Eau Claire, Wisconsin

Eau Claire, Wisconsin

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Eau Claire, Wisconsin
settlement_type = City
nickname =
motto =

imagesize = 250px
image_caption = Barstow St.

flag_size =

seal_size =
image_shield =
shield_size =
image_blank_emblem =
blank_emblem_size =

mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Location within the state of Wisconsin.

mapsize1 = 200px
map_caption1 = Location within Eau Claire County (pink-shaded portion is within Chippewa County).
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = Wisconsin
subdivision_type2 = Counties
subdivision_name2 = Eau Claire, Chippewa
government_footnotes =
government_type = Council-manager
leader_title = City manager
leader_name = Mike Huggins
leader_title1 = City council
leader_name1 = Eau Claire City Council
established_title =
established_date =
established_title2 =
established_date2 =
established_title3 =
established_date3 =
area_magnitude =
unit_pref = Imperial
area_footnotes =
area_total_km2 = 83.8
area_land_km2 = 78.4
area_water_km2 = 5.4
area_total_sq_mi = 32.4
area_land_sq_mi = 30.3
area_water_sq_mi = 2.1
area_water_percent = 6.46
area_metro_km2 =
area_metro_sq_mi =
population_as_of = 2000
population_footnotes =
population_note =
population_total = 61,704
population_density_km2 = 738.8
population_density_sq_mi = 1,910.9
population_metro = 148,337
population_density_metro_km2 =
population_density_metro_sq_mi =
timezone = CST
utc_offset = -6
timezone_DST = CDT
utc_offset_DST = -5
latd = 44 |latm = 48 |lats = 53 |latNS = N
longd = 91 |longm = 29 |longs = 34 |longEW = W
elevation_footnotes =
elevation_m = 240
elevation_ft = 787
postal_code_type =
postal_code =
area_code = 715
website = [http://www.ci.eau-claire.wi.us/ www.ci.eau-claire.wi.us]
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 55-22300GR|2
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 1564402GR|3
footnotes =

Eau Claire is a city located in the west-central part of the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The population was 61,704 as of the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Eau Claire County,GR|6 although a small portion of the city lies in neighboring Chippewa County. Eau Claire is the principal city of the Eau Claire, Wisconsin Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is a part of the Eau-Claire-Menomonie Combined Statistical Area.

America's Promise named the city as one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People in 2007. [http://www.americaspromise.org/100Best.aspx?id=968] Eau Claire was among the first Tree Cities in Wisconsin, having been recognized as such since 1980. [ [http://www.arborday.org/programs/treecity/map.cfm Your State Poster Contest Coordinator ] ]


"Eau Claire" is the singularized form of the original French name, "Eaux Claires", meaning "Clear Waters", for the Eau Claire River. According to local legend, the river was so named because early French explorers journeying down the rain-muddied Chippewa River, happened upon the Eau Claire River, excitedly exclaiming "Voici l'eau claire!" ("Here [is] clear water!"), the city motto, which appears on the city seal.


Since switching from a mayoral system in 1948, Eau Claire has had a city manager-city council form of government. The Eau Claire City Council currently consists of five members elected from districts, five at-large from the entire city, and an elected city council president who is also elected at-large. The city council president is David Adler.


The lumber industry drove Eau Claire's growth in the late 19th century. At one time, there were 22 sawmills operating in the city.Clarifyme|date=March 2008

Since the loss of several thousand manufacturing jobs in the early 1990s (due to the closure of the local Uniroyal tire plant), the city's economy was reshaped by the opening of a number of plants engaged in the construction of computer hardware, such as Hutchinson Technology's largest plant, and is home to IDEXX Computer Systems, a division of IDEXX Laboratories.

Eau Claire is home to a few national/regional companies including Cascades Tissue Group, Menards, National Presto Industries, Inc., Midwest Manufacturing, Silver Spring Gardens, Realityworks, and Erbert & Gerbert's.

Today retail, health care and education are the primary employment sectors in Eau Claire.


Eau Claire is located at coor dms|44|48|53|N|91|29|34|W|city (44.814627, -91.492677)GR|1, approximately 90 miles (145 km) east of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. The city is located on the northern fringes of the Driftless Zone.

The city was founded near the confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa rivers as three separate settlements. The main section of downtown is on the site of the original village. West Eau Claire, founded in 1856, was across the river near the present-day county courthouse, and incorporated in 1872. Between a mile and a half and two miles downstream, the Daniel Shaw & Co. lumber company founded Shawtown, which was annexed by the 1930s.Fact|date=March 2008 By the 1950s, the entire city had spread far enough to the east to adjoin Altoona.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 32.4 square miles (83.8 km²), of which, 30.3 square miles (78.4 km²) of it is land and 2.1 square miles (5.4 km²) of it (6.46%) is water.

The terrain of the city is characterized by the river valleys, with steep slopes leading from the center to the eastern and southern sections of the city. The lands into which the urban area is currently expanding are increasingly hilly.

There are two lakes in the city, Dells Pond, and Half Moon Lake. Dells Pond is a reservoir created by a hydroelectric dam, and was formerly used as a holding pool for logs. Half Moon Lake is an oxbow lake created as part of the former course of the Chippewa River.



As of the 2000 censusGR|2, there were 61,704 people, 24,016 households, and 13,569 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,037.8 people per square mile (786.8/km²). There were 24,895 housing units at an average density of 822.2/sq mi (317.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.44% White, 0.70% African American, 0.55% American Indian, 3.66% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.34% from other races, and 1.28% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.00% of the population.

There were 24,016 households out of which 27.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.4% were married couples living together, 9.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.5% were non-families. 30.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the city the population was spread out with 21.6% under the age of 18, 22.1% from 18 to 24, 26.1% from 25 to 44, 18.2% from 45 to 64, and 11.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 90.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.8 males.


The median income for a household in the city was $36,399, and the median income for a family was $49,320. Males had a median income of $32,503 versus $23,418 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,230. About 5.5% of families and 13.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.4% of those under age 18 and 7.4% of those age 65 or over.

Metropolitan area

Together with surrounding communities, the Eau Claire metropolitan area is home to 114,483 people, according to the 2000 census. The city forms the core of the United States Census Bureau's Eau Claire Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Eau Claire and Chippewa Counties (composite 2000 population: 148,337). Together with the Menomonie Micropolitan Statistical Area (which includes all of Dunn County) to the west, the Eau Claire metropolitan area, forms the Census Bureau's Eau Claire-Menomonie Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had a consolidated 2000 population of 188,195. 2004 population estimates place the two-county Eau Claire-Chippewa Falls metropolitan population at 155,680, and the expanded Eau Claire-Menomonie CMSA population at 197,417. [ [http://www.legis.state.wi.us/lrb/bb/05bb/744-779.pdf 2004 Wisconsin Bluebook] data]


Eau Claire is home to a large number of religious congregations:
*Apostolic Faith - 1 congregation
*Assemblies of God - 2 congregations
*Baptist - 8 churches variously unaffiliated (including 1 SBC congregation)
*Catholic - 5 parishes in the Diocese of La Crosse' & Eau Claire Deanery, which has 3 other parishes, one each in Altoona, Elk Mound and Brackett
*Church of Christ, Scientist (Christian Science) - 1 congregation
*Church of Christ - 2 congregations
*Episcopalian - 1 congregation (The Episcopal Diocese of Eau Claire has its see in Eau Claire.)
*Hmong Christian Alliance - 1 congregation
*Islam - 0 congregations, although there is 1 mosque in neighboring Altoona
*Jehovah's Witness - 2 congregations (both of which share the same Kingdom Hall)
*Judaism - 1 synagogue
*Lutheran - about 20 churches representing 6 synods:*Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS):*Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA):*Church of the Lutheran Brethren of America:*Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod (LCMS):*Church of the Lutheran Confession:*Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS)
*Methodist - 4 congregations (one of which is located in nearby Altoona)
*Mennonite Church USA - 1 congregation meeting two Sundays per month
*The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - 1 congregation
*Nazarene - 1 congregation
*Pentecostal - about 10 variously affiliated congregations
*Presbyterianism - 2 congregations
*Society of Friends (Quakers) - 1 congregation
*Salvation Army - 1 congregation
*Seventh-day Adventist - 0 congregations, although neighboring Altoona and nearby Chippewa Falls each have 1 congregation
*Unitarian Universalist - 1 congregation [ [http://www.uucec.org Unitarian Universalist Congregation (Eau Claire, Wisconsin) ] ]
*United Church of Christ - 3 congregations
*Unity School of Christianity - 1 congregation
*Wesleyan Church - 1 congregation


Eau Claire is home to two public colleges, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (UW-EC), and three campuses of the Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC). And it is home to two private colleges, Immanuel Lutheran College (Church of the Lutheran Confession Synod), and a campus of Globe University/Minnesota School of Business.

There are two private high schools in Eau Claire: Regis High School, affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church; and Immanuel Lutheran High School, affiliated with Immanuel Lutheran College.

There are two public high schools in the Eau Claire Area School District: Memorial High School (Old Abes); and North High School (Huskies).

There are also two charter high schools in Eau Claire: McKinley Charter School, a non-traditional school serving 120 students; and Technology Charter School, a non-traditional school serving 193 students.

There are three public middle schools in the Eau Claire Area School District: Delong Middle School (Knights); Northstar Middle School (Polar Bears); and South Middle School (Falcons).



Eau Claire is served by the Chippewa Valley Regional Airport.

Mass transit

* Eau Claire Transit bus lines

Major highways

* ("Clairemont Avenue")
* ("The Bypass")
* Business US-53 ("Hastings Way")
* (Bypasses Eau Claire to the north)
* ("Hendrickson Drive")
* (Terminates on Wis. 37 just outside Eau Claire)
* (Signed as, and known locally as, the "North Crossing")


The Eau Claire Express is a baseball team that plays in the Northwoods League, an NCAA summer baseball league. Their home games are played at Carson Park in Eau Claire.

The Eau Claire Cavaliers, an amateur baseball team, also plays home games at Carson Park. [ [http://www.eauclairecavaliers.org/ Eau Claire Cavaliers ] ]

The [http://www.chippewavalleypredatorsfootball.com/ Chippewa Valley Predators] and the [http://www.eccrush.com/ Eau Claire Crush] , adult amateur football teams in the [http://www.NorthernEliteFootball.com/ Northern Elite Football League] , play their home games at Carson Park.

Eau Claire also has a Figure Skating club at Hobbs Ice Arena.

Media and entertainment

Print media

The "Eau Claire Leader-Telegram" [ [http://www.leadertelegram.com/ Leader-Telegram Online ] ] has a daily circulation of 26,901 during the week and a circulation rate of 38,824 for the Sunday paper. "Volume One", [ [http://www.volumeone.org Volume One ] ] an alt-weekly magazine published twice a month with a circulation rate of 15,000, has general and local culture articles.


Nielson Market Research lists Eau Claire/La Crosse as the 127th largest television market area. [http://www.nielsenmedia.com/nc/portal/site/Public/menuitem.3437240b94cacebc3a81e810d8a062a0/?vgnextoid=130547f8b5264010VgnVCM100000880a260aRCRD] The major broadcast stations serving the area are: WEAU, Channel 13 (NBC); WQOW, Channel 18 (ABC); WHWC, Channel 28 (PBS, Menomonie); WKBT, Channel 8 (CBS, La Crosse); and WEUX, Channel 48 (FOX).


WECL 92.9 FM, WAXX 104.5 FM, WIAL 94.1 FM, WDRK 99.9 FM, WEAQ 1150 AM, and WAYY 790 AM are all owned and operated by Maverick Media. WQRB-FM (B-95), WMEQ-FM (ROCK 92.1), WBIZ-FM (Z-100), WATQ-FM (MOOSE COUNTRY 106.7), WISM-FM (MIX 98.1), WBIZ-AM (SPORTSRADIO 1400), and WMEQ-AM (NEWSTALK AM 880) are owned and operated by Clear Channel Communications. WCFW-FM 105.7 is owned by Bushland Radio Specialties. WOGO-AM 680 is owned by Stewards of Sound.

There are two Wisconsin Public Radio affiliates that broadcast in the Eau Claire area: WHWC-FM 88.3 for the Ideas Network and WUEC-FM 89.7 for the NPR News & Classical Music network.

There are several religious stations broadcasting from the Eau Claire area. These include: WVCF-FM 90.5; WHEM-FM 91.3; WJLM-LP-FM 96.9 (low-power); WWIB-FM 103.7; and WDVM-AM 1050.

There are three secular low-power FM stations broadcast in Eau Claire: 96.3 WHYS (music and social programming), 101.9 WRFP, and 102.7 WIEC.


There are several large parks in the city: Putnam Park, which follows the course of Putnam Creek and Little Niagara Creek east from the UWEC campus; Carson Park, situated in the middle of an oxbow lake; Owen Park, along the Chippewa River, home to a large bandshell where open air concerts are held throughout the summer; and Phoenix Park, on the site of the old Phoenix Steel plant at the confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa River. Phoenix park is the host of a weekly farmers market and open air concerts during summer months. Riverview Park is also a common summer swimming destination, as well as one of the local boat landings. This park includes picnicking areas and grills, as well as public restrooms.

The City of Eau Claire also operates a public pool, Fairfax pool, during the summer months.

Eau Claire is at the head of the Chippewa River State Trail, a biking and recreation trail that follows the lower course of the Chippewa River.

Notable natives & residents

"See Also"
* .
* Notable UWEC Graduates.


* Mary Brunner, girlfriend of Charles Manson
* Alden Carter, ALA award winning author
* Steve Gunderson, CEO of the Council on Foundations and a former Republican Congressman from Wisconsin
* Kato Kaelin, one of the more colorful witnesses at the O. J. Simpson murder trial, attended the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
* John Menard, Jr., founder of Menards
* John Joseph Paul, Roman Catholic Bishop, helped established Regis High School in Eau Claire
* Arthur Peabody, former state architect of Wisconsin
* L. E. Phillips, philanthropist
* Marcus Thrane, Norwegian labour organizer who died in Eau Claire in 1890


* Geoffrey Keezer, renowned jazz pianist -- the last to play with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers
* Sarah Krueger, 2007 contestant on American Idol who made it to Hollywood week ( [http://www.sarah-krueger.org/ fan site] ).
* Howard Luedtke, also know as Howard "Guitar" Luedtke, the American blues guitarist and musician
* Jared Asher Otto, GuitaristFact|date=August 2008
* Justin Vernon of Bon Iver


* Waldemar Ager, Norwegian-American newspaperman and author
* Jesse Horne, television sports reporter/anchor
* Ann Landers, advice columnist (during her time in Eau Claire she served as chair of the Eau Claire County Democratic Party). [ [http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/Landers.html Ann Landers ] ]
* Julie Nelson, TV News anchor
* Abigail van Buren, advice columnist


* Hank Aaron, baseball great, played in Eau Claire for the Eau Claire Bears during his first professional baseball season in 1952. Aaron has returned to the city several times since, including in 1994 for the dedication of his statue at Carson Park, [ [http://www.uwecbaseball.com/carson.php Carson Park article] , from the [http://www.uwecbaseball.com UW-Eau Claire Club Baseball website] ] [ [http://www.eauclaireexpress.com/PDFs/HankAaronTriFoldBrochure.pdf Hank Aaron] tri-fold brochure from the Eau Claire Express website. (.pdf)] [ [http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1355/is_n18_v86/ai_15779676 "Henry Aaron honored in city where he broke barriers in baseball - Eau Claire, WI"] article from "Jet", 5 Sept. 1994. Retrieved via [http://www.findarticles.com/ findarticles.com] 13 Jan. 2007.] [ [http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4196/is_20020403/ai_n10782449 "Hammerin' Hank still stands tall"] article from "Milwaukee Journal Sentinel" 3 April 2002. Retrieved from [http://www.findarticles.com/ findarticles.com] , 13 Jan. 2007.] and again in 2006 as a campaign speaker for governor Jim Doyle's gubernatorial reëlection. [ [http://www.leadertelegram.com/story.asp?id=74946 "Welcome back, Hank"] 20 October 2006 "Eau Claire Leader-Telegram" article. Two more stories referring to this visit, although both more germane to Hank Aaron's activities as a campaigner for Jim Doyle's gubernatorial reëlection: [http://www.leadertelegram.com/story.asp?id=74922 "Hank Aaron goes to bat for Doyle" 19 Oct. 2006] [http://www.leadertelegram.com/story.asp?id=74924 "Aaron stumps for Doyle in city" 20 Oct. 2006] ] [ [http://www.weau.com/news/headlines/4438826.html "Governor Doyle and Hank Aaron Visit Eau Claire"] article on WEAU-TV [http://www.weau.com/ website] , viewed 13, Jan. 2007.]
* Andy Akervik, University of Wisconsin 1985-1988, Memorial High School, Eau Claire, WI (1985) played professional hockey for the Virginia Lancers and Richmond Renegades, both of the East Coast Hockey League, and the Kansas City Blades of the International Hockey League. Akervik was selected in the 6th round of the NHL entry draft in 1985 by the Quebec Nordiques.
* Marv Harshman, former college men's basketball coach for Washington, Washington State, and Pacific Lutheran
* Alex Hicks, National Hockey League, a University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Blugold, played in the NHL for the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, and the Florida Panthers. Hicks was, and remains, the first and only University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Blugold (a division III school) to play in NHL regular season and playoff games.
* Herm Johnson, former CART / Indy 500 race car driver
* Paul Menard, NASCAR driver
* Tom Pellatt, National Football League Center, Regis High SchoolFact|date=August 2008
* Tom Poquette, MLB player for Kansas City Royals (1973, 1976-79, 1982), Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers
* Brad Radke, MLB pitcher for the Minnesota Twins born in Eau Claire on October 27, 1972.
* Bill Schroeder, NFL wide receiver (1994-2004)
* Joe Torre, current Los Angeles Dodgers manager and former New York Yankees manager, played and coached baseball for the Eau Claire Bears and Braves. [ [http://www.evesmag.com/torre.htm Joe Torre: A Man for All Seasons ] ] [ [http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Joe_Torre Joe Torre - BR Bullpen ] ] [ [http://www2.jsonline.com/sports/brew/sat/base61398.stm New Page 2 ] ]
* AHL (2007-present)


* Bernice, the protagonist of F. Scott Fitzgerald's short story "Bernice Bobs Her Hair".
* John Rusk, a character from the Alexander Payne film "About Schmidt" mentions that he own a Famous Footwear shoe store in Eau Claire, Wisconsin

Sister Cities

Eau Claire is sistered with Lismore, New South Wales, a rural town in Australia. [http://www.liscity.nsw.gov.au/view_doc.asp?id=68&cat=168]

In July 2007, Eau Claire also sistered with Miramar, Costa Rica, a rural town in the Montes de Oro canton within the Puntarenas Province of Costa Rica.

See also

* Eau Claire-Chippewa Falls metropolitan area
* List of municipalities in Wisconsin by population
* Eau Claire, Calgary - a neighboorhood in Calgary, Alberta (Canada), whose name was derived from a relocated Eau Claire, WI sawmill.
* List of Tree Cities USA
* Water Street, Eau Claire, WI


External links


* [http://www.ci.eau-claire.wi.us/ City of Eau Claire website]


* [http://www.eauclairehpf.org/ Eau Claire Historic Preservation Foundation]
* [http://www.ci.eau-claire.wi.us/e107_plugins/content/content.php?content.287 Eau Claire Landmarks Commission photo collection]
* [http://www.cvmuseum.com/ Chippewa Valley Museum]
* [http://www.paulbunyancamp.org/ Paul Bunyan Logging Camp]
* [http://www.uwec.edu/Library/archives/ University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Special Collections and Archives] [UWEC's Special Collections and Archives, located on the fifth floor of McIntyre Library, houses an extensive collection of public records, books and manuscript collection relevant to Eau Claire's history. These include pre-1907 vital records (birth, death, marriage), naturalization records, court records, as well as historic diaries, letters, organizational records and business records. For more information on material housed in UWEC's Special Collections and Archives, to search the collections, or to contact the department, visit their website.]
* [http://www.ecpubliclibrary.info/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=67&Itemid=193/ L. E. Phillips Memorial Public Library Local History Resources]

Metropolitan area

* [http://wcwrpc.org/MPO/body_mpo.html Eau Claire-Chippewa Falls Metropolitan Planning Organization website]


Tourism and Entertainment

* [http://www.chippewavalley.net/ Chippewa Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau]
* [http://www.chippewaguide.com/ Chippewa Guide - Chippewa Valley Web Portal]
* [http://www.chippewavalleybuzz.com/ Chippewa Valley Buzz - Entertainment Guide]
* [http://www.eauclairebars.com/ Eau Claire Bars - Local Bar Reviews]
* [http://discover-net.net/~mlana/eauclaireVguide.htm Eau Claire Visitors Guide]

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