Explore Chippewa Valley History
City Directories 1880-1923
Eau Claire City Directories: In collaboration with the ResCarta Foundation, the 1880-1923 city directories for Eau Claire are now on the Library’s website.
All the directories can be searched at one time by choosing just “City Directories” or choose which one you want to look at. (These directories and those newer than 1923 can also be found in the Library’s Reference area and in Special Collections.) You may also click below on a year to search a particular directory.
Eau Claire Historical Photographs
The library has partnered with the Chippewa Valley Museum to provide access to its significant collection of photographs depicting life in Eau Claire and in the surrounding area.
Collection access will continue to grow, so check back. In collaboration with the ResCarta Foundation, these photographs may be searched all at once or by clicking on an individual collection. Collections:
|All About Music
Downtown Eau Claire
Farms and Farming
|Summer Sports and Recreation
Browse Entire Collection
Eau Claire Histories
In collaboration with the ResCarta Foundation, these Eau Claire area histories from the Library’s Special Collections area are now on the Library’s website. All the histories can be searched at one time by choosing just “Local Area History” or choose which one you want to look at.
Take a trip and discover the bygone days of the great logging era in Wisconsin and the Chippewa Valley, the early history of Eau Claire and more through these historical videos.
The Wisconsin Loggers Malcolm Rosholt (1907-2005), author of The Wisconsin Logging Book. 1839-1939 (1980) and Lumbermen on the Chippewa (1982) takes a nostalgic overview of the great logging era in Wisconsin from the last half of the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th century.
Part 1: King of the Woods (1989) (44:33 min.)* Takes the viewer into the lumber camps and into the woods. Includes a re-enactment of an actual logging operation staged in a pine forest of Marathon County featuring modern day lumberjacks using axes, crosscut saws, canthooks, sleighs and horses. Part 1A (15:16 min.) Part 1B (15:16 min.) Part 1C (14:01 min.)
Part 2: Rivers and Raftsmen (1990) (42:38)* Features log driving crews, dams and sorting works on the northern rivers concluding with the rafting of lumber to market on the Wisconsin, Chippewa an Mississippi Rivers. Part 2A (15:16 min. Part 2B (15:16 min.) Part 2C (12:06 min.)
Part 3: Sawmills and Sawdust (1990) (40:10 min.)* Takes the viewer into an authentic “up and down” sawmill of the type used before the advent of the circular saw. Live footage also includes visits to modern sawmills at Neopit and Tigerton, Wisconsin and concludes with the making of a model lumber raft, built to scale, plus old photographs of the great rafting fleets en route to market. Part 3A (15:15 min.) Part 3B (15:16 min.) Part 3C (09:38 min.)
The Fallin’ of the Pine: Logging on the Chippewa River, 1850-1900* (Produced and written by Daniel J. Perkins and Richard L. Pifer) (1986?) (15:16 min.) History of the Chippewa Valley told through vintage pictures.
Remembering the Valley (by Will Denson) (1993) (123:30 min.)* A musical based on the early history of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. (Presented at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire June 14-26, 1993) (Director: Merlaine Angwall Thomson) Part 1 (31:34 min.) (Note: a “fade from black” occurs during the first four and one half minutes of Part 1) Part 2 (31:34 min.) Part 3 (31:36 min.) Part 4 (28:46 min.)
Front Door, Back Door: a History of Changing Attitudes in the Chippewa Valley (Chippewa Valley Museum, Produced and Directed by Harry Carnes, written by Sharon Hildebrand) (1998) (26 min.)* Part 1 (17:02 min.) Uses historical and contemporary photographs and on-site photography to present the history of the use of rivers and public attitudes about rivers in the Chippewa Valley. Part 2 (7:52 min.)
*This work is covered under its original copyright and is not in the public domain. The work is available for educational purposes only and any other use of the material by anyone is prohibited without the written consent of the copyright holder or subsequent holders.
High school life in the early years of Eau Claire Senior High.
The Kodak, the annual yearbook issued by Eau Claire High School, Eau Claire Senior High and currently Memorial High School, is digitized on the library’s website from 1900 through 1923 and in print form in the library’s Special Collections from 1893 to the present. View copies of the Kodak from 1900-1923.
All copies of the Kodak are found in Special Collections and may be requested at the Information and Reference desk for use in the library.
Contact Information & Reference at 715-839-5004 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Online Historical Texts
The following titles are links to full-text web pages. These materials are also available from the library in book format.
Sketches of Wisconsin Pioneer Women. [n.d.-author lived 1866-1925]
Three Wisconsin Cushings: a Sketch of the Lives of Howard B., Alonzo H., and William B. Cushing, Children of the Pioneer Family of Waukesha County. 1910.
Description and Travel
Frontier Retreat on the Upper Ohio.
Geography and Geology
The Antiquities of Wisconsin, as Surveyed and Described. . (571.9 L31a)
Government and Politics
The Bench and Bar of Wisconsin. 1882. (340.09 R251b)
Indians of North America
History of the Ojibways, Based upon Traditions and Oral Statements. 1885. (970.3 Oj3w2)
Down the Great River; Embracing an Account of the Discovery of the True Source of the Mississippi, Together with Views, Descriptive and Pictorial, of the Cities, Towns, Villages and Scenery on the Banks of the River, as Seen During a Canoe Voyage of Over Three Thousand Miles from It’s Head Waters to the Gulf of Mexico. 1891. (917.7 G469d)
Wisconsin and Its Resources: With Lake Superior, It’s Commerce and Navigation; Including a Trip Up the Mississippi, and a Canoe Voyage on the St. Croix and Brule Rivers to Lake Superior; to which Are Appended, the Constitution of the State, with the Routes of the Principal Railroads, List of Postoffices, etc. 1857. (977.5 R51)
History of Methodism in Wisconsin. In Four parts. Part III being written by Rev. James Lawson. 1890. (287.B43h)
History of the Churches and Ministers Connected with the Presbyterian and Congregational Convention of Wisconsin: and of the American Home Missionary Society in the State for the Past Ten Years; with and Appendix. 1861. (285 C56h, WISC)
Rural Highways of Wisconsin. 1906. (625 H79)
Wisconsin – Civil War
An Artilleryman’s Diary. (973.781 J718a Wisc)
The Camp, the Battle Field, and the Hospital: or, Lights and Shadows of the Great Rebellion. Including Adventures of Spies and Scouts, Thrilling Accidents, Daring Exploits, Heroic Deeds, Wonderful Escapes, sanitary and Hospital Scenes, Prison Scenes. . (973.7 B782c)
The Military History of Wisconsin: a Record of the Civil and Military Patriotism of the State, in the War for the Union, with a History of the campaigns in Which Wisconsin Soldiers Have Been Conspicuous-Regimental Histories-Sketches of Distinguished Officers-the Role of the Illustrious Dead-Movements of the Legislature and State Officers, etc. 1866. (973.7475 Q44m, WISC)
A Narrative of Service with the Third Wisconsin Infantry. 1912. (973.781 H592, WISC) Volume I,
Story of the Service of Company E: and the Twelfth Wisconsin Regiment, Veteran Volunteer Infantry, in the War of the Rebellion. Beginning with September 7th, 1861 and Ending with July 21st, 1865. 1893. (973.7 R67s WISC)
Tabular Statements of the Census Enumeration and the Agricultural, Dairying and Manufacturing Interests of the State of Wisconsin. :Also, Alphabetical List of the Soldiers and Sailors of the Civil War Residing in the State June 1, 1905. 1906. (317.75 W752t, WISC)
Tabular Statements of the Census Enumeration and the Agricultural, Mineral, and Manufacturing Interests of the State of Wisconsin. Also Alphabetical List of the Soldiers and Sailors of the Late War Residing in the State June 20, 1895. 1896. (317.75 W811t 1895)
Wisconsin At Vicksburg : report of the Wisconsin-Vicksburg Monument Commission, including the story of the campaign and siege of Vickburg in 1865 with special reference tot he activities therin of Wisconsin troops (973.7344 R671 w, Wisc)
Wisconsin in the War of the Rebellion; a History of All Regiments and Batteries the State Has Sent to the Field, and Deeds of Her Citizens, Governors and Other Military Officers, and State and National Legislators to Suppress the Rebellion. 1866. (973.7 L94)
Wisconsin Losses in the Civil War: a List of the Names of the Names of Wisconsin Soldiers Killed in Action, Mortally Wounded or Dying from Other Causes in the Civil War, Arranged According to Organization, and Also in a Separate Alphabetical List. 1915. (973.76 Es81w, WISC)
Wisconsin – History
Book of Words: a Pageant of the Old Northwest. 1911. (791.624 St47b, WISC)
History of the Territory of Wisconsin, from 1836 to 1848/ Preceded by an Account of Some events During the Period in Which It Was Under the Dominion of Kings, States or Other Territories to the Year 1836. 1885. (977.5 St8)
History of Wisconsin Under the Dominion of France. (977.501 H353h)
An Illustrated History of the State of Wisconsin. Being a Complete Civil, Political, and Military History of the State, from its First Exploration Down to 1875. 1875. (977.5 T881)
Memorial Record of the Wisconsin, Containing Sketches of the Lives and Careers of the Members of the Constitutional Conventions of 1846 and 1847-8. With a History of Early Settlement in Wisconsin. 1880. (977.503 T257m)
Wisconsin in Three Centuries, 1634-1905; Narrative of Three centuries in the Making of an American Commonwealth Illustrated with Numerous Engravings of Historic Scenes and Landmarks, Portraits and Facsimiles of Rare Prints, Documents and Old maps. [c1906]. (977.5 C15)
Memoirs of France and the Eighty-Eighth Division, being a Review without Official Character of the Experiences of the “Cloverleaf” Division in the Great World War from 1917 to 1919, With Special Histories of the 352nd Inf., 337th F.A. and 339th F.A.. 1920. (940.917 M51)
Wisconsin in the World War; and Account of the Activities of Wisconsin citizens During the Great World War, Giving in Part the Record of a Loyal State and Acknowledging in Parts Its Devotion and Untiring Service to the Nation and to Its Ideals for a Lasting and Benevolent Democracy. 1919. (P688w, WISC)
Finch Family Letters
Letters and Documents from the Finch and Pierce families, who lived in the Chippewa Valley. These letters were donated to the library from the family.
Letter to a Finch from Martha Finch