The Ager House

A Brief History
Drawing of Ager House
Ager House at Chestnut & Whipple Streets
Drawing by Roger Ager

Waldemar Ager purchased this Victorian cottage in 1903, a few years after Eau Claire craftsman Brady Anderson built it. It stood at the corner of Chestnut and Whipple streets, across from the grounds of Luther Hospital, along the shores of Halfmoon Lake. Ager and wife Gurolle raised nine children there, and the family owned the house until 1962.

In 1962, Luther Hospital bought the Ager home, and its auxiliary group housed the Red Carpet resale shop there.

In 1993, when Luther Hospital needed the space to expand its complex, it donated the house to the Waldemar Ager Association and then moved the home from its original spot on Chestnut Street to its current location at 514 W. Madison Street. The lot on Madison is roughly a quarter mile north of the Ager home's original foundation.

Since that time, dedicated volunteers have restored the house to its early-1900's likeness. The Association has brought the utilities and structure up to current public facility codes while restoring much of the home's original, intricately carved trim.

The first floor of the home, including the family parlor and Waldemar's study, has been restored to look much as it had during Waldemar's life. The lower level of the home is a work and study area with a kitchenette.

The Ager House, included three times on Eau Claire's Historic Preservation Association tour of homes, is busy throughout the year with many visitors and festivities and is becoming a favorite meeting place. The Pie and Ice Cream Social in August, Advent at the Ager House in December and Norwegian classes in January have become yearly traditions. The Sons of Norway and Nordmanns-Forbundet meet there, and artist Elsebeth Lavold brought her Knitting Across the Viking Trail exhibit to the Ager House in the fall of 2004. The upper storey houses a growing collection of research material, and office space for organizations and research projects.

The Ager House has been included on the National Register of Historic Places, and also recognized as a Literary Landmark by the National Association of Friends of Public Libraries.