There's nearly 140 years of history surrounding the Leinenkugel Brewery in Chippewa Falls. For more than 30 years, a great great grandson of brewery founder Jacob Leinenkugel has collected hundreds of pieces of history.
Now, from the basement of his home the whole collection has moved to the Chippewa Falls Museum of Industry and Technology.
Dave Mayer is a great great grandson of Jacob Leinenkugel and has a room full of Leinie’s items in history and collectibles.
It all started out through fishing trips as a young boy.
“When we got done fishing,” says Dave, “We'd clean fish on the back of these medal signs.”
Since that time Dave has admired the signs.
It was only a dream come true when his grandfather told him he could take it home.
“When I got to about 20, in that age, we just started accumulating more and more pieces all the time,” says Dave. “Then I started going to auctions. Then I really started getting more and more involved.”
Since then it's become a full blown collection of all sorts of Leinenkugel items.
It grew larger and larger with items coming from thrift sales, auctions, and then e-bay hit the World Wide Web...
“E-bay has been kind of a disaster for me because you are always on e-bay surfing through there.”
Friends even came to the house with pieces for the collection.
Now, after more than 30 years, Dave's Leinenkugel collection has filled his basement.
But for the next five years or more people can see the collection for themselves at the Chippewa Falls museum.
It's in an effort to bring revenue to the local museum which lost city and county funding.
People will get to see things from glassware to tin items as well as old documents and stock certificates dating back to the early 1800.
Dave doesn’t know how much the entire collection is worth but he tells us he's not going to sell it, ever.