History Lab – Start Here

Figure out what’s in the historian’s toolbox. How can we learn from our senses, our thinking, and clues left by those who came before us?

Let’s Eat

Take a look at tools used to make favorite foods, what food means across larger groups of people, and how the natural world around us figures in to what we choose to eat.

At Home

What does a home look like? Or, a village, town or city? Examine how the physical environment interacts with the human need for shelter.

All Dressed

Stop and think about what your clothes are saying about your time and place by dressing up in someone else’s time. What do changes in clothing tell us about what else has changed?

This is not a fictional quest. No people, or places, were made up for the sake of the story. You’ll meet:

  • Laura Ingalls, a girl who lived on a Wisconsin frontier farm in the 1860s,
  • Anton Venski, a Polish boy who grew up in Eau Claire in the early 1880s
  • Gilbert Chapman, a young Ojibwe man from the Lac du Flambeau reservation
  • John Vodacek whose Czech parents moved from Chicago to New Auburn during the Great Depression
  • Neng Vang Lor and Jou Moua who married and came to Eau Claire from Thailand in 1987 after fleeing their Hmong homes in Laos.

What you learn about them is important. Their stories are part of what has made the Chippewa Valley what it is today. What you learn on your quest about learning about them may be the greatest treasure of them all.

Major funding for History Quest comes from the Wisconsin Humanities Council which is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional support from the AnnMarie Foundation, Duane and Joan Dingmann, Eau Claire Community Foundation, Cable Family Fund, and the John and Lela Thompson Fund.