8/9: "The Swampers: Wissota in the Making" - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

8/9: "The Swampers: Wissota in the Making"


Chippewa Falls (Heyde Center for the Arts) -- In celebration of Pure Water Days this weekend, the Heyde Center is putting on a show!

It's called "The Swampers: Wissota in the Making", with the script and songs written by Jerry Way. Showings will be Thursday, August 10 and Friday, August 11 at 7:30 p.m. The show will highlight Lake Wissota's Centennial.

A century ago, the Wisconsin-Minnesota Light & Power Company (later to become known as Northern States Power and Excel Energy) hired 700 workers, set up a temporary town, and built the hydro dam that creates Lake Wissota--all in the short span of 18 months. At that time, it was the largest earthen dam in the world.

The company wisely commissioned a professional photographer to document the construction-in-progress with amazing black and white photographs. This visual history, now archived by the Chippewa County Historical Society, inspired Jerry Way to create the words, music and slide show telling the story of "Wissota in the Making."

The Swampers musical lumberjack aggregation features Amanda Tanzer, Kathy Danielson, Judy Brist, Tim Danielson, Rob Kuchta, along with Swamper Jer, playing a variety of folk instruments and singing a unique blend of three-and-a-half-part Swampgrass harmony. "Wissota in the Making" marks the group's 16th original Pure Water Days production celebrating the Chippewa Valley, past and present.

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