Whatever I'm Thinking

Archive for the month “January, 2023”

Chippewa Falls in January

January 29, 2023
(Photos and memories of January 25, 2009)

Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, from the heights of Notre Dame Church on a cold January Sunday.

Back in 2009, I was working as a systems contractor for Associated Bank in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Although the air temperature rarely rose into double digits above zero that whole month, I always tried to travel somewhere on the weekends.

Chippewa Falls is a fine little town of 15,000 people that hugs the banks of the Chippewa River in northwestern Wisconsin. It was cold when I visited — everything froze, including the river and my nose. Nevertheless, I was able to take a few good photos on a sunny, frigid Sunday. I’m glad I did.

Chippewa Falls is perhaps best known for its beer, namely that produced at Leinenkugel’s Brewery. The beer persona conforms to my initial impression of the town, which is that it’s more workmanlike than its downstream neighbor, Eau Claire.

A street mural advertising Leinenkugel’s Brewery, Chippewa Falls’ most famous business.

The name “Chippewa” is an English translation of sorts of the word “Ojibwa” — the tribe of Indians who inhabit the north woods of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota.

Walking downtown on a Sunday at noon, I had trouble finding retail establishments to patronize. Olson’s Ice Cream Parlor was open (in frigid January), but hardly anything else — including the “4:30 am Espresso Drive-thru.” “Yes” to ice cream in January, but not to coffee?

They do have a good-looking downtown district, though:

The downtown district includes several interesting murals explaining the town’s history.

Chippewa Falls history.

The drawing of Old Abe has an exciting story behind it. Old Abe was the mascot of the 8th Wisconsin Infantry regiment during the Civil War. Old Abe served with his company in over 42 battles, and it was said that “the louder the noise of battle, the louder were his screams.”

Historical sign describing the life of Old Abe the War Eagle.

Chippewa Falls’s most successful product (besides Leinenkugel’s beer) is probably Seymour Cray, Jr., founder of Cray Research and manufacturer of what once was the world’s fastest supercomputer. Everyone of a certain age has heard of the Cray Supercomputer.

Finally, the Chippewa County Courthouse and its snowy grounds:

Chippewa County within the state of Wisconsin.

A list of all photo posts from the American County Seats series in TimManBlog can be found here.

All photos were taken by the author on January 25, 2009.

My lifetime hobby is traveling to all of America’s county courthouses, and each month I post about a visit to a scenic or interesting county seat. It’s a hobby, and donations are greatly appreciated to help cover my costs.


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