Thank you for visiting the Chippewa County Historical Society located in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.
Collection, preservation and maintenance of Chippewa County historical materials for public accessibility.
Started in 1969, the Chippewa County Historical Society is now located in the original convent of Notre Dame Church. The convent was built in 1881. The four stories building had 49 rooms and 5 bathrooms. When the Chippewa County Historical Society took possession of the building in 1990, the Sisters had been gone for 2 years. The building required a lot of repair. While the Society is using the building rent-free they are responsible for the continued repairs and modifications. Within six years of acquiring the building, 17 rooms have been set up and are dedicated to the display of historical artifacts from Chippewa Falls and Chippewa County. The Chippewa County Genealogical Society has offices, record storage and a library on the second floor of the convent.
The displays include:
- The lower level - The Rutledge room
- The first floor - The Allen room
- The second floor - The Indian room, Shell room, Children’s room, Music room and a Prohibition display
- The third floor - The Logging room and display, Railroad room, Tool room, Home appliances room, Dorland room, Nuns' room, Military room, Civil War room, and Survey room
The Rutledge room contains artifacts from the Rutledge Home, which was built by Edward Rutledge as a home for retired lumberman. The building is still a home for the elderly. The Allen room is named after Hiram Storrs Allen, who was one of the first white settlers in Chippewa Falls. Gertrude Casper, who had collected shells from all over the world, donated the shell room’s content. The military room features the Medal of Honor of Sergeant Mower. The Civil War room houses the Civil War collection of Peter Lee. The survey room houses the survey collection of Dennis Mickesh. Between the convent and the church is the Father Goldsmith Chapel, which can be toured by visitors. In the lower level below the Chapel alter is the crypt of Father Goldsmith, the first priest in Chippewa County.
During the spring and summer of 2012, the unused fourth floor rooms, which during convent days were occupied by resident students, was cleared, new insulation and ceiling was installed, walls patched and painted, new lights and air conditioner installed. The rooms on this floor will be used to store artifacts that are not on display. Previously there was very little artifact storage.
The Chippewa County Historical Society is funded by donations and staffed by volunteers. The volunteers work hard to ensure the history of Chippewa Falls and Chippewa County is preserved for future generations.