Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Eau Claire is a city located in Wisconsin. (Its name is pronounced as if it were "O'Clare".) As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 61,704. It is the county seat of Eau Claire County. It is also the home of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (UWEC). "Eau Claire" is the singularized form of the town's original French name, "Eaux Claires", meaning "Clear Waters". Because of the difficulty "out of towners" have correctly pronouncing the name of the city, a number of residents have suggested renaming the city "Clearwater". This recommendation has yet to make it to referendum.
The lumber industry drove Eau Claire's growth in the late 19th century.
There are several large parks in the city, notably Putnam Park, which follows the course of Putnam Creek and Little Niagara Creek east from the UWEC campus, and Carson Park, located on a peninsula in Half Moon Lake (see Geography). Carson Park is home to the Eau Claire Cavaliers , a minor-league baseball team, the Chippewa Valley Museum , and the Paul Bunyan Logging Camp , which celebrates the town's lumbering history. Another important park is Owen Park, along the Chippewa River, home to a large bandshell where open air concerts are held throughout the summer.
The city was founded near the confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa rivers, as three separate towns. The main section of the downtown is on the site of the original village of Eau Claire. Across the river was West Eau Claire, founded in 1856, near the site of the present day county courthouse. Between a mile and a half and two miles downstream, the Daniel Shaw & Co. lumber company founded a town, Shawtown, which was annexed to the city by the 1930s. By the 1950s, the unified city had spread far enough to the east to adjoin Altoona.
The terrain of the city is characterized by the river valleys, with steep slopes leading from the center to the eastern and southern sections of the city. The lands into which the urban area is currently extending are increasingly hilly.
There are two lakes in the city, Dell's Pond, and Half Moon Lake. Dell's Pond is a reservoir created by a dam, and was formerly used as a holding pool for logs. Half Moon Lake is an oxbow created as part of the former course of the Chippewa River.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 61,704 people, 24,016 households, and 13,569 families residing in the city. The population density is 786.8/km² (2,037.8/mi²). There are 24,895 housing units at an average density of 317.4/km² (822.2/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 93.44% White, 0.70% African American, 0.55% American Indian, 3.66% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.34% from other races, and 1.28% from two or more races. 1.00% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 24,016 households out of which 27.7% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.4% are married couples living together, 9.3% have a female householder with no husband present, and 43.5% are non-families. 30.0% of all households are made up of individuals and 10.5% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.38 and the average family size is 2.99.
In the city the population is spread out with 21.6% under the age of 18, 22.1% from 18 to 24, 26.1% from 25 to 44, 18.2% from 45 to 64, and 11.9% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 29 years. For every 100 females there are 90.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 87.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $36,399, and the median income for a family is $49,320. Males have a median income of $32,503 versus $23,418 for females. The per capita income for the city is $18,230. 13.6% of the population and 5.5% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 10.4% of those under the age of 18 and 7.4% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
- City of Eau Claire website
- Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire's daily newspaper
- WQOW-TV, local ABC network affiliate
- WEAU-TV, local NBC network affiliate
- WEUX-TV, local FOX network affiliate
- Chippewa Valley Museum
- Paul Bunyan Logging Camp
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