Read All About It: Check Out these Local History Books

a rundown of historical reads

V1 Staff |

If you’re inspired by Eau Claire’s sesquicentennial to delve more deeply into the history of the Chippewa Valley, The Local Store can hook you up with some good books (as well as some apparel and prints that evoke the town’s long history). Here’s some of what you’ll find in store:


A History of Eau Claire (3 Vols.)

by Brian L. Blakeley

This comprehensive, three-volume history covers the entire history of the city, with special emphasis on the lumber era, the manufacturing age, and the most recent era of commerce, service, and creativity.

Available at The Local Store »

Postcards from the Past: Eau Claire

by David Tank

This 110-page book includes more than 100 historic postcard images of Eau Claire streets, buildings, and scenery. The vintage images are paired with pictures of the same scenes as they can be viewed today.

Available at The Local Store »

Ralph Owen’s Eau Claire (2 Vols.)

ed. by Frank Smoot

John S. and his son Ralph W. ran the John S. Owen Lumber Co. for almost 90 years between them. Ralph was a driving force behind some of Eau Claire’s leading institutions. His memoirs paint a portrait of a particular era and way of life.

Available at The Local Store »


And that’s just a handful of what’s available. The list goes on!


When the Ferries Still Ran
By Jim Alf
Jim Alf moved to the ferry house by the Chippewa River at the age of 11 when his father won his first contract to run the Caryville Ferry. Jim ran the ferry for six seasons, helping after school and on weekends. This chronicles his time there and the history of the area.

The Flying Eagles & the School Yard Jump
By Ron Buckli
Author Ron Buckli, once a Flying Eagle himself, relates the history of the ski jump built about 1933 in the schoolyard of Eau Claire’s Fourth Ward Grade School. The ski jump was an outgrowth of the Flying Eagles Junior Ski Club formed in Eau Claire in about 1930.
Eau Claire and The Valley: Where the Rivers Meet Vol. 1
Published by Eau Claire Press Co.
Eau Claire – the “Sawdust City” – and the Chippewa Valley are rich in history. Our beautiful rivers have been sources of entertainment, transportation, and enterprise. This book recognizes that history by gathering photographs depicting the people that built our city around converging rivers.
As I Recall ... Yarns of Yesteryear Vol. 1 and Vo. 2
Published by Eau Claire Press Co.
Since 1981, the weekly “Yarns of Yesteryear” column has run in The Country Today, much to the delight of our readers. These are our favorites from those years and tell the stories of rich experiences from years past – from heart-wrenching to whimsical. Each is pure gold.

Farm Life

By Frank Smoot
Farm Life tells the story of Chippewa Valley dairying and ties it to larger national and historical issues, bringing this history into the new millennium. Highly illustrated with compelling photos, Farm Life lets the voices of farm families come through in hundreds of direct quotations.
Maud Phillips Story: The Cave Lady
By Jane Glenz
Was Eau Claire native Maud Phillips a “Mad Poetess” worthy of commitment to Mendota State Hospital, or was she more accurately a victim of the too-restrictive social mores of her time and place? Local author Jane Glenz explores this question in this book. 


Local Legends Tees
Produced by Volume One
T-shirts featuring the logos of famous former Chippewa Valley businesses we all knew and loved. We’re call the series Local Legends, and it features Kerm's Super Foods, The Gemini Drive In, The Camaraderie, Chicken Unlimited, Timm's Dairy, and Woo's Pagoda.

Eau Claire Bears Vintage Cap

Produced for Volume One
After the Atlanta Braves purchased the services of the young Hank Aaron from the Indianapolis Clowns, they sent him to their Eau Claire affiliate for some seasoning. It was a stop on the way to greatness. The vintage (1950s era) Eau Claire Bears baseball logo on a high quality wool (snapback) cap.



J. Walter & Co. Beer Print
Courtesy of The Chippewa Valley Museum, produced by Volume One
Walter's Beer has been a beloved part of Eau Claire culture for more than 100 years, ever since Johannes Walter brought his German lager to all beer-loving Eau Claire and Chippewa Valley residents. Commemorate “The Beer That IS Beer” with this vintage J. Walter & Co. print.

Vintage Eau Claire Baseball Print (1952 Eau Claire Bears)
Courtesy of The Chippewa Valley Museum, produced by Volume One
According to local baseball historian Jason Christopherson, “The 1952 Eau Claire Bears were an enigma. The tear the Bears went on after Henry ‘Hank’ Aaron arrived boosted attendance dramatically and allowed the franchise to stay operational.”

Vintage Barstow Print

Courtesy of The Chippewa Valley Museum, produced by Volume One
A photo capturing life on Barstow Street in downtown Eau Claire in 1925. The poster is printed on doubleweight matte paper.
Eau Claire City Photo Print (20x30)
Produced by Volume One
Photographed, designed, and authored by Volume One, this poster captures the current view of our great city alongside a detailed description of some of its accolades and highlights.

Eau Claire 150th

Eau Claire 150th is presented by:

Market & Johnson
EST. 1948
2350 Galloway St.
Eau Claire, WI

Founding Stories

Founding Stories

Celebrating the respected and long-running local businesses that grew with this community through our 150 years