Museum News & Happenings 7/30/21

Posted: July 30, 2021

It's county fair season, the time of year 4H youth demonstrate skills, show animals, and drive their parents batty because they waited until the last minute to start their projects. Buffalo County and Eau Claire County fairs run through Sunday, August 1. Here's some local fair trivia to get you in a "fair" mood.

  • • The first Eau Claire County 4H fair was held in 1924 outside Augusta. 

  • • That year, Pleasant Valley 4H club members could choose from two projects: calf raising or sewing

  • • During WWII, Sears provided free seeds for Victory gardens

  • • I once saw a pet frog win Grand Champion in the Small Animals Show. 

Eau Claire County fairgrounds, Augusta, 1929. Courtesy City of Augusta. Top: Russell's Corners 4H club calf project, 1922.

And now for what's happening in the museum world...

A Triple Play Membership helps keep kids busy because they have access to Beaver Creek ReserveThe Children's Museum of Eau Claire, and Chippewa Valley Museum (with your help, of course). Purchase a Triple Play Membership between now and August 31 and be entered to win a Chippewa Valley Museum Gift Bag full of good things. We can't wait to see who wins. 
Purchase A Triple Play membership

Forest Hill Cemetery Walking Tour

August 2 and August 9 - full
Date added - August 16, 6:00 - 7:30 (and it's almost full!)

The first two dates are at capacity, but don't despair! Volunteer walking tour guides Robert Gough and Greg Kocken have agreed to offer a third date - August 16. Cost: $10/member, $20/nonmember.

There are waiting lists. If you register for a tour but find you cannot attend, please call to cancel so somebody can fill your spot. Start location and other details will be sent to registrants the Sunday prior to the tour. Contact Angela at or (715) 834-7871 to register or for more details.

Bob Gough and Greg Kocken narrate six short videos based on their walking tour. Go to the Forest Hill Cemetery YouTube link to see them all.

Register  for August 16 th Tour

Listen Up! Outdoor Music Series

Chippewa Valley Museum Grounds, Carson Park

Sunday, Aug. 8, 12pm - 2pm.
Eggplant Heroes. 
An eclectic mix of originals, literary adaptations, mountain gospel, and folk.

Sunday, Aug 15, 1pm- 2pm. 
Minnesota State Fiddlers Association  (MSFA)

Upper Midwest Music fiddle music.

This free concert series is made possible by WESTconsin Credit Union, Volume One, and Chippewa Valley Family

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Grants Season
The following agencies and foundations are making things happen at the Chippewa Valley Museum
Wisconsin Arts Board: $4,510 for Artes Latinas, an oral history project with Latino and Latina folk artists. This project will produce a video and artists will be invited to participate in the museum’s annual Folk Life Festival.

Xcel Energy Foundation: $4,000 to support renting and publicizing the traveling Stars Wars memorabilia exhibit The Nostalgia Awakens. Exhibit opens October 16 with a member opening October 14.

Eau Claire Community Foundation: $10,000 to purchase a Point of Sale and Member Management software system. This will streamline and improve working with memberships, admissions, gift shop and online sales, and donations. We're excited about replacing our 20th century cash registers. This grant was made possible with gifts from the Charles and Joanne Grasskamp Fund, B.J. and Bea Farmer Family Fund, John and Lela Thompson Fund, Mayer Family Fund, and Warloski Family Fund

Nordson Foundation: $10,000 in operating support. This will assist the transition to a new Point of Sale system and help recover from the pandemic.
Visit Eau Clarie: $3,000 to digitally market the Listen Up! Folk Music in the Valley to the Twin Cities, St. Croix, and La Crosse markets.
Thank you

A Sweet Partnership
The partnership with Ramone's is getting sweeter. Stop by the Chippewa Valley Museum for FREE ICE CREAM. That's right, Ramone's is giving away free mini-scoops to anyone who stops by for the rest of the summer. Ramone's is open, and ice cream available, whenever the museum is open.

Museum Operating Hours 

Tuesday 5:00pm-8:00pm
Wednesday-Sunday 12:00pm-5:00pm

Stop by the museum for a visit if you haven't been in a while and get your free mini scoop. 

Don't have time to view all the wonderful exhibits the museum has to offer? Check out the walk-up window to get your free ice cream.
Enjoy the ice cream and all the other summery things you're doing.

Carrie Ronnander
Chippewa Valley Museum Director

P.S. A few months ago I learned why and how Eddy Lane got its name. This is something everbody should know. Your mission -- spread this history far and wide so that people know why Eau Claire has an Eddy Lane.

The street is named after Edwin Peterson, the seventh, and youngest, child of Ole O. and Thea Peterson, both Norwegian immigrants. Eddy grew up at 2413 Eddy Lane, where the Subway restaurant now stands. It was called Second Crossing then because it was the second street crossing on the interurban line which ran between Chippewa Falls and Eau Claire. Below, Eddy is sitting in teh front between his parents.

Eddy was working for Dells Paper and Pulp Company when he received his draft notice. He left Eau Claire with other draftees in September 1917. After training, he shipped out to France to fight on the Western Front, landing there in May. August 8, 1918, Eddy's parents received a telegram saying their son had died of battles wounds on August 3. The telegram came just days after numerous friends and family had received letters from him. Edwin Peterson's remains were returned to his family June 1921, three years later.

In November 1919, residents on Second Crossing voted for a street name change. Edwin Lane won by a large margin (Ferndale and Fairview were the next most popular names) and Eau Claire agreed to rename the street.

I don't know if the street changed from Edwin to Eddy right away or within a few years, but that's a minor detail in this story. Thank you to Eddy's great great niece Margaret Perri for making me aware of this history and sharing the family photos above. Edwin Peterson is remembered.

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