The Sheeley House, a well-known landmark and beautiful example of Italianate Revival architecture, is located at 236 West River Street in Chippewa Falls. The building has a long history along with reports that it is haunted.
In 1884, John B. Paul purchased an existing building on the site from Carl Hering, remodeled it to the structure we recognize today, and ran it as the Paul House, a boarding house with a first-floor saloon.
In 1905, James Sheely and his wife Kate purchased the property and ran it as a boarding house and saloon until 1913, when James Sheeley died. Kate continued the boarding house and served food but leased the saloon operations out. Kate Sheeley passed in 1934, her daughter Anna continued to rent rooms out but no longer served food.
From 1939 to 1967, Frank “Frenchie” LaCoure ran the saloon as Frenchie’s Tavern, a place that many Chippewa Falls residents still remember.
In 1981, Anna moved from her home at Sheeley House. David and Sharon Raihle then began a renovation of the structure. Following the renovation, several people have operated the property, including Pete and Jill Bell, Jim Bloms, and Jes and Brian Jensen since 2016.
Cheers to many more years for the Sheeley House!
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Each Saturday, the Chippewa Area History Center showcases a piece of local history in the Herald. The Area History Center at 123 Allen Street, Chippewa Falls has multiple rooms of displays about Chippewa County history and genealogy. Visit www.ChippewaAreaHistoryCenter.org to learn more about the future Chippewa Area History Center, to be located on Bridgewater Avenue, and how you can help support local history preservation and education.