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Eau Claire in Eau Claire County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

“The Log Flume”

Dells Pond to Half Moon Lake

 
 
"The Log Flume" Marker image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, June 12, 2014
1. "The Log Flume" Marker
Inscription.
For 19th century lumbermen, the key to logging in the Chippewa Valley was getting pine logs to go where they wanted them to go. In 1879, the Eau Claire Dells Improvement Company dammed the Chippewa River and created a huge log holding pond, but the task of transporting logs to sawmills remained. Floating them down river created too much congestion in the heart of the city, so mill owners Daniel Shaw, Orrin Ingram, William Carson and others devised a combination flume-canal-tunnel to bring logs the 1.2 miles from Dells Pond to Half Moon Lake. The 8' x 10' wooden flume ran along the rock wall of the river's west bank. A planked cat-walk was constructed on top of the flume which allowed workers to monitor the flume for jams or damage. In addition, a "Tainter gate" was installed at the beginning of the flume which acted as a giant water shut-off valve. South of the Omaha railroad bridge the flume turned inland and fed five feet of water into a canal parallel to the river. The canal brought logs to the corner of Mappa and Randall streets where they dropped 18 feet into a 1,000 foot long tunnel which extended to Half Moon Lake.

Completed in April 1880, the novel contraption attracted sightseers and invited unintended uses. Neighborhood housewives found the canal convenient for doing laundry. Mill hands used it to bathe.
Close-up of Log Flume Photo image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, June 12, 2014
2. Close-up of Log Flume Photo
Tragically, the uncovered canal also took the lives of many careless children. When the sawmills closed, the flume was left to rot. The tunnel served as a beer cooler and shortcut for braver residents until it to began to deteriorate and had to be sealed. In 1990, city workers finally filled the tunnel after its disintegration ruptured sewer lines and collapsed houses.

Sponsored By:
Hobbs Foundation

 
Erected by the Eau Claire Landmark Commission; Hobbs Foundation. (Marker Number 19.)
 
Location. 44° 48.839′ N, 91° 30.887′ W. Marker is in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, in Eau Claire County. Marker can be reached from Randall Street west of Whipple Street, on the left when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is at Half Moon Beach. Marker is in this post office area: Eau Claire WI 54701, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Waldemar Ager House (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); The "Flume" (about 800 feet away); Luther Midelfort: A History of Caring (approx. 0.2 miles away); Legend of Paul Bunyan (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Mittelstadt House (approx.
Close-up of 1889 City Map image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, June 12, 2014
3. Close-up of 1889 City Map
0.4 miles away); The Ice Industry on Half Moon Lake (approx. 0.4 miles away); Herman T. Lange House (approx. 0.4 miles away); Recreation on Half Moon Lake (approx. half a mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Eau Claire.
 
More about this marker. photo captions:
Log Flume Along The West Side of The Chippewa River
1889 City Map
 
Also see . . .
1. Dells Dam Improvement Project. (Submitted on June 23, 2014.)
2. The Dells Dam. (Submitted on June 23, 2014.)
3. Sawmill Operations. (Submitted on June 23, 2014.)
4. Chapter 1 - Basin Overview. (Submitted on June 23, 2014.)
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceMan-Made FeaturesWaterways & Vessels
 
"The Log Flume" Marker image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, June 12, 2014
4. "The Log Flume" Marker
"The Log Flume" Marker image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, June 12, 2014
5. "The Log Flume" Marker
"The Log Flume" Marker image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, June 12, 2014
6. "The Log Flume" Marker
Half Moon Beach
Half Moon Beach and Lake image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, June 12, 2014
7. Half Moon Beach and Lake
Half Moon Lake image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, June 12, 2014
8. Half Moon Lake
<i>Log Jam, Dells Pond, Eau Claire, Wis.</i> image. Click for full size.
circa 1910
9. Log Jam, Dells Pond, Eau Claire, Wis.
Showing the logs being held at Dells Pond prior to their release into the Log Flume.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 324 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.   9. submitted on . This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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