Uniroyal Tire Plant closure, 30 years later

Published: Jun. 26, 2022 at 7:58 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - 30 years ago Sunday, the Uniroyal Tire Plant officially closed its doors in Eau Claire.

Dennis Miller, producer of the film “What was Uniroyal?” said he is determined to make sure this part of the city’s history won’t be forgotten and debuted his film Sunday afternoon.

The Uniroyal Tire Plant was a part of Eau Claire for 75 years. In 1992, the plant staffed around 600 people, and then it closed.

“We were just all shocked. People were crying,” Patricia Candell, former Uniroyal Tire Plant employee, said. “We didn’t know what we were going to do.”

Miller wants to make sure the Eau Claire community remembers this plant and the impact it had on the area.

“Today, June 26, 2022, marks the 30th anniversary of the tire plant. 30 years is a milestone in the sense that it takes you to the very edge between remembering and forgetting,” Miller said. “If we don’t act now, we’re going to forget it, and that would be sad.”

Miller and Candell said Uniroyal was significant to the area.

“It was such a part of Eau Claire and this is a fact, the majority of people under 35 don’t know what Uniroyal was,” Miller said. “They’re missing so much.”

“It’s part of our history and I think the younger kids need to know that this just didn’t pop up,” Candell said. “It was hard work and it was good work and a good-paying job.”

Miller said he wants to make sure this part of Eau Claire’s story will be preserved.

“A lot of things were happening in the past. A lot of things happen then that build the way for us today,” Miller said. “Now, our middle class is dwindling. It was places like Uniroyal that made the middle class. We don’t want to forget that.”

Miller also hopes the film will help the efforts to create a tire museum for the community.

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