Chest attributed to Joachim Schildhauer, New Holstein, ca. 1862
Another site I worked with this summer was the New Holstein Historical Society, located east of Lake Winnebago in Calumet County. The community of New Holstein was founded in 1848 by “Forty-Eighters” from the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein. The “Forty-Eighters” were political refugees who fled Germany for the United States after the failure of a democratic revolution in 1848.
The New Holstein Historical Society operates two sites dedicated to local history–the Timm House, recently restored with support from the Jeffris Foundation, and the Pioneer Corner Museum. The featured exhibition for the museum’s 2008 season was “Edward Schildhauer, from New Holstein to the Panama Canal.” Raised in New Holstein, Schildhauer was a second-generation German-American who served as the electrical and mechanical engineer for the building of the Panama Canal from 1907-1914. Several artifacts from the Schildhauer family are among the 17 objects from the NHHS recently added to the Wisconsin Decorative Arts Database. Edward’s father Joachim Schildhauer left Germany for New Holstein in 1851. A trained cabinetmaker, he is said to have made this lift-top woodbox styled like a chest of drawers (above). Between 1890 and 1915, the Schildhauer family cultivated and processed willows for use in wicker baskets, selling bundles of stripped willow branches to basketmakers in Sheboygan, Milwaukee and Chicago. The basket below is attributed to Joachim’s daughter Ellen Schildhauer.
Wicker basket attributed to Ellen Schildhauer, New Holstein, 1890-1915.
Posted by Emily Pfotenhauer.