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Founded on March 11, 1912, the Greater Wausau Chamber of Commerce marks more than 100 years of helping businesses grow. The Chamber serves as the indispensable source for business connections, opportunities, and solutions with a mission to strengthen member businesses and enhance the community by building business success.

A report in the next day’s newspaper stated, "With an earnestness and enthusiasm unprecedented in local movements of this kind, the citizens of Wausau to the number of five hundred or more met last night in the civilization of a society having for its object the promotion of the welfare of the city."

In its early years, the Association focused on appointing a committee to "look after entertainment of visitors and do what we can to secure other conventions for Wausau," developing plans to make Wausau a "greater buying center", forming a committee to make Wausau safer from fire, and developing new industrial prospects. The organization devoted many of its resources to retaining and attracting new businesses to the area. It also promoted tourism, raised money for improving the road between Wausau and Merrill, and encouraged better relations between the city and surrounding communities.

Different Names, But Same Mission

In May 1916, the organization changed its name to the "Chamber of Commerce". Reflecting a broadening of interests, the organization became the Wausau Chamber of Commerce and in 1999, it became the Wausau/Marathon County Chamber of Commerce. In 2003, the Chamber’s official name was changed to the Wausau Area Chamber of Commerce, Inc DBA Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce. In 2019 the name was altered to Greater Wausau Chamber of Commerce.

While the name may have changed, its mission and goal has remained a constant. Today, as in 1912, The Greater Wausau Chamber of Commerce works to make the whole community a better place by building business success.

New Home in the Depot

To facilitate the needs of passengers and lumber companies the Chicago and Northwestern Depot was built in 1899. Designed by Chicago architect G.A. Johnson, this brick building exhibits a number of features which lead to a Utilitarian Commercial citation. These features include a double-pitched hip roof with canopied extensions, as well as rounded top windows and gables to decorate the center.

As railway use declined, the C&NW railway discontinued service in 1954, and the train depot
became the city bus depot the same year. It provided bus service until 1966, and since that time the depot has been home to a restaurant and several business offices. Most recently, the depot was organized into a business condominium to serve four distinct commercial businesses.

The renovated depot will now serve as a catalyst of development, an extension of both the redevelopment of the mall to the east and the revitalization of the Clark Island Powerhouse to the south.

Working with Chuck Ghidorzi and his design team at Ghidorzi Construction to ideate the renovation for the train depot, the Chamber has completely renovated the building to house the organization’s staff and serve as a new headquarters with modern amenities, while maintaining many of the depot’s historical elements.