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WHEN YOU GET HERE

SEE this, DO that, AND DISCOVER everything, from exhibits to ice cream

 

Exhibits

 

Historic Buildings

 

Anderson House

Sunnyview School

Schlegelmilch House

 

Museum Store

 

Library & Archives

 

Ice Cream Parlor

 

Carson Park

 

Contact Us

PHONE:
(715) 834-7871

MAILING ADDRESS:
Chippewa Valley Museum
PO Box 1204
Eau Claire, WI 54702-1204

PHYSICAL ADDRESS:
1204 E. Half Moon Drive
Eau Claire, WI 54703
(This is NOT a mailing address!)

EMAIL:

The historic Schlegelmilch House, located at 517 Farwell Street in downtown Eau Claire, is a popular site for private events and an important part of CVM collections.

Plan your event!

The Schlegelmilch House provides a great setting for bridal and baby showers, anniversaries and birthday parties, and other special events. School groups are also frequent visitors. The Schlegelmilch House is open for events any time of year. For available dates, please call business manager Dorie Boetcher at (715) 834-7871.

Anderson House interior

CVM educator Karen Jacobson leads a group of young ladies during an old-fashioned tea party in the Schlegelmilch House dining room.

Volunteer

Volunteers maintain the beautiful landscaping and gardens at the Schlegelmilch House as they might have looked in the early 20th century. If you'd like to help, contact Jill York at j.york@cvmuseum.com.

Anderson House interior

History

German immigrants Herman and Augusta Schlegelmilch arrived in Eau Claire in 1860. Herman had training as a gun maker and set up a successful gun shop and hardware store downtown. After an 1869 fire destroyed their first home, Herman, Augusta, and their first four children moved to a new wood-frame home at 517 Farwell Street. In 1871, the Schlegelmilchs added a two-story brick wing to the home, joining a few other early Eau Claire residents and merchants in the drive to use brick to slow or even prevent the fires that so often raged through the "sawdust city" in its early days. The wood portion of the house was turned into a summer kitchen.

Anderson House interior

The roof of the older wood structure is barely visible behind the trees (back right) in this 1874 photograph of the Schlegelmilch House. Note that the front door originally faced Farwell Street.

The Schlegelmilchs raised five children to adulthood in their house at 517 Farwell. In 1886, eldest daughter Dora left home when she married John C. Barland, a farmer on the edge of town whose parents had emigrated from Scotland. Dora came back for many extended visits, often bringing her children.

Daughters Louise and Emilie never married. Louise lived at the house until her death in 1948--78 years total--with only a brief extended stay at her cousin's in Minnesota. Emilie lived at the house until she was 51, and then moved to St. Paul in 1926, three years after her mother passed away in 1923. (Louise and she reportedly did not get on so well). Herman and Augusta's only surviving son, Herman F., moved out in 1903 when he married Kate Chadwick. The only child to be born at the house, Eda (1873), died at the age of 19 after contracting typhoid fever on the return trip from the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago.

When Herman Schlegelmilch passed away in 1903, he left the house to his three daughters, while the hardware business went to his son. In 1906, Louise Schlegelmilch remodeled the family home. She replaced the older frame section of the house with a brick wing, changed its orientation so that the front door now opened onto Lake Street instead of busy Farwell Street, and added indoor plumbing as well as combination gas and electric lighting fixtures.

Louise never married, but she kept in close contact with the families of her sisters and brother, opening her home to relatives for lengthy periods of time, sometimes even as a permanent residence. The house eventually passed to Louise's niece, Agnes, the daughter of John C. Barland and Louise's older sister, Dora. Barland nieces and nephews lived periodically at the house at 517 Farwell from 1930 until 1977, when Herman and Augusta's granddaughter Agnes Barland McDaniel, a trained nurse who spent much of her early life as a missionary, gave the house and many of its furnishings to the Chippewa Valley Museum.

Four generations of the combined Schlegelmilch-Barland families saved household furnishings, tools from their hardware store, and hundreds of letters and other documents. Together, these artifacts and documents help CVM tell the story of the house and the successful middle-class families who lived in it for more than 100 years. Far more than just family history, these stories provide unique insights into the broader history of Eau Claire.

The Schlegelmilch House on a summer day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Herman and Augusta Schlegelmilch, 1869.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Schlegelmilch girls, 1885. Back row, L-R: Dora, Louise, Emilie; seated: Eda

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