Let's enjoy a blast from the past (July 7, 2011 to be exact) as former Volume One columnist and local history ninja Frank Smoot details the very true tale of a very real cave along the Eau Claire River – and the very real lady who once lived in it.
musical threads are woven deep into the valley's history
When he was but a lad, my friend Noah Taylor asked the adults assembled, Wouldn’t your life be better if you had your own personal soundtrack? Why yes, Noah, yes it would. Fortunately for Eau Claire, its people have always had songs in their hearts, and I’m not talking about the downtown ...
The beloved Volume One column draws to a close as its author embarks on a new adventure on the Oregon Coast. Here, Frank Smoot picks a few of his favorites from the series’ historic run.
People love history. They love stories, context, and a chance to reflect on the events and people who’ve come before them. These elements and more have solidified Frank Smoot’s “Thanks for Asking” column ...
"There’s been a lot of talk lately about Jackie Robinson and that got me wondering about a local baseball question. I have the “famed” 1952 Eau Claire Bears team photo poster in my house (which I got from V1 at The Local Store!) ..."
At the recent passing of either Ann Landers or Abby Van Buren, it was stated that when they lived in Eau Claire that they were socialites. What activities made them a socialite and what people today are considered socialites in Eau Claire? And ...
What do you know about Pfefferkorn Photography from Augusta, WI? I have two old photographs (deceased in coffins) from that business. I find it interesting that photographers back then went to great lengths to photograph these subjects. The floral...
There is a place I have always wondered about, Mount Hope Corners. Its location on old county maps was just south of where we live in the town of Brunswick. I haven’t been able to find any info about it.
"The Kline Building at 6 S. Barstow Street was built by local architect Charles A. Pear. Are there any other buildings designed by Pear left in Eau Claire, or anywhere? Do you have any other information about Pear and his work?"
"We were reading a plaque on the bike trail down from the parking lot behind the Galloway Grille, and it said something about explorer Jonathon Carver naming the Eau Claire River. Could you give us a backstory?"
Years ago a man named George Brunner owned The Outdoor Sport Shop on North Barstow across from what is now the Pad Thai restaurant. He was a friend of my Grandpa’s. My Dad said Mr. Brunner had a daughter who moved out west, became a member of ...
What was the name of the bakery near or at the current location of the video game store next to Pad Thai? I remember one being there when I was younger.
Thanks for asking! You didn’t say exactly when you were younger, but I bet you’re thinking ...
In a previous article, you mentioned the neighborhood on the west side was called “the bloody Ninth.” I actually went to Ninth Ward School in the ’40s and didn’t realize it was called that. How did it get that name? ...
Savvy readers often send additions and corrections. In my last column (March 8) I’d answered a question from Karl Markgraf about O’Neill Creek cemetery near Eagle Point. After the issue came out, V1 reader Duane Popple reminded me that Daniel ...
In 1879, the Eau Claire Free Press opined, “It is a matter of great moment to our people that the metropolis of the Valley should be a center in all things desirable and accessory to the highest civilization and culture.
"I heard that Hillcrest Country Club Golf course was originally started by workers at Uniroyal. Management from Uniroyal did not want to golf with the workers, so the workers started their own club, Hillcrest."
Trevor Kupfer, Kaitlyn Heisick, Eric Rasmussen, Frank Smoot, photos by V1 Staff & Contributors
The Chippewa Valley has a massive inner-tube floating scene, and this guide breaks down the local origin of the activity, what the big annual events are all about, the economic impact of it, plus what you need, where to go, and how to do it right.
A friend of mine at work (a big sports fan) was telling me about Hobbsy’s Bar in Hallie. In the 1950s or 60s two Hobbs brothers (related to the family that owns the bar) were outstanding football players first at Regis and then at the UW as Badgers.
I walked along the south bank of the Eau Claire River between the Dewey Street bridge and the S-bridge by Banbury. I had heard there was a cave on the north bank, but I couldn’t see it. Do you know where it is?
There is a really cool building in Menomonie that I have always been curious about. It is on Wilson Avenue West, down the hill behind the Acoustic Cafe, on the right side of the street. Please help me figure out the history of this building.
I’m curious about the road that runs through the east side of the park, Putnam Drive. I once heard a rumor that this trail was originally cleared by soldiers, including a young Jefferson Davis. Is there any truth to that?
When the Genealogical Research Society of Eau Claire (GRSEC) did a survey of Drammen Cemetery in 1996, they found 18 graves. Ten years later, a fellow named James Seidelman went through and photographed the stones – all 11 of them. Now there are six.
“I’m an insomniac. At four o’clock one morning I saw you on an episode of Animal Planet’s new show The Haunted, and I wanted to know where the story was set. The bridges looked like Chippewa Falls or maybe Jim Falls …”