Thursday, August 25, 2011

Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin

On Wednesday we left Duluth and headed back to Wisconsin. As we entered the town of Chippewa Falls we saw the Chippewa Bottling Company. The success of that company, as well as other locally made beverage companies, has supposedly been due to the purity of the ground water. The Chippewa Bottling Company was founded in 1880 by Thaddeus Pound, grandfather of the poet Ezra Pound. Another beverage company in this town is the Leinenkugel's Brewery, founded in 1867. Five generations of the Leinenkugel family have kept the small-town brewery going,  it is the seventh oldest working brewery in the nation. We toured that place this morning, after which we were treated to samples of some of the brewery's products. Below is a picture of  one of the brewing rooms with its copper topped brew kettle.
We learned something interesting while touring the brewery's museum. The expression "Give me a shot" was what cowboys said when they wanted a drink. They usually had no cash on them so they traded a bullet for a drink. After the brewery tour we drove over to Irvine Park. The park has 364 acres and contains a zoo with native animals. It has a large forested area complete with many hiking trails and also includes Glen Loch Dam, pictured below. We rode on our bikes to explore the park, and from there we headed to the downtown area.
For a small town Chippewa Falls has a very thriving downtown. Mason Shoe Company got its start there in 1906 and now has a big outlet store in the business district. While in town we also found a wonderful farmer's market. The town was named one of the top ten small towns in America by Time Magazine and, after being in the area for just a brief time, it was easy for us to understand why it is such a great little town.

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