Eau Claire, Wisconsin Past & Present Photos by Dewitz Photography and The Chippewa Valley Museum

November 29, 2013 Travis Dewitz

I recently worked with the Chippewa Valley Museum in obtaining many historical images taken of Eau Claire, Wisconsin and the surrounding communities in the Chippewa Valley. I have been working with these images to create a series of past and present photo sets. This is part one of this series. The hardest part of this project is being able to take a similar photo of a scene without obstructions like trees, buildings, or poles. Trees are the biggest challenge in many locations as they block much if not all of many locations I picked. The next challenge is trying to find the exact position and just as importantly the cameras focal range that the original photo was taken with. 50mm is a very common lens size for many of the photos but I had to take some of the photos at different focal lengths than the original to avoid obstructions that are now present.  I had a few ways that I could have displayed the differences between these past and present photos but for this first part, I choose to do either side by side or a 5 image blend from top to bottom in 25% opacity increments.  I hope you enjoy all the photos below.

Looking up the Eau Claire River from Dewey Street. Eau Claire Linen Co.

Looking down Barstow Street towards Stones Throw.

Looking at the location of the L.E. Phillips Public Library.

North Barstow Street, Eau Claire

The Huebsch Building on Dewey Street

Old Amoco Station on Madison Street.

Milwaukee Road train depot off of N. Barstow St. by the Post Office.

Madison Street Hill before the railroad grade separation.

The Chicago and North Western Eau Claire train station.

S. Farwell Street and Gray Street

Downtown Eau Claire – Barstow Street


Travis Dewitz is a remarkable photographer in the Chippewa Valley. He is well known for photographing local sceneries, landmarks, venues, buildings and people in various and ingenious ways. Though you not know him personally, his work provides a unique foundation of our local community and his photographs are unmistakable. Dewitz’s pictures are an impressive feat and preserve a moment; long after our travels are over, and our memories faded, photos are what remind us of the adventures we had and the connections to the people we met. Learn more about him here.

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Travis Dewitz

My name is Travis Dewitz and I am from Eau Claire, Wisconsin. My specialty is commercial photography with a love for expressive portraits. My work is Conceptual, Emotive, Editorial, Surreal and Eclectic. I am passionate about fashioning new worlds through photographs as I extend my visions beyond the realm of the camera. I have incredible vision, which you can see in all of my photos.

Comments (12)

  1. Abdulelah Sejini

    Thanks you, I’m glad to see like this work. I love this city too much.
    But do you think the old Eau Claire more beautiful than now?

  2. Emily Carter

    I lived there in 1977 I left in november of 1977
    I had a friend there
    By the name of lori scoville she had a sister “marcy” a brother “lonnie” and
    Another sister cant remember her name lonnie was married .
    Lonnie had a friend
    Dwayne he came back to mississippi with me.
    I loved it in eau claire it was a small
    I had a lot of fun on
    Water street.
    Ahhhh the memories: I was 19
    Yrs. Old
    I met a few people there.

  3. I have a print of the CNW Eau Claire station made from a deteriorated negative from my wife’s uncle collection. The prints appear to be from photos taken in the early 1900’s. I can’t tell from the clothing of what period they are. Scans of the station and a lumber yard are on my website just for you to examine. I would like to donate them to the appropriate preservation entity. Let me know what you think.

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