Eau Claire in Eau Claire County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Growing Up Along the River
As a frontier town, Eau Claire relied on the river to transport people and products. The Water Street Business District grew up convenient to the steamboat landing, where twice weekly the "Jennie Whipple" unloaded passengers opposite the Niagara House. In the 1870's, one and two-story wood frame buildings lined the dusty, horse-trod street. The 1873 business directory listed seven dry goods merchants, four grocers, three meat markets, flour and feed dealers, and a host of smaller establishments – tailors, milliners, barbers, bakers, blacksmiths, druggists, attorneys, and undertakers – catering to the booming west side population. The Niagara House long functioned as a meeting and dance hall. Drinking men could partake at any one of eight saloons. In 1882, a devastating fire swept through the district, destroying 73 buildings, including the Pioneer Block and surrounding residential area. Merchants rebuilt with brick and many of those structures remain today. Water Street continues to be a vital commercial and entertainment area.
Water Street Business Improvement District
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Disasters • Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers • Waterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1873.
Location. 44° 48.092′ N, 91° 30.566′ W. Marker is in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, in Eau Claire County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Menomonie Street and Fifth Avenue. Marker is one block south of Water Street along the Chippewa River Trail. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Eau Claire WI 54703, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Adin Randall (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Ottawa House (about 700 feet away); John Pinkum House (approx. ¼ mile away); First Congregational Church Parsonage (approx. ¼ mile away); Anishinabe Akhi (approx. ¼ mile away); First Congregational Church / Community House (approx. 0.3 miles away); Coghlan-Foote (approx. 0.3 miles away); Charles Ingram House (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Eau Claire.
Also see . . .
1. History of Eau Claire County, Wisconsin. (Submitted on June 19, 2014.)
2. Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Wikipedia entry. (Submitted on June 19, 2014.)
3. Eau Claire Landmarks Commission. Photo; Water Street at 4th Avenue looking west, circa 1890. (Submitted on June 19, 2014.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on June 19, 2014, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 418 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on June 19, 2014, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.