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VFW Post 305 History

Our Building

VFW Post 305 started out as a Beach Changing House overlooking Dells Pond back in 1932 called the Davis Beach House. The facility was named after a lumber baron William Llewellyan Davis, who was the president of the Dells Paper & Pulp Company, the largest manufacturing industry in Eau Claire.

The facility had a long set of steep concrete steps for swimmers to reach the water which were funded by a local Kiwanis Club, and the names of members are still emblazoned on them.


The beach was closed in 1946 because of pollution, and in 1951 VFW Post 305 bought the changing house. The building has been expanded several times since then, and now is home to VFW Post 305 which is the only Post in the country with a bar/restaurant, panoramic views and its own museum filled priceless military artifacts.


The facility has undergone many changes over the years and is currently being expanded once again with an anticipated re-opening date of mid-August 2023.

Our Post

In the Fall of 1921, the VFW Post 305 was founded in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The first Commander, Leonard P. Loken, was a veteran of the Spanish-American War. He and 137 founding members, many of whom were veterans for WWI, received the charter for the new Post, making it the second oldest VFW Post established in the state of Wisconsin.


In June 1922, the first meeting of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of Wisconsin was held. S. Knox Kreutzer from Wausau was elected it’s Commander and Loken was elected first Vice Commander. After that meeting adjourned, a wire was received from Kreutzer that he could not be Commander so Loken was convinced to step up. Loken took over the VFW of Wisconsin leadership in 1923. At that time, there were 12 posts in the state.


On January 29, 1945, Major Richard I. Bong, the biggest flying ace from WWII, was invited by VFW Post 305 to speak at a public meeting at the city auditorium in Eau Claire. He was a new member of the VFW and was looking forward to becoming an active member. (Unfortunately, Major Bong was killed in a test plane crash August 6, 1945).

Basil O. Lee was Commander of VFW Post 305 in 1946, the Silver Jubilee year. Under his leadership, membership climbed to over 1100 members, including James A. Guinn of Bloomer, a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient from WWII.


In 1947, VFW Post 305 buys the 512 Galloway Street Hall. Money is spent in renovation, but the property is sold in 1951 because it is simply too small. The Post considers buying past properties where it has met, but can't find any that will serve their needs.


In 1950, Rev. Roy B. Schmeichel, a member of VFW Post 305, was elected National Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.


In 1951, VFW Post 305 puts in a bid of $5,000 on the Davis (Dells) beach property which is being sold by the city. Originally constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1932, it offers an ideal spot to meet plus room to expand as membership grows. The city accepts their offer and the Post moves into its new home.


In 1954, an addition to the clubhouse was erected for $15,000 and in 1958, the post bought the Sherman Tank parked out for $100.



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