Wednesday, Feb. 10th, 2010

Creepy stuff at Banbury Place

Yesterday, people working over in Banbury Place, Building 13 smelled something weird. So they called the fire department, and after searching for a few hours, our hunky local firefighters found something odd ...

  • Firefighters say they found the odor coming from several plastic drums on the second floor. Firefighters were able to get the drums out of the building and the chemicals are now being sent to a lab for testing. Two occupants in the building were taken to the hospital after complaining of irritation. (

No word on whether those plastic drums a) belong to a business renting space in Banbury; b) were left over from the ol’ tire plant days; or c) were left there to rot by a covert CIA task force investigating local cattle abductions.

And we may never know. All we know with absolute uncertainty is this and this.

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Jack the Chaser is a Nuisance
February 9, 1904

Jack the Chaser is a Nuisance
Unknown crank who pursues women and girls after dark.
Eau Claire Weekly Telegram | February 9, 1904

Eau Claire- A man described as elderly, slim, about medium height and “stoop shouldered,” has been pursuing women and girls after dark in the Third Ward. He was seen the other night on State St, where he scared a girl who was on her way to the house where she is employed. She ran for dear life, and when she was near home he disappeared.

It is expected that this fellow is the same one who has been making a nuisance of himself on the North Side Hill, scaring girls by chasing them, peeking into windows and making himself generally obnoxious. He is likely to be landed in the county jail next time he makes an appearance.

Chad’s Take- Just Another Chippewa Valley Character!

When you factor out all of the chasing and terrifying women, “Jack the Chaser” has to be the coolest nickname anyone in the Chippewa Valley has ever had. Every once and awhile I stumble across a story like this that truly makes me pine for the good ol’days of the Chippewa Valley. Obliviously I am not advocating that people should go around acting obnoxiously in the Chippewa Valley (Water Street excluded), but I am extremely curious for more information about this unique character. According to the article, the unknown man seemed to strangely combine the actions of a Peeping Tom with that of a stalker. I decided to do some searching and much to my surprise, “Jack the Chaser” was not exclusively a Chippewa Valley phenomenon. In 1891, a town in Ohio had several reports of Jack the Chaser. In 1896, a town in Kansas was also being plagued by a similar man also dubbed Jack the Chaser. With some further research I discovered that reports of Jack the Chaser had surfaced all over the country including:

  • Pennsylvania 1898
  • Indiana 1901
  • California 1902
  • New Jersey 1906
  • South Dakota 1919
  • Iowa 1931
  • New York 1937

The list of mysterious men all exhibiting very similar behaviors goes on and on. Although I had never heard of such a character it appears that during the early to mid 1900s the country was flush with these odd men. I was unable to determine if the chaser was ever captured in Eau Claire, but I can tell you that the thought of encountering a horrifying stooped-shouldered elderly man makes my evening Chippewa Valley walks much more exciting.

Keep an eye out ….

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Tuesday, Feb. 9th, 2010

The Valley shoots Menomonie's Ben Teegarden

Collaborations between visual art and music seem to be on the rise in our area, with new events popping up every day. Students at UW-Stout have created a venue for this with Gallery 111, a new art space in Menomonie, Wis. Ben Teegarden, who I’ve known from the open mic circuit in Green Bay, has been active in the creation of the gallery, providing tracks for a benefit album and playing at the opening. It made sense, then, to film where he would be comfortable.

... for more videos and photos of Ben Teegarden, check out The Valley.

  • The Valley is a collection of musical performances with the Chippewa Valley as a backdrop. The project is headed by three students at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire who may have only minimal experience, but a passion for their community and the art that surrounds it. (The Valley is inspired by Vincent Moon's Takeaway shows, available at La Blogotheque.)

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Show Review: Deedles + Leiah Webb @The Mousetrap

It was an evening of firsts.  I feel somewhat ashamed admitting this, music fan that I am, but this was the first time I have ever been into the Mousetrap.  It is a great venue for music!  I really like the layout, where the people who want to sit at the bar, are away from the people who are there for the music.  The Mousetrap, with its combined storefronts allow this ability.

It was also my first time to see this band.  And, Deedles, on tour from their home in Kansas is an interesting band.  Sometime back they visited the Mousetrap somewhat regularly as the band DeWayn Brothers, a more traditional bluegrass band. Their sound now, I want to call it sort of, country/bluegrass meets punk rock.  I really liked it.  Vocals from lead singer Jamie Briggeman were crystal clear, perfectly on key, and flawlessly timed.  On top of it, where many musicians play their music and sing, Briggeman adds facial expressions. When she is singing, you find yourself there for her.

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Madison News: Brothers Bar totally suing UW-Madison tells us the ugly story of a Madison turf war betwixt the University of Wisconsin at Madison and a lil’ watering hole known as Brothers. They say ...

  • Brothers Bar and Grill has been on the corner of University Ave. and Lake St. since 1967. 2 years ago, the University voted to use its powers of eminent domain to condemn the bar to make way for an expansion of the School of Music.
  • Brothers owner Marc Fortney says the use of eminent domain is unfair. He says he doesn't want to move and doesn't care that the University has offered $2.1 million.

Eminent domain’s a bee-otch, brah. On their website, Brothers says they "paid $2 million for the building three years ago, so the UW-offered price is whack, dude." [or something along those lines]

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