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Time Capsule: Early days at the Windmill Resort in Jim Falls

From the Time Capsule: Chippewa County through the years series
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Windmill Resort

This postcard photo, dated Aug. 1, 1944, is of the Windmill Resort located near Jim Falls on the Chippewa River. It began in 1929/1930 and although it has had multiple owners through the years it is still in operation and retains some of its original cabins.

Aug. 23, 1929, Chippewa Herald: Cleo Bemis of this city has completed a nifty little cottage on the Chippewa River, on County Trunk I, near Jim Falls. The grounds surrounding this cottage are of unusual beauty and slope down to a white, sandy swimming beach and the fishing is said to be good.

September 19, 1930, Chippewa Herald: Miss Ellen Hagen, of Chippewa Falls, and Mr. Cleo Bemis were married in Stillwater, MN on September 17th. After a honeymoon at their cottage, “The Wadena,” near Jim Falls, Mr. and Mrs. Bemis will make their home in Cornell.

September 17, 1934, Chippewa Herald: George Kromrey and Cleo Bemis of Jim Falls drove to Chippewa Falls on Friday evening for several cans of fish which they planted in the Chippewa River above the Jim Falls dam. The fish came from a hatchery at Rhinelander, WI.

September 17, 1934, Chippewa Herald: Mrs. O. Van Valkenburgh and the Misses Evelyn Stafford and Anna E. Blair stopped at “The Windmill,” the beautiful little resort on the Chippewa River, 14 miles from Chippewa Falls and 7 miles from Cornell. This resort is conducted by Mr. and Mrs. Cleo Bemis.

July 21, 1937, Chippewa Herald: Ernie Messner and Arthur Brown of Eau Claire landed three good-sized wall-eyed pike near the Windmill. The fish measured 22, 24 and 26 inches in length.

March 9, 1945, Chippewa Herald: THANK YOU! We have sold our place, “The Windmill,” and we wish to express to all of our friends and patrons a sincere appreciation of your friendship, patronage, and good will during our years here. We have enjoyed our association with you and our memories will always be pleasant ones. Mr. and Mrs. Cleo Bemis, Jim Falls, Wis.

April 26, 1945, Chippewa Herald: Last week Mr. and Mrs. Nile Jennings moved to the Richards place on County Trunk I recently purchased by their son, Burleigh, who also purchased The Windmill resort or Mr. and Mrs. Cleo Bemis.

April 6, 1946, Chippewa Herald: Mr. and Mrs. Burlie Jennins (Burleigh Jennings) announced today that they had sold the Windmill Resort to Ferris Orits of Mondovi. Ben Sharch of Milwaukee will continue to operate the resort.

The Windmill Resort has changed ownership several times since it began, but continues to be in operation today and is still a beautiful place.

Each Saturday, the Chippewa Area History Center showcases a piece of local history in the Herald. Visit to learn more about the future Chippewa Area History Center and how you can help support local history preservation and education.


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