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Watermark Spring Valley Main Street, looking south from Masonic Bldg Corner, donor Ted Van

Explore the history of Spring Valley 

Eau Galle Dam and Recreation Center
 

The Eau Galle Dam is part of the Eau Galle Flood Control Project, which also includes a lake, recreation area, and channel improvements. The project was initiated in 1958 to control flooding in the Spring Valley area. The dam is the largest earthen dam in the Midwest. The dam project was essential after 1942's "The Big Flood" which decimated the town of Spring Valley. Since the completion of the dam, each year the town celebrates the third weekend of September in honor of "Dam Days."

You can view a full account of the 1942 flood here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1MIxRiQJUw

The flood debris following a flood in 1896 at the south end of Main Street. Photo courtesy of Don Blegen

Iron Smelting Tower

North of 6th Street - The Eagle Iron Company and later, the Spring Valley Iron and Ore Company, had pig iron smelting operations here between 1892 and 1917. Enough business was generated to bring a branch line of the Minnesota and Wisconsin Railway through the village. When the Iron market bottomed out the ore deposits east of town and in nearby Gilman Township became too costly to mine and the facilities were dismantled. All that remains is the 80 foot elevator shaft. The railroad, eventually running through Elmwood, discontinued service in 1966.

For more information on the history of Spring Valley, WI or the Pierce County area, please visit the Pierce County Historical Association at https://piercecountyhistorical.org/.

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