Chippewa Falls (WQOW) - An empty lot in Chippewa Falls near Irvine Park could soon be home to some of the Chippewa Valley's oldest artifacts.
On Wednesday, organizers launched a new capital campaign to raise money for the new Chippewa Area History Center. In 2015, the Chippewa County Historical Society purchased property on Bridgewater Avenue near the entrance to Irvine Park. Made of volunteers, the group has raised $775,000 to date for the new museum. The end goal is to raise $3.5 million.
The project and money raised are all being done by volunteers. The group said it needs about 75 percent of that money raised before shovels hit the ground, but organizers hope to have doors open in about three years.
"Once these artifacts are gone, they're gone forever. We learn so much, kids are learning so much electronically, on cell phones and on their iPads, but to be able to look and feel and touch artifacts we feel is important to preserve that," said Bob Hogseth, co-chair of the campaign.
Organizers said the building will be designed to mimic the historical lumber sawmill. To make donations or learn more about the project, head to the campaign website.
Posted Sept. 1, 2017:
Chippewa Falls (WQOW) - A new history center is one step closer to becoming a reality.
The Chippewa County Historical Society and the Chippewa County Genealogical Society announced the start of their capital campaign for the construction of the new Chippewa Area History Center, a museum showcasing exhibits and artifacts from the Chippewa Falls area, as well as preserving historic items for years to come.
News 18 reported in April 2016 when the former Dairy Queen building on Bridgewater Avenue in Chippewa Falls was demolished to make way for the new $3.5 million history center. The new facility will be between 25,000 to 30,000 square feet and have two levels.
Staff said the Chippewa County Historical Society's current location on Allen Street, located near the Heyde Center for the Arts, is not handicap accessible, not set up for preserving artifacts and not easy to find for the public.
Project leaders said on Wednesday, Sept. 6, a donation thermometer will be revealed at the new site, along with announcement of donations and pledges they've received.