7 Local Things We Miss

Mike Paulus

The shiz.
The shiz.

After some recent discussion on V1’s Facebook page, a few You Know You Are From Eau Claire When ... email forwards, and a question on our Best of the Chippewa Valley Reader Poll from three years ago, it’s not hard to assemble a list of awesome local stuff that’s no longer around, golldarnit. Such as ...

  • The Carson Park rocket slide. This thing got ripped out in the early 1990s, and the collective wailing from local adults having their childhood hearts ripped out could be heard from as far away as Duluth.
  • Mission Eau Claire. The few. The proud. The geeky. The magical pairing of a space shuttle-shaped school bus and grade school journalists can never be replicated.
  • Yuletide visits from Bruce the Spruce (at Prange's). That freaky talking Christmas tree with giant, sleepy eyes haunts the dreams of countless Chippewa Vallians.
  • Kerm’s, Cassidy’s, Timm’s Dairy, etc. Why do grocery stores elicit such strong nostalgia? All you do is buy food there.
  • The old Eau Claire River suspension bridge. Yes, the new bridge is much nicer and safer. But it’s not near as (awesomely) creepy looking.
  • Walter’s Brewery. A brewery near downtown Eau Claire. Genius.
  • Union Records. The new vinyl shops around Eau Claire are cool, but what if you want to buy an obscure-ish CD from an actual, independently owned brick-n-mortar store that’s dusty and ugly and carpeted in really gross carpet? Sadly, this shopping option has evaporated.

I purposely excluded restaurants (too easy). This list is far from complete – what do you guys miss?