Guns, Bikes, & Women: Historic Home Offers Unique Tour

UWEC Integrated Marketing and Communications, photos by Andrea Paulseth

Firearms, females, and two-wheelers will be among the topics covered this spring during a new – and distinctive – tour of a historic home in downtown Eau Claire. UW-Eau Claire students enrolled in a public history class have created and will present “Guns, Bikes, and Women: An Unconventional Tour of Schlegelmilch House.” Built in 1871 by German immigrant merchant Hermann Schlegelmilch, the house, 517 S. Farwell St., now is part of the Chippewa Valley Museum. One team of UWEC history students focused its work on Hermann Schlegelmilch, who learned gunsmithing in Germany and later sold guns in his hardware store in Eau Claire. A second team did its research on Schlegelmilch’s son, Herman, and his interest in bicycling. In 1892, Herman participated in an 1,800-mile cycling tour of Europe. The final Blugold team has researched the correspondence of the women who lived in the Schlegelmilch House. For this part of the tour, the history students have coordinated with students from music and theatre arts to stage a dramatic reading of excerpts of the correspondence among the women in the family. The “Guns, Bikes, and Women” tour will be offered from 1-4pm on Sunday, May 5. A bicycle tour, which will include stops at sites related to Eau Claire’s cycling history, will depart from the house at 2pm.