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Chippewa Valley Museum
PO Box 1204
Eau Claire, WI 54702-1204

1204 E. Half Moon Drive
Eau Claire, WI 54703
(This is NOT a mailing address!)




Below you'll find a half-dozen great books published by the CVM Press, plus a link to a handy order form. You can also call Dorie Boetcher at 715-834-7871, or email her at, if you'd like to order one copy or one hundred. (We offer a volume discount for orders of 10 or more copies of a particular book.)


Looking for the Eau Claire County book? You can buy it at the CVM Store in Eau Claire's Carson Park or directly from Arcadia Publishing or Amazon.

Arcadia Publishing Amazon dot com



Paths of the People: The Ojibwe in the Chippewa Valley

Winner of a Wisconsin Historical Society Book Award!

"...Indian history told from the voices of the people themselves."
– Richard St. Germaine, former tribal chair, Lac Courtes Oreilles

Anishinabe, Saulteur, Ojibwe, Chippewa -- all names of a people who have lived in the Chippewa Valley of Wisconsin for the past three centuries. Ojibwe oral tradition speaks of life as a circular path, with parents passing on knowledge to children and grandchildren. Over the past 300 years, contact with Europeans and settlement by Americans have forced them to adapt in order to survive. The challenges each generation has faced--whether at treaty grounds, boarding schools, or boat landings--have influenced what knowledge has been passed down, what paths taken.

100 pages, with 80 illustrations and photographs

$15 Order Form

ISBN 0-9636191-0-1


Farm Life : A Century of Change for Farm Families and Their Neighbors

Winner of a Wisconsin Historical Society Book Award!

In the forward to this visually rich account of twentieth-century farm life in northwestern Wisconsin, Michael Perry introduces the stories told as "part celebration, part history, and part elegy." He also calls the book "a clear-eyed report on the gritty aspects of farm life." It is all these.

There is much here to look at, reflect on, and return to. The emphasis is on how change has affected farm families and their neighbors. It explains well the way the first farm families on the land arranged their lives, men working at lumbering during the winter and women and children maintaining the farms. It also shows how farming changed drastically after the 1940s. The author is not afraid to deal with the risks of farming.

Books such as Farm Life can play an important role in maintaining the continued involvement of people in creating the interpretations of our rural past that help define our contemporary lives and what is valuable in them.

– Joan M. Jensen, New Mexico State University

In 1900, 42 percent of the American population worked in agriculture. In 2000, 2 percent did. The survivors have retained their connection to farming, and even particular farms and rural neighborhoods, sometimes through many generations. What compels one family to stay while a score of others departs?

128 pages, more than 100 photographs and images.

$15 Order Form

ISBN 0-9636191-4-4



Farm Crossing: the Amazing Adventures of Addie and Zachary

  • Charming adventure story uses true-to-life stories of area farm families through children's eyes; excellent for ages 9-14.

  • Written by award-winning children's author Jack Bushnell (Circus of the Wolves; Skydancer).

  • Illustrated by artist Laurie Caple (When Mammoths Walked the Earth; Mama Loves Me from Away).

"What you're about to read will seem unbelievable. It all started with a trip to the museum and a brand-new exhibit on farming. I think museums are interesting places, but I had no idea how interesting they could be."

These words start an adventure, funny and sad, strange and familiar. Addie and Zachary find themselves in a world that's close-by but far, far away. Whom will they meet? How will they find each other? and how will they ever get home again?

$10 Order Form

ISBN 0-9636191-5-2



Settlement & Survival: Building Towns in the Chippewa Valley, 1850-1925

Yankee, Canadian and European immigrants built Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls, Menomonie, and other towns along a network of rivers that transported people and pine. For half a century, workers labored in the woods in the winter and the mills in the summer. Residents built homes, schools, churches and courthouses; enjoyed the festive atmospheres of biergartens and sangfests; and endured the recurring hardships of fire and flood.

The forest's decline forced town "boosters" into a desperate search for new industries and jobs. Some communities did not survive. Most found their futures along the new networks -- rails, highways, and power lines. Where one generation cut logging trails and rafted lumber, the next paved roads, operated hydro-electric dams, and manufactured tires, pressure cookers, and other products, shipping them all over the world.

$15 Order Form

ISBN 0-9636191-1-X



Ralph Owen's Eau Claire: The Character of a City, 1884-1909

Owen, Wisconsin. The Owen Park bandshell. Lake Owen.

Wisconsinites and Eau Clairians speak the Owen name quite a bit, especially in the summer, when there’s a concert at the bandshell, or their kids are at the Lake Owen sports camp. John S. and his son Ralph W. ran the John S. Owen Lumber Company for almost 90 years between them. Through that company, Ralph’s father left his name all over the Chippewa Valley. And Ralph was a driving force behind some of Eau Claire’s leading institutions, including Luther Hospital, the Red Cross, and the public library.

But he was also a kid. He and his friends collected (iron) bottles, hung out at the theater (in the days before the movies), tried to hypnotise each other, raced along the (wooden) sidewalks with pockets full of candy, and scouted the local parks on the hunt for strange plants and dangerous wildlife. As the son of a leading citizen, he was welcome to play in some of the city’s finest homes. He remembers it all in astonishing detail.

Ralph Owen’s Eau Claire: The Character of a City 1884-1909 is the city of Owen’s youth. It is a portrait of a particular era and way of life. But it’s also a place you’d like to visit. Thanks to his remarkable reminiscence, you can.

$11.95 Order Form

ISBN 0-9636191-6-0



The City Grows Up: Ralph Owen's Eau Claire, 1920-1960

A community — Eau Claire or any other — is its people and its institutions. During the period this volume covers, perhaps no one in Eau Claire had a more intimate knowledge of its leading institutions, or a keener eye in observing its people, than Ralph W. Owen did. Owen was a driving force behind Luther Hospital, the Red Cross, and the public library. (His father, John S. Owen, left his name all over the Chippewa Valley: Owen, Wisconsin, the Owen Park bandshell, Lake Owen.)

To be a community we must have good citizens. To be good citizens, we must be engaged. In this way, Owen’s bright and casual reminiscence, often pretty darned funny, disguises a call to action. In this sequel to the popular Ralph Owen’s Eau Claire: The Character of a City, 1884-1909, Owen again animates the town he called home and gives us the tenor of these “new” times.

Dedicated to preserving and interpreting regional history, the Chippewa Valley Museum is proud to present The City Grows Up: Ralph Owen’s Eau Claire, 1920-1960, taken from a larger manuscript maintained in the museum’s Glenn Curtis Smoot Library and Archives.

$12.95 Order Form

ISBN 0-9636191-9-5



Paths of the People book

Farm Life book

Farm Crossing book

Settlement and Survival book

Ralph Owen's Eau Claire book

Ralph Owen: The City Grows Up book

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