236 W RIVER ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record


Architecture and History Inventory
236 W RIVER ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Sheeley House
Other Name:Sheeley House Restaurant and Bar
Reference Number:3275
Location (Address):236 W RIVER ST
City:Chippewa Falls
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
Year Built:1868
Additions: 1884 1886
Survey Date:1984
Historic Use:blacksmith shop
Architectural Style:Italianate
Structural System:Unknown
Wall Material:Brick
Other Buildings On Site:
Demolished Date:
National/State Register Listing Name: Sheeley House
National Register Listing Date:9/5/1985
State Register Listing Date:1/1/1989
National Register Multiple Property Name:
Additional Information:A 'site file' exists for this property. It contains additional information such as correspondence, newspaper clippings, or historical information. It is a public record and may be viewed in person at the Wisconsin Historical Society, State Historic Preservation Office. Paired brackets under overhanging eaves; elaborate gable ornament, cornice returns and oculus in front gable; segmental arched projecting brick window heads; one over one windows; exposed stone foundation; store front with recessed entrance and decked porch with cut out rail and bracket supports; rear two story addition with open porch and bracketed turned posts. A projecting cornice visually supported by paired brackets with the cornice broken to form a triangular pedimented gable at the front characterizes the Sheeley House remodeled by John Paul to its present appearance in 1884. Used as a saloon and rooming house until the 1960s, the Sheeley House, ornamented by projecting window hoods, is a brick interpretation of the Italianate style. The Sheeley House is architecturally significant as the best preserved and restored (1981) example of the 1880s commercial structures influenced by the Italianate style. This structure began as a blacksmith and carriage shop constructed by Carl Hering, probably in 1868. In 1884, John Paul purchased the property, removing the carriage shop and adding locally made red brick veneer to the outside. At this time the building operated as a boarding house and saloon, with the ground floor the saloon, first floor living quarters and kitchen, and boarders dining room and second floor with eleven sleeping rooms. The Paul House as it was then known, was sold in 1905 to James Sheeley. The Sheeley family also ran the business as a boarding house and saloon, catering to loggers who spent summers in Chippewa Falls. In 1913, following her husband's death, Kate Sheeley and her daughter Anna continued to operate the boarding house, leasing the saloon. With the decline of the lumber industry and the emergence of Chippewa Falls as a railroad division point, the Sheeley House's clientele changed to railroad men. After her mother's death in 1934 Anna Sheeley continued to operate the boarding house, still leasing the saloon. The saloon was closed in 1967. Anna Sheeley rented rooms as a sort of retirement home for low income men. In 1981, the property was purchased and remodeled to a "Victorian style" restaurant. Del and Tula Fonger purchased the property in 1984, changing the business to a 24 hour a day restaurant, known as the Sheeley House Restaurant.(F) This structure is of significant historical interest because it is one of a handful of extant boarding houses and saloons representative of an important commercial sector (hotels, boarding houses and saloons) of nineteenth and early twentieth century Chippewa Falls. It is noteworthy that the Sheeley House continues to provide commercial services related to its original use.
Bibliographic References:A. Chippewa (WI) Herald Telegram, Progress Edition 5 March 1985, Section D. p. 8. B. Ibid. C. Ibid. D. Ibid. E. Ibid F. Ibid., Leader Telegram 31 March, 1982. Take a Walk on Main Street: Historic Walking Tours in Wisconsin's Main Street Communities, Wisconsin Main Street Program, 1998. Eau Claire Leader Telegram 11/15/1998.
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, State Historic Preservation Office, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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