A book celebrating Lake Wissota’s centennial and published by the Chippewa County Historical Society (CCHS) will be unveiled at a series of June book release events at four county locations.
Lake Wissota: The Dam Story celebrates the completion of the Wissota Dam in 1917 with a pictorial history of the lake. It includes more than 300 photos, plus maps, vintage ads, and hundreds of newspaper clippings to tell the story of the building the dam and the lake.
The lake’s rich history is revealed in stories about the people who lived, worked, and played there, according to a press release from the Lake Wissota Improvement and Protection Association (LWIPA).
The book’s authors, Donna Bourget, Anne Keller and Jim Schuh will donate all sale proceeds to the new Chippewa Area History Center capital campaign. The funds will help build the new home of the CCHS and the Chippewa County Genealogical Society next to the south entrance to Irvine Park on Bridgewater Avenue in Chippewa Falls.
Many of the photos in the book are among the more than 500 provided by Xcel Energy, which now operates the dam. The photos were taken incrementally throughout the year and a half it took to construct the dam.
Book release events will be held Wednesday (June 7) from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Sand Bar & Grill, 17643 50th Ave.; June 12, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Foreign 5, 123 N. Bridge St.; June 23, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Wissota Café, 17255 County Hwy X; and June 26, 5-7 p.m. at the Chippewa Falls Public Library, 105 W. Central St.
The book is available for purchase for $20 at all of those locations except the Library. It can also be purchased at Gordy’s County Market Lake Wissota, 17158 County Rd. J; the Pine Harbor Campground, 7181 185th St.; and (on Tuesdays) at the Area History Center, 123 Allen St. It is also available by mail for an additional $5 per book shipping charge, from CCHS at 123 Allen St., Chippewa Falls, 54729.
“You will enjoy the accounts of ‘lake lore’ in this thoroughly researched and carefully crafted account of what was once billed as the Niagara of the Northwest,” said Barbara Ray, an area history buff. “This publication promises to become an historic treasure for the entire community.”
The release of the book is just one way the area will mark the centennial. A musical about Lake Wissota written by local artist Jerry Way will be performed at the Heyde Center for the Arts during Chippewa Falls’ Pure Water Days on Aug. 10-11.
More information about the Lake Wissota anniversary is available from Schuh at 715-726-2376.