GET FAMILIAR WITH THORP’S
A Wild Frontier Full of wonder
Like many small Midwestern small towns, Thorp was founded and developed in the land owned and occupied by Native Americans. We honor the proud tribes that resided in the Chippewa Valley; the Winnebago's, Chippewa's, Sioux's, and Menomonie's. These four tribes claimed territory along the Black River within the present boundaries of Clark County.
While there was relative peace between white settlers and local tribes, there were conflicts, as well. Multiple attempts to deport the natives failed until there was money to made. Unfortunately, life would never be the same in the surrounding area for anyone.
a town is born
Established in 1876
The history of Thorp is one of a vibrant Native American community followed by American expansion during the 1800s. It then weaves its way through multiple changes in economic and population shifts that echos the growing nation.
Learn about the earliest known settlers, key landmarks that dot the area, and how the demographics of our city came to be. You can even look at a timeline of significant events in our local history.All information on our community has been collected and curated with the diligent effort of the Thorp Area Historical Society.
continue your journey in learning about thorp's history at the
thorp area historical & telephone museum
You've only scratched the surface herehistorical society
Come in and step back in time to discover how a small logging camp developed into a thriving, rural Wisconsin community! Our exhibits showcase the stories of people, businesses, and the agricultural impact that helped our community become what we are today - A Place To Belong.
The Thorp Area Historical Society collects and displays history, genealogies, and artifacts of the area and world which have affected the local way of life. we also have a growing collection of early-period farm equipment, machinery, clothing, household items, books, and war memories.
Included in a portion of our building is the Telephone Heritage Room. While walking through the museum, you will be able to see over 100 telephones from around the world. The museum portrays the stages of development and demonstrates through its displays the progression of the telephone industry from the late 1800's to the present. It is the only museum of this kind in the state of Wisconsin, and the Thorp Area Historical Society is proud to have the opportunity to share it with the rest of the world.
The museum is located 2 blocks west of Washington Street at 307 W Birch St. You can call us at (715)773-0102.
a historic landmark across our area
a modern connection to our neighboring towns
There are seven unique towns along the Yellowstone Trail (County X). They offer a buffet of little gems like small community parks, turn of the century churches, quaint restaurants and American history.
In 1912, roads were dirt wagons roads - dust and muc. Citizens gathered to improve and connect local roads to make the first coast-to-coast route in the northern tier of states: The Yellowstone Trail. In 1918, Wisconsin was the first to number its automobile highways and governments were starting to fund good roads. By 1929, the Yellowstone Trail was the first Wisconsin highway to be paved wit concrete all across the state.
Thorp(e) - Railroad telegraphers dropped the (e) from founder Joseph Gilbert Thorpe's name. This lawyer, lumber baron and State Senator lived in Eau Claire, but never in his eponymous town. Thorp's Yellowstone Trail Park is so named because it is on the Trail, (Stanley st., Co. X). The park recently received that name due to a resurgence of interest in the Yellowstone Trail. Outdoor activities there include ice skating and summer live music.
Almost two decades ago, local resident Arnoldine Gulcynski was instrumental in reviving interest in the Trail in the area by placing markers at the main intersection in town, Stanly St. (Co. X, YT) and Co. M. At the same intersection is Bob's Corner Service and next to that Bolt's of Fun Quilt Shop. In the 1920s and 1930s, Al Capone, the famous Chicago gangster, frequently stopped at this station on his way to his hideout in northern wisconsin. At the same intersection sits the present Heritage Court Motel in a 100 year old building. there is a large yellow rock on the corner of Hwy X and Gorman Avenue marking the Trail.