America's Best History Spotlight

On this page we're going to Spotlight the lesser known historic sites and attractions that dot the history landscape across the USA and are worth a visit if you're in their area. And while they may be lesser known, some are very unique, and will be that rare find. You'll be, at times, on the ground floor, or maybe even know something others don't. It'll be fun. Visit them.

Paul Bunyan and Ox Babe

Paul Bunyan Logging Camp Museum, Wisconsin

It's now called the Wisconsin Logging Museum, to thwart the criticism, but no matter the name, the logging museum reflects the exploits of the fabled Paul Bunyan and the rest of the loggers who toiled in the woods of Wisconsin and especially the Chippewa Valley. At one time this area timbered more lumber than any other in the United States.

It became apparent to the first European settlers that the dense woodland of Wisconsin would not support agriculture in the ways of other territories, so lumbering became the predominant industry. It was first central on the Wisconsin River with sawmills in Wausau and Stevens Point. There were two other major areas; along the Wolf River, and along the Chippewa and Black Rivers. In the early days, much of the lumbering was done by immigrants from Scandinavia.

Photo above: Statue of Paul Bunyan, which was created by Phil Nessel and students from Eau Claire North High School. Statue of Ox Babe was rehabilitated from an original, 2016, Carol M. Highsmith. Courtesy Library of Congress.

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Info, What's There Now, History Nearby

Log Jam on River Culpeper 1862

Paul Bunyan Logging Camp Museum, Wisconsin

Today, the museum, visitor center, and four historic buildings tell the stories of the lumber industry, Paul Bunyan, his ox Babe, and the men and women who worked the timber. If you're in Wisconsin, take a look at one of the lesser known museums; you might even take in a baseball game along the way. See more on that below.

Image above: St. Croix River logjam, 1865, Minnesota Historical Society. Courtesy Wikipedia Commons. Below: Montage: (left) Paul Bunyan statue in wood and sign at the Paul Bunyan Logging Camp, Wisconsin Logging Museum entrance, 2016, Carol M. Highsmith. (right) Fur Coat on display at the Paul Bunyan Logging Camp Museum, 2016, Carol M. Highsmith. Both Courtesy Library of Congress.

Paul Bunyan, Wisconsin Logging Museum

Where Is It

The Paul Bunyan Logging Camp Museum, now called the Wisconsin Logging Museum, is located in Carson Park, 1110 E Half Moon Drive, Eau Claire, WI 54703.

What is There Now

Paul Bunyan Logging Camp Museum

A visitor center with exhibit center, four historic buildings, the huge Paul Bunyan and Babe statue, and biannual chainsaw competitions where more than one hundred chainsaw sculptures are created over four days. It is now technically called the Wisconsin Logging Museum, but we like adding the Paul Bunyan Logging Camp Museum better, even though the name change was done in 2019 to reflect their growing exhibits on the entire Wisconsin logging industry and not the tale. Parking is free. Picnic tables are available. There is a gift shop. The U.S. Open Chainsaw Sculpture Competition is being held in 2023 from August 10-13, 2023.

When Open and How Much

The museum and visitor center are open June to September. Opening date in 2023 is May 30 at 5:00 p.m. Generally open Tuesday 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. and Wednesday to Sunday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. There is a charge of $12 for adults and $5 for children over 5. There is also a combination ticket with the Chippewa Valley Museum available.

Fees and hours are subject to change.

Paul Bunyan Logging Camp Museum
Eau Claire Visitor Center

History Nearby

There are a myriad of historic and natural sites to see in Wisconsin and the upper midwest. From National Park Service sites like the Apostle Islands, the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore to smaller Eau Claire sites such as Farmers Markets, Leinie Lodge, and the Eau Claire Children's Museum.

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