Eau Claire County Courthouse Square

Photographed May 23, 2015
Erected 2006 by the Eau Claire County Sesquicentennial Commission
Eau Claire, Eau Claire County, Wisconsin
44° 48.393′ N, 91° 29.708′ W

Eau Claire County Courthouse Square
A Place to Plan the Future
If this were summer 1856, you would be standing in Chippewa County. June 11 that year, the Chippewa County Board gave up this block for a Courthouse Square. So, when Governor Bashford signed the act carving Eau Claire County from Chippewa County on October 6, this property had already been set aside. But the new government didn't meet here that winter, or the next summer. In fact, several years passed before a courthouse could be built.

The square was nevertheless quickly becoming a center of civic life. The county held its first fair here in 1858, and the next year a jail went up on this block. Finally in May 1862, the county government moved into a wood-frame building on the Emery Street side.

The county bloomed through the era. In 1853, then known as the Town of Clearwater, Chippewa County, it had 200 people. By 1860, Eau Claire County had 3,200 folks; by 1870, it had 11,000.

Only ten years after the county moved its operations here, growth in county needs and services forced yet another move.

In 1873, the county began building a new courthouse at Grand and Oxford on Eau Claire's west side. By 1877, the county had vacated the "old" county building, given Courthouse Square to the city for Wilson Park, and sold the wood-frame structure. Its new owners moved the building a block west, where it became the Binder House hotel. It held apartments from 1893 to 1953, when its last owner tore it down.
The marker is located at the southeast corner of Wilson Park at the intersection of South Barlow Street and Earl Street, Eau Claire, Wisconsin 54701.

See also, Wilson Park, also at this location.

With northbound South Barlow Street visible to the left.

Detail of a bird's eye map of Eau Claire, 1872. Courthouse Square is marked by the [star].
The block was still bordered by Farwell, Barstow, Emery, and Earl Streets in 2006.
With northbound South Barlow Street visible to the left.

The marker is located at Wilson Park.

The marker is located in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

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