“Neighbors Past and Present” at the Chippewa Valley Museum in Eau Claire, Wisconsin

Interrupted by the pandemic, “Neighbors Past and Present” went twice to the Chippewa Valley Museum in Eau Claire, Wisconsin: in March 2020 and in September–November 2021. The exhibit was displayed both in the museum itself and at a special event in the historic Schlegelmilch House. Here visitors were shown examples of German-American needlecraft, parlor music, and personal letters from the late nineteenth century written in the old German script. Guests had a chance to practice reading and writing that script themselves.


Other events organized by the museum in conjunction with the exhibit included a presentation by Mark Louden on the central role religion has played in German heritage communities in Wisconsin focusing on the history of two Eau Claire congregations founded by German immigrants: St. John’s German Evangelical Lutheran Church (1872) and Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church (1875). The presentation was  followed by a tour of Sacred Heart of Jesus Church.

Other programs included lectures by Antje Petty on German-American newspapers in the World War I Era, and German-American foodways.