Sightseeing Review: Paul Bunyan Logging Camp Museum – Eau Claire, WI

100_4177.JPG Paul Bunyan Logging Camp Museum is a historic museum for all ages. At the entrance there’s a small gift shop and displays of clothing and tools that the loggers wore and used. There’s also a room set aside for kids to play in. It has cute items like “Bunyan-sized” mittens, knife and fork, and a giant shoe. From there we went out into the reconstructed logging camp. It just so happened that we were just in time to join a Mennonite tour group that was on a guided tour. They looked us over and must have decided we were okay. It would have been interesting to chat with them but the group, almost all young women, didn’t interact with outsiders very much; we smiled a lot and they smiled back and that was the full extent of our interaction. Our guide did a great job taking us through the buildings and telling us about the daily life of the loggers who were manly farmers who worked at logging for a dollar a day through the winter months. If the farmer brought his horse along the horse earned 75 cents a day, almost as much as the lumberjack! There were no thermometers made available to the lumberjacks, I guess the foreman thought that if they didn’t know how cold it was that they would have less reason to complain about working conditions! The cook shanty and bunk house were especially interesting to us. We saw a foreman’s office, a camp store (called a Wanigan), and a Filers Shanty where an old logger would sharpen teeth of the saws. In the bunkhouse the men slept two to a bed, shared a common drinking cup, washbasin, towel, and bar of soap. We then went outside and saw how they hoisted logs onto sleds or railroad cars using a machine called a Jammer. The Heavy Equipment Shed includes a modern day vertical band re-saw manufactured in Eau Claire. There’s also a blacksmith shop and a barn. The logging camp is located in Carson Park – a beautiful place with many nice features, including a great ball park that is the home of the minor league Eau Claire Express. There are many nice trails and places for kids to play. I recommend that all who visit Eau Claire check out this nice area.

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