Historic train depot plays host to Slinger sesquicentennial events

Vintage vehicles displayed; visitors may provide more artifacts

By Gay Griesbach
Special to Conley Media

SLINGER — A continuation of Slinger’s sesquicentennial celebration, a 108year-old piece of Slinger’s past contains a slice of village history.

On Sunday, vehicles parked outside the circa-1911 train depot included Erwin and Jeff Rauh’s 1937 Cedar Grove Dairy truck, a J. Thiel and Son blacksmith wagon owned by Doug and Marlyss Thiel, a 1953 Slinger Fire Department engine and E. H. Wolf’s 1940s-era delivery truck.

The vehicles and artifacts in the depot are all part of the Edward H. Wolf Schleisingerville to Slinger Exhibition, organized by the village’s 150th anniversarycommittee. Committee member Troy Fassbender said it started when the group displayed their historic collections at Slinger High School’s History Night in March.

"We were looking to have another venue. (Committee member) Tom Lehn contacted Craig Wolf about the possibility of using the old train depot/office," Fassbender said. In 1986, E.H. Wolf and Sons, Inc. moved from Ackerville to Slinger and Edward restored the depot for use as the company’s headquarters. The depot has remained empty since last year, when the company moved into a 15,000square-foot office just south of the depot.

"We were looking for historic place, not just a room somewhere," Fassbender said.

Once third-generation owner Craig Wolf gave the go-ahead for a temporary exhibit and word got around through the anniversary committee’s Facebook page, between 10 and 15 residents offered to loan historical items — photos, postcards, family histories, maps, tin business signs and other artifacts, including items from the Schaefer Pipe Organ Company and Storck Brewery.

Fassbender said there are so many one-of-a-kind items it’s hard to highlight one or two.

"The first exhibition this past Sunday was huge. Everyone was very impressed by the displays and the memorabilia; we’ve had nothing but very favorable comments," Fassbender said.

Folks that came to the opening on Sunday may want to return, as Fassbender said another dozen or so visitors offered to loan their memorabilia for the duration of the show.

"We’re always adding new things," Fassbender said.

The committee is asking residents who are willing to talk about their connection to Slinger’s history to consider giving short presentations during the remaining events. Those willing to loan memorabilia and artifacts for the exhibit can contact the committee through its Facebook page.

Visitors are also invited to become a piece of Slinger’s history by signing a guest book that will be included with other Slinger artifacts in a time capsule.

The exhibition will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays, July 28, August 11 and 25, September 8 and 29. Admission is free and open to the public. The depot is located at 414 Kettle Moraine Drive South, Slinger.

 
This display at the old Slinger train depot looks back at the public career of former Village President

This display at the old Slinger train depot looks back at the public career of former Village President

 

Joseph Gundrum as well as his business, the Gundrum Oil Co. The circa-1911 depot is playing host to events celebrating the sesquicentennial, or 150th anniversary, of Slinger.

 
A 1953 Slinger fire truck is displayed outside the village’s historic train depot.

A 1953 Slinger fire truck is displayed outside the village’s historic train depot.

AGENDAS  A display case at the old Slinger train depot contains artifacts from the village’s history, including its centennial celebration.

AGENDAS A display case at the old Slinger train depot contains artifacts from the village’s history, including its centennial celebration.

 

Photos by Gay Griesbach/Special to Conley Media

*This article was featured in the July 17, 2019 edition of the Daily News*