“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Chippewa Falls in Chippewa County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

The Chippewa Valley Electric Railway Co.

The Chippewa Valley Electric Railway Co. Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Keith L, October 28, 2010
1. The Chippewa Valley Electric Railway Co. Marker
Inscription.  This waiting shelter at the northern most point of service is the only physical structure remaining of what was once the 12½ mile long Eau Claire/Chippewa Falls interurban electric streetcar line.

In 1897, Boston financier Arthur Appleyard arrived in the Chippewa Valley and purchased the Eau Claire Street Railway Company. Wishing to expand the Eau Claire system which had been operating since 1879 (updated to electric streetcars in 1889), he convinced the owners of the Chippewa Falls Water Works & Lighting Company to form a new company, the Chippewa Valley Electric Railway Co., which was incorporated on March 29, 1898. The line was built in 1897, opened in July 1898, and operated for 28 years.

The interurban track ran from downtown Eau Claire (Barstow Street and Grand Avenue), north on Barstow, east on Madison Street, Franklin to Fay to Putnam Streets, east on Omaha Street, then running northeast along the west side of both the Wisconsin Central and the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad tracks past Lake Hallie all the way to Chippewa Falls.

The track then went north on Main Street across the Chippewa River bridge,
Railway Waiting Shelter and Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Keith L, October 28, 2010
2. Railway Waiting Shelter and Marker
Irvine Park Station
Click or scan to see
this page online
east on River Street, into the downtown area, north on Bay Street, east on Spring Street, north on Bridge Street, east on Elm Street and north on Jefferson Avenue to this spot in Irvine Park  where a loop was built to turn the streetcars around.

In 1905 the line was sold and became part of the Eau Claire Railway Light & Power Co. In 1914 it was sold to the American Public Utilities Co. which became known as the Minnesota-Wisconsin Light & Power Company. In 1923 the company became known as Northern States Power Co.

With the formation of the Motor Bus Company of Chippewa Falls in 1920, the construction of a paved highway between the two cities, and the increased use of the personal automobile, patronage of the interurban line decreased. A disbandment petition was granted by the Railway Commission of Wisconsin and the last electric streetcar ran on the line on August 7, 1926.

Chippewa County Historical Society
Marker Sign #22

Erected by the Chippewa County Historical Society. (Marker Number 22.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Railroads & Streetcars. A significant historical date for this entry is March 29, 1898.
Location. 44° 56.798′ N, 91° 23.918′ W. Marker is in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, in Chippewa County. Marker is on
Nearby Locomotive image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Keith L, October 28, 2010
3. Nearby Locomotive
Wissota Sand & Gravel No. 2 0-4-0T
Donated by
Wissota Sand Gravel Co.
Eau Claire, Wis.
Irvine Park Drive west of Jefferson Avenue (Wisconsin Highway 124), on the left when traveling west. Marker is in Irvine Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Chippewa Falls WI 54729, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Irvine Park Drive Bridge (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Northern Wisconsin State Fair (about 600 feet away); In Memory of Old Abe (about 800 feet away); William Irvine (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company (approx. 0.2 miles away); Ronald P. Anders (approx. 0.2 miles away); In Memory of All Veterans (approx. half a mile away); Sunny Valley School (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chippewa Falls.
Also see . . .  Steam Locomotive Information. (Submitted on January 20, 2011.)
Credits. This page was last revised on October 14, 2020. It was originally submitted on January 20, 2011, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 1,250 times since then and 82 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 20, 2011, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.

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Aug. 10, 2022