View in browser


November 18, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving, a tad bit early! Here is the program info you will find below:

*  Gingerbread House Contest
*  Saturday family events November 26, December 3 & 10
*  Holiday Escape Room
*  Author Talk by Patti See
*  New Collecting the Valley Program
*  Member Closing Party for Then and Now exhibit
*  Holiday Hours
Thank you for making the Chippewa Valley Museum a vibrant place.The activities and events in this newsletter can only happen when a community comes together to support the things they love.

5th Annual Gingerbread House Contest
Sign Up by Nov. 19. Build Later.

Important Dates to Know:

  • November 19. Registration closes. All you need to do by this date is submit the form and fee. Register here
  • Now - December 1. Build and decorate gingerbread structures. 
  • November 29 - December 1. Bring houses to museum
  • December 3. Gingerbread House judging. Winners will be notified and results posted on museum website and in museum
  • December 3 - 17. Buildings on display and fan favorite voting,
  • December 18. Fan favorite voting ends. Winners announced by December 23.

Categories: General and Chippewa Valley History, with four age divisions:

  • Child(ren) (up to 12)

  • Teen(s) (13-17)

  • Adult(s) (18+),

  • Mixed Age/Family 

$5 per entry. Email Angela at for more information.

Display opens Dec. 3

Learn More

$5 Entry Fee


Cookies, Crafts &  Carols
Saturdays 1:00-4:00pm -- November 26, December 3 & 10

Celebrate the season with this special holiday series. Enjoy cookie decorating,  music performances, carolers in exhibit galleries, and vintage holiday crafts. The series runs 1-4 pm on three consecutive Saturdays: November 26, December 3 & December 10. Each Saturday has its own special schedule. Coming up: 

November 26 

  • 1:00-2:00 pm Musical Variety Show with Doug Wozniak 

  • 2:30-4:00 pm Historic Carols with Olaf Lind 

  • 1:00-4:00 pm Cookie Decorating & Vintage Crafts 

December 3 & 10 will feature Sheila Wall performing holiday carols. No registration is required, and all activities are included with the price of admission.

Doug Wozniak and his magic show. Contributed photo.

Holiday Escape Room
Schleglemilch House, November 25 - January 1

Game starts Nov. 25

Tactical Escape 101 brings another seasonal escape room to the 1871 Historic Schlegelmilch House in downtown Eau Claire. This year’s game -- The List. Christmas is near and Santa is making his “Good” and “Not So Good” lists. Teams will have just 60 minutes to sneak into Santa’s parlor and find Santa’s lists to make sure their names are on the correct list.

Location: Historic Schlegelmilch House, 517 S. Farwell Street

Cost: $120 per group of 4, $30 for each additional player up to 12 max.

Reservations required. Bookings available Wednesdays - Sundays, Nov. 25 - January 1 and available all week between Christmas and New Year's Day.

For questions contact Tactical Escape 101, 715-418-0012

Make Reservation

Happy Hour with Author Patti See
Tuesday, December 13, 5:30 - 6:30

Growing up in the 1970s and 1980s as the youngest of eight children, Patti See never imagined she’d stay in Chippewa Falls as an adult. Now she has a new appreciation for all that comes with country living, from ice fishing and supper clubs to pontoon rides and tavern dice. The brief essays in Here on Lake Hallie: In Praise of Barflies, Fix-it-Guys, and Other Folks in Our Hometown establish that, above all else, it’s friends, family, and neighbors who provide us with a sense of belonging

Schedule of Events:
• 5:30 pm, Book Signing (at the Museum). Book available for purchase at museum
• 6:00 pm, Discussion of History in the Book and a short reading (at the Museum)
• 6:30 Join Patti at the Joynt (322 Water St, Eau Claire, WI)

Collecting the Valley:
Living in Eau Claire in 1872

Tuesday, December 20, 6:30-7:30

1870 Bird's Eye View Map of Eau Clarie area before the three villages joined to become City of Eau Claire

What was happening 150 years ago when Eau Claire became a City? Attend this program to hear Chippewa Valley Museum Curator of Collections Diana Peterson discuss 1872 concerns and learn about the goings on in Eau Claire.

Register 1872 Program Only

This is the second of three programs in the Collecting the Valley Series. You can still register for the full series which includes access to previous recordings. All presentations are hybrid and start at 6:30 pm. Advance registration is required and available through cvmuseum.comMember rate is $15 for all three programs or $10 for single programs.

  • December 20Living in Eau Claire in 1872 with Curator of Collections Diana Peterson.
  • January 17All Aboard with volunteers who designed the 1933 Eau Claire model train layout at the museum. 
  • Recorded program, Rosenkrans Magazine: The Truth As We See It: 
  • Full Series $25, includes access to post-presentation recordings 
  • Full Series CVM Member $15, includes recording 
  • Individual Presentation $10. Must attend live event either in-person or via -- no recording link. 
Register for Full Series

Member Event

Closing Party for Then and Now Exhibit
Thursday, December 29, 5:00-8:00

Eau Claire's sesquicennial year is coming to a close and we're throwing one last party. $20 ticket includes food, one complimentary beverage, scavenger hunt, exhibit talk, and the opportunity to see rare 1920s film footage of circuses in Eau Claire. Members -- watch for your invitation in the mail. And if you're not a member, now is the time to join.

Become a Member

Holiday Hours to Note

Thanksgiving, November 24: CLOSED
November 25-26: OPEN, 12-5
December 24, 25: CLOSED
December 29: 12-4, Closing early for event
December 31: OPEN 12-3
January 1: CLOSED

The hustle and bustle of early winter is upon us, and there's plenty to do. I hope you find some good quiet time in this busy world.

Carrie Ronnander
Director, Chippewa Valley Museum

PS -- I'm going back to 1872 again this week. Below is an expanded version of what appeared on social media.

Wagon at South Barstow & Main , 1865

This Week in 1872 was a reminder some things have really changed, and some things really haven’t. Unlike 150 years ago, today’s newspaper won’t be reporting on steamboat pilots wintering in Eau Claire, noting the five wagon loads of emigrants passing through the city for destinies west, or applauding the Presbyterian Church ladies for their wonderful oyster and ice cream festival.

It was colder and snowier 150 years ago than it is today. The mercury hit 0 degrees, temporariliy suspending building construction and closing lager beer gardens. The Shawtown ferry was still operating, but only until ice closed the river. 

But some 1872 news briefs sounded very familiar, like this one:

Apparently going south for the winter is at least as old as the city. Folks in 1872 were also tired of negative political campaigning.

“It is sad to think that the time of politics are over… when the pet expressions of “liars,” “villains,” “scoundrels, “ and “horse thieves” will no longer be the currents of expressing aversiion; when little dirty faced Eau Claire children will no longer be patted on the head -- not for their mothers -- but for the little bits of paper their fathers control.

If a man wants to have his mistakes, his failures and misfortunes assigned with blackening effect upon his fair name; if he wants his private life dragged forward before the public – if he wants to lay himself and his friends liable to slander and malicious criticisms, he has simply to run for office.”

Campaign season is over for us, too. Happy Thanksgiving.