Explore the rich and interesting history of Chippewa County as told in the voices of our fur traders and European immigrants, our town builders, and our region’s Ojibwe, Dakota, and Ho-Chunk nations. What's Your Story?
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Photo credits: Jason Paul / PaullyHouse Photography
Location, hours & admission
12 Bridgewater Avenue
Chippewa Falls, WI 54729
Wednesday - Sunday
11 am - 5 pm
Adults: $6 / day
Children: $3 / day
Families: $15 / day
Individual / Student: $25 / year
Family: $50 / year
Iron (business or household): $125 / year
Copper (business or household): $250 / year
Silver (business or household): $500 / year
Gold (business or household): $1000 / year
Lifetime membership (household): $5000
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Themes and Exhibits
The People. The story begins with the Native Americans, then the fur traders, quickly followed by the immigrants from Europe. What each generation brought to the Chippewa area provides many fascinating stories.
Timber. Having one-sixth of the world’s white pine led the area into supplying the growing Midwest with the lumber needed to construct buildings. Our extensive collection of artifacts from the lumbering era and our new mobile lumberjack museum will enable us to tell the story of the impact of lumbering on this area of Wisconsin.
A River. The Chippewa River and the role it played in the Chippewa area provide many stories. They range from carrying logs to the largest saw mill in the world to using large dams and the river’s elevation drop to create electric power and lakes to provide recreation opportunities.
Farming. Agriculture has been an important part of the Chippewa story. Early crops included tobacco, sugarbeets, and vegetables. Each crop had its specialized equipment and processes. Farming was the summer occupation of many lumberjacks during the lumbering era. Agriculture today is still a major part of the area’s economy.
Military Service. Generations of Chippewa County residents have honorably and humbly served in the military both during conflict and peace time. The stories of these people are shared in the Military Exhibit area.
Made in Chippewa. From the lumbering era to the present, many products have been made in the Chippewa Area. All require people, tools, materials, innovation and a market to buy these products. The story of the changes and development over the past century will provide easily altered exhibits.
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Notre Dame Church Chippewa Falls circa 1880
Chippewa History Museum
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Union Lumbering Cos Mills and Water Power Chippewa Falls - 1878 WI Atlas
Family History: The Chippewa County Genealogical Society was established in 1980 with a mission to provide education and assistance to those who are tracing their family roots; to collect and maintain genealogical and historical materials; and to provide access to all materials and educational programs for members and the general public.
In addition to the above, other themes will be explored and exhibited.
our member groups
The new Chippewa Area History Center is home to the Chippewa County Historical Society and the Chippewa County Genealogical Society. The two organizations work together to provide a glimpse of the area’s history and its impact on past and current generations.
The Chippewa County (WI) Historical Society was established in 1969 by an enthusiastic group of volunteers who were committed to ensuring that Chippewa County’s rich and colorful history would not be forgotten.
The Chippewa County (WI) Genealogical Society was established in 1980 with a mission to provide education and assistance to those who are tracing their family roots; to collect and maintain genealogical and historical materials; and to provide access to all materials and educational programs for members and the general public.
Each year in May, the Chippewa County Historical Society hosts The Past Passed Here, an educational and FUN experience for all. Learn how people in the Chippewa Valley lived in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Adults and children alike will enjoy this step back in time.