The first buildings on the corner of River Street and HWY 29 were built prior to the Civil War, in 1864. At that time the ground level of the building was run as a livery. The second level was living quarters for the family with a small kitchen, and the third level a boarding house with thirteen rooms that were available to rent by travelers. A carriage repair shop was located on the North end of the property.
In 1905 the property was purchased by James and Kate Sheeley. They and their three children moved into the second level living quarters and revamped the ground level into a saloon, keeping the upper levels as they were.
James passed away on the property of stomach cancer and his services were held in the Sheeley. His wife Kate also passed away on the property after suffering an infection from a fall down a flight of stairs where she broke her hip. Kate’s services were also held on the property. Both James and Kate’s spirits are believed to still be haunting the Sheeley walls.
As I mentioned James and Kate had three children, Howard, William and Anna. One of the two boys was married and he and his wife had children on the property. I am aware his wife later became depressed and took her life on the property. Her name is unknown to me but her spirit is also still believed to be haunting with in the Sheeley walls. Both boys eventually left the Sheeley to pursue their life options. Anna on the other hand stayed home.
In the early-mid 1900’s women were not accepted in saloons, so the task to keep the property up and running was very difficult for her. Anna found other managers, but they seemed to fall through time after time. At one point a well known bar tender/manager was appointed the head position at the Sheeley House by the name of Frenchie Liquer. At said time the Sheeley was known to have the coldest beer in town. Frenchie used a paint stick to scrape the foam from the top of the beers. The bar also use to be lined with a spittoon trough where men would spit tobacco and urinate into a well that ran into the earth. Thank goodness times have changed!
Sadly, Anna’s attempts to keep the property alive fell short and she lived on the property for nearly 17 years with what I believe to be herself, the spirits of the past and many, many cats.
I believe there are seven spirits here with me at all times. The four already mentioned above along with three more. The number seven continues to resurface. A fifth man was laid to rest in his room and passed from gangrene. A sixth laid to rest in his room after being crushed between his horse and carriage. The seventh, I have no proof or evidence of, but was supposedly murdered on the third level.
In 1981 the Sheeley House was purchased by local attorney Dave Rhiley Senior. Rhiley realized the beauty and potential for the Sheeley. He registered the property onto the National Historical Registry and put some much needed TLC in, to get it back up and running. Over the course of the next 14 years the Sheeley House changed hands several times, has but been nearly continually run as a restaurant and bar.
In 2010 a large outdoor patio was added to the east side of the building, and sadly in 2013 the property was closed for business. October of 2014 I, Jes Moran, was given the opportunity to reopen the most historic saloon in Chippewa Falls, Halloween of 2014 was the reopening.
That very evening first noticed by patrons, a face appeared with in the paint of the saloon walls. It was later painted over but the guests of the Sheeley were able to see this face for the next seven months as it continuously watched.
Roughly a month after the reopening I could no longer deny that I truly believed in the Spirit still haunting with in the Sheeley walls. Having experienced a wide variety of “ghostly” activities; everything from lights turning themselves on and off, doors opening and closing, items being relocated, or flying off near-by shelves or counter tops. I began speaking to the building and the spirits within and noticed a change in the energy. In May of 2015 I asked them permission to stay. Also, inviting them to stay and be apart of it all with me. How was I to reopen the most haunted saloon in Chippewa if I didn’t invite them to be apart of it with me? After all, this was their house first…
April 1st of 2015, I purchased the Sheeley House Saloon and became its sixth owner. From the day I asked permission to stay until one month later the spirits gave me a total of two month with nothing but silence. In May of 2015, a man wearing a red and black flannel top crossed through the second level kitchen camera. I feel he just wanted to remind me of their presence. Less than a month later in June of 2015, the voice of a female spoke out “Hey Jes”. On several occasions foot steps or loud thuds have been heard when only I was on the property. To this day I believe I am not alone, that there is always someone else in the room.
In May of 2016, Chef Brian Jensen, joined the team. Jes and Brian’s experience, passion, and dedication for food and drink has taken their vision for the Sheeley to greater heights. Pursuing uniqueness and quality with ever rotating and fresh ingredients, the Sheeley House will continue to have captivating options for all consumers, while they enjoy the historic laid back environment and its haunting beauty.
“I feel that since Chef Brian’s arrival the Sheeley is truly alive again! With the two of us working side by side I have the utmost faith and confidence that we will continue to grow; Family, Friends and Patrons. We are very excited for the future of the Sheeley!”
The second level operates as a formal dining room and the third as a private banquet room. Both levels are available for rent for private parties/gatherings of all kinds. Note: The Sheeley House is on the Wisconsin Historical registry, so many changes and updates are not allowed to be made due to its listing. The second and third levels are not handicapped accessible as well.
Reservation Information contact Jes @ 715-577-7114