History Sites – SPRING VALLEY (village of)
W2465 Hwy 29, east of County CC
This privately-held natural attraction, formed millions of years ago by ground water eroding the sandstone and dolomite that underlies the area, has been open to tourists since 1942. An opening to the cave was discovered by a local 16 year old in 1881. It was excavated, developed and promoted to the public by an Eau Claire, Wisconsin amateur geologist and advertising man. Opening day drew 4,000 visitors. Current owners have retained the flavor of the 1950’s and enjoy sharing the site’s geologic history with visitors.
Iron Smelting Site
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.
Eau Galle Dam and Recreation Site
W500 Eau Galle Dam Road
Promoted as the Midwest’s largest earthen dam, this manmade structure northwest of town was built by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1965 to protect Spring Valley from the Eau Galle River’s surging flood waters. A recreational area has grown up around the dam’s reservoir, Lake George.
Spring Valley Public School
S 200 Sabin Street
Built in 1929 to house grades 1 through 12, the building superceded four other buildings that stood on or near the site in 1868, 1880, 1893, and 1904. It now serves as the Spring Valley Elementary School