culture. As remote work becomes increasingly feasible, Trempealeau County has become an attractive destination for those seeking a better work-life balance amidst stunning natural landscapes.

At the heart of Trempealeau County’s success lies its strong healthcare system, prioritizing high-quality, accessible care for all residents. With a focus on preventive care and community wellness, healthcare providers work with residents to ensure the entire community’s well-being. This dedication to health extends beyond medical facilities, encompassing a neighborly care and support culture that defines the county’s identity.

Economic development is thriving in Trempealeau County, driven by diverse industries and a flourishing small business landscape. Smaller communities inspire others to invest in local entrepreneurship and innovation. With a waiting list for commercial properties and a palpable optimism, the future looks bright for Trempealeau County’s economy.

Collaboration, resilience, and a shared vision for advancement shape Trempealeau County’s future trajectory. Across healthcare and economic sectors alike, the county’s prosperity hinges on the strength of community spirit and the unwavering commitment of its residents.


Trempealeau County, Wisconsin

What: A picturesque county, Trempealeau County economy fueled by diverse industries and local entrepreneurship.

Where: Located in west-central Wisconsin, approximately 150 miles southeast of Minneapolis, along the Mississippi River.




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Ashley Furniture Industries, LLC –

Ashley Furniture Industries, LLC (Ashley) feels that every person deserves more value for their money. Established in 1945, Ashley is the largest manufacturer of home furnishings in the world, and was named one of America’s Most Trustworthy Companies by Newsweek in 2023. From design through fulfillment, Ashley is committed to delivering the world’s best home furnishing values, selection and service, and earning the loyalty and trust of its customers every day. Visit Ashley online at and “like” Ashley Furniture Industries on Facebook.

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