Washington County Historical Society

Washington County Historical Society Washington County Historical Society collects, preserves, and disseminates the history of Washington County and its communities. Join us on our journey through the Gateway to Minnesota History!
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The Washington County Historical Society collects, preserves, and disseminates the history of the county and state of Minnesota.

03/24/2020
Stillwater Loggers vs. St. Paul Park ca. 1948 at Stillwater

Baseball season has been delayed because of the current COVID-19 situation. We should now look back at some clips of a game between the Stillwater Loggers and the St. Paul Park club ca. 1948. This video was taken by Stillwater photographer John Runk.

It has been 100 years since the start of prohibition -- and with the current situation with COVID-19 we again are not in...
03/22/2020

It has been 100 years since the start of prohibition -- and with the current situation with COVID-19 we again are not in the saloons and bars. Here are some saloons in Stillwater BEFORE Prohibition!

The Washington County Historical Society is using this time to catch up on some needed work on some of the collection. T...
03/20/2020

The Washington County Historical Society is using this time to catch up on some needed work on some of the collection. Today the Warden's House Museums Chickering Piano went to be cleaned, some preservation work and tuned! Hopefully it will return when the museum opens again!!

Berglund & Peterson delivery wagon ca. 1905 in Stillwater.
03/18/2020

Berglund & Peterson delivery wagon ca. 1905 in Stillwater.

Washington County Historical Society's cover photo
03/17/2020

Washington County Historical Society's cover photo

03/16/2020

Washington County Historical Society Closed until May 1st

The Washington County Historical Society will close its sites and research center until May 1st. At that time the Covid-19/Coronavirus situation will be reevaluated.

The annual Warden's House Open House scheduled on Sunday April 26th will be postponed until later in the year.

Emails and phone messages will still be answered.

The WCHS Annual meeting tonight was a great success. The Scandia-Marine Lions Club presented a check towards the new her...
03/13/2020

The WCHS Annual meeting tonight was a great success. The Scandia-Marine Lions Club presented a check towards the new heritage center! Doug Ohman presented on the history found in local cemeteries!

Coming to the Warden's House Museum in October -- the story of the Ringling Brothers and their time living in Stillwater...
03/10/2020

Coming to the Warden's House Museum in October -- the story of the Ringling Brothers and their time living in Stillwater! Many great events and programs this coming year -- all free!!

The Historical Society annual dinner meeting is coming up fast. Make sure you call 651-439-5956 for your reservation. Fe...
03/08/2020

The Historical Society annual dinner meeting is coming up fast. Make sure you call 651-439-5956 for your reservation. Featured speaker is Doug Ohman to chat about "Hidden in Plain View," the story of Minnesota cemeteries....maybe like the one here -- map of the Atkinson Cemetery of Cottage Grove!! [next to Cottage Grove's McDonalds]

Leo Klein log rolling on the St. Croix River ca. 1930.
03/02/2020

Leo Klein log rolling on the St. Croix River ca. 1930.

Pioneer Park - Stillwater, MN ca. 1950
03/01/2020

Pioneer Park - Stillwater, MN ca. 1950

Warden’s House Museum Site Manager openingThe Washington County Historical Society has a part-time opening for historic ...
02/23/2020

Warden’s House Museum Site Manager opening
The Washington County Historical Society has a part-time opening for historic site manager for the Warden’s House Museum in Stillwater.

The Warden’s House Museum was constructed in 1853 for the Warden of the Minnesota Territorial Prison. Over time there were 13 Wardens lived in the house until 1914 when the prison moved to South Stillwater, now Bayport, where it is today. After that the house was occupied by a deputy warden until 1941 when the Washington County Historical Society purchased the house from the state of Minnesota. It was opened as a historic house museum that year and continues as the county museum. The house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

The Museum is open from May through October, Thursdays through Sundays Noon-5 PM, with additional days depending on tours and scheduled events. The position also calls for scheduling tours with local and regional groups and successfully organizing and implementing seasonal events.

The position is year round, part-time with approximately 20-30 hours per week; The application deadline is March 15, 2020. For more information please write to the Washington County Historical Society, Site Manager Position, PO Box 167, Stillwater, MN 55082-0167, email: [email protected] or call 651/439-5956. To apply send a cover letter, resume and a list of references to the above address, previous historic site experience is preferable.

The Warden's House Museum is getting ready for the upcoming season. One of the most recent donations to WCHS will be on ...
02/23/2020

The Warden's House Museum is getting ready for the upcoming season. One of the most recent donations to WCHS will be on display -- the Wilson family clock, shown in this photo from ca. 1910 -- will be one of those new donations on display!! We can not wait for the new season -- we hope you will come and take a walk through our great history!! Starting first weekend in May.

Trolley time -- pictured outside the Stillwater Union Station ca. 1905 showing trolley driver Otto Wachsmuth at the righ...
02/18/2020

Trolley time -- pictured outside the Stillwater Union Station ca. 1905 showing trolley driver Otto Wachsmuth at the right side.

Washington County Historical Society
02/11/2020

Washington County Historical Society

Washington County Historical Society's cover photo
02/11/2020

Washington County Historical Society's cover photo

It was 100 years ago that Prohibition was the law of the land. Did that stop the alcohol from flowing? Nope -- here are ...
02/07/2020

It was 100 years ago that Prohibition was the law of the land. Did that stop the alcohol from flowing? Nope -- here are just three examples from the Stillwater newspapers!!

The first weekend in February is soon approaching. If you are looking for things to do unfortunately the Curtis Caves is...
01/29/2020

The first weekend in February is soon approaching. If you are looking for things to do unfortunately the Curtis Caves is no longer around. Take a close look at the photo -- do you see the parking meters? The phone booth? And the fallout shelter sign on the round tower?

Ice cream social underway at Mulberry Point in Stillwater!!
01/25/2020

Ice cream social underway at Mulberry Point in Stillwater!!

Tomorrow is the annual ice cream social at Mulberry Point, Lowell Park in Stillwater from noon to 4pm. The temperatures ...
01/24/2020

Tomorrow is the annual ice cream social at Mulberry Point, Lowell Park in Stillwater from noon to 4pm. The temperatures will be 50 degrees warmer this year than last!! Come on down for Leo's ice cream & chili, Daily Grind coffee and Lift Bridge root beer!!

Winter living for the Ojibwa ca. 1894.
01/22/2020

Winter living for the Ojibwa ca. 1894.

How to get to school in the old days? Well of course horse and covered wagon. This mode of transportation might come in ...
01/15/2020

How to get to school in the old days? Well of course horse and covered wagon. This mode of transportation might come in handy after the snow storm predicted for Friday & Saturday! The photo shows students from District #31 of Cottage Grove!

Last year’s WCHS intern Alix Cogan speaking at the South Washington County Heritage Society in St. Paul Park about her p...
01/11/2020

Last year’s WCHS intern Alix Cogan speaking at the South Washington County Heritage Society in St. Paul Park about her project on former slave James Carter of Stillwater! Great job Alix!!

HISTORY "ROUND UP" Month at River Valley Community Co-op in Stillwater!!The Co-op, located at 221 N. Main Street in Stil...
01/10/2020

HISTORY "ROUND UP" Month at River Valley Community Co-op in Stillwater!!

The Co-op, located at 221 N. Main Street in Stillwater, are asking their shoppers to round up their bill and the extra funds for the month of January, will be for the preservation of local history at the Washington County Historical Society!!

So when you shop and are asked to "round up" say yes for the Historical Society!! http://rivermarket.coop/

Washington County Historical Society
01/07/2020

Washington County Historical Society

01/03/2020
Become A Member | Washington County Historical Society

Welcome 2020! With the new year also comes the renewal of membership to the Historical Society! If you would like to become a member -- this is a great time to dive into the heritage of Washington County and the state of Minnesota. You can become a member online through our website at: http://www.wchsmn.org/support/membership/

Membership is one way that you can help support the Washington County Historical Society. Your membership helps us collect, preserve, and disseminate the history of Washington County for county residents and visitors in the belief that a historical perspective enhances our understanding of community...

Hey Facebook friends, we could use some help.If you or someone you know went to Hay Lake School in Scandia we'd love to ...
12/19/2019

Hey Facebook friends, we could use some help.

If you or someone you know went to Hay Lake School in Scandia we'd love to talk to you. We are planning some fun new things and are looking for stories and memories of the school. Please email the site manager of the museum, Katie, at [email protected].

If you went to one of the other rural schools feel free to contact us as well! We're always looking to learn new information.

Washington County Historical Society
12/16/2019

Washington County Historical Society

Gibson Stanton the Site Manager of the Warden's House will be leaving the Washington County Historical Society on Friday...
12/11/2019

Gibson Stanton the Site Manager of the Warden's House will be leaving the Washington County Historical Society on Friday December 13th. Thank you Gibson for your three plus years guiding the Warden's House Museum!!

The Alliance’s board of directors announces the hiring of Gibson Stanton as its new coordinator effective December 16th. Stanton is currently working as site manager for the Warden’s House Museum with the Washington County Historical Society. Her experience in the local history field and proven in policy writing, diversifying sources of funding, marketing and strategic planning will be invaluable in her role with the Alliance.

“Over the past two years the work of the Alliance has evolved significantly with attendance at our Annual Conference increasing by 93 percent, the work of the Legislative Strategic Agenda Action Teams enhancing the work of local organizations and the development of Collective Access as a new collections management option.” said Alliance board chair Sara Hanson. “The hiring committee felt Stanton met a lot of the needs we will be facing as we continue to move forward.” Stanton will be stepping into the position vacated by Dustin Heckman who has served as coordinator since 2018.

Wardens House Open House today from 10am to 2pm! Come and enjoy the season!
12/07/2019

Wardens House Open House today from 10am to 2pm! Come and enjoy the season!

Holiday Open House and Book Sale at the Historic Warden’s House. On Saturday, December 7th, the Washington County Histor...
12/03/2019

Holiday Open House and Book Sale at the Historic Warden’s House.

On Saturday, December 7th, the Washington County Historical Society invites you to our Annual Holiday Open House at the Warden’s House Museum, which runs from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, and is free to attend.

Come enjoy a truly unique holiday shopping experience. Meet local authors, sip warm beverages, and snack on delicious treats. The museum gift shop will be offering up to 50% off some of our most popular titles.

Patrick Shannon will be joining us with his new book, Minnesota’s Headline Murders! 1900-1919. Highlighting ten headline-making crimes, each chapter features a narrator based on a historical person who offers details of the crime, circumstances that led up to in, the investigation, and the arrests, trials, and outcomes. Washington County attorney, Pete Orput said of the book, “A must read for Minnesota history buffs and fans of who-dun-its. Patrick L. Shannon put his lifetime of police work to our benefit to bring back murder cases that covered the news headlines of the day. Shannon’s cases will keep you up late as he brings you into courtroom dramas that will stick in your mind well after you put the book down.” Shannon worked for the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and then spent most of his career with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension as a special agent in narcotics and death investigations. He now writes and is a licensed alcohol and drug counselor.

Last day for the history pop up at 120 South Main Street - Stillwater! Some Stillwater neighborhood surveys by Don Empso...
12/01/2019

Last day for the history pop up at 120 South Main Street - Stillwater! Some Stillwater neighborhood surveys by Don Empson for sale only $5 each!! Many more great deals on Washington County history!!

History Pop Up at 120 South Main in Stillwater today from 10am -6pm! Stop and say hello!!
11/30/2019

History Pop Up at 120 South Main in Stillwater today from 10am -6pm! Stop and say hello!!

History Pop up at 120 South Main Street today until 6pm! Come and see great sales of local history and watch the John Ru...
11/29/2019

History Pop up at 120 South Main Street today until 6pm! Come and see great sales of local history and watch the John Runk films!!

As for the recent snowfall....could have been worse!!
11/27/2019

As for the recent snowfall....could have been worse!!

“Pop-Up” History in Stillwater November 29, 30 & December 1st Stillwater, MN:  The Washington County Historical Society ...
11/24/2019

“Pop-Up” History in Stillwater November 29, 30 & December 1st

Stillwater, MN: The Washington County Historical Society will be holding “pop-up” history at 120 S. Main Street in Stillwater on November 29, 30 & December 1st from 10am to 6pm.

The Historical Society will have some great deals on its inventory of history books and maps from across Washington County. Some of the books include topics ranging from community histories to first person history of the old Stillwater Prison to the Civil War. There will be also “Birdseye View Maps” of Stillwater from 1870 and 1879 and other unique locally related history items that would make great Holiday gifts.

Washington County Historical Society's cover photo
11/15/2019

Washington County Historical Society's cover photo

Washington County Historical Society's cover photo
11/11/2019

Washington County Historical Society's cover photo

Thank you to all veterans past, present and future!
11/11/2019

Thank you to all veterans past, present and future!

Ope, just gonna sneak these in here. 🎃#creepydolls #mnmuseum #historylovers #localhistory #discoverstillwaterThanks Hist...
10/31/2019

Ope, just gonna sneak these in here. 🎃

#creepydolls #mnmuseum #historylovers #localhistory #discoverstillwater

Thanks History Center of Olmsted County for the inspiration!

Buckthorn busting day at the Wardens House! Thank you, Washington County Master Gardeners, U of MN, for all your experti...
10/19/2019

Buckthorn busting day at the Wardens House! Thank you, Washington County Master Gardeners, U of MN, for all your expertise and guidance.

Justin Atkinson of the South Washington County Telecommunications Commission has asked for our help. He is working on a ...
10/11/2019

Justin Atkinson of the South Washington County Telecommunications Commission has asked for our help. He is working on a documentary about Martin Luther King Jr’s historic visit to Minnesota in 1967. He needs to interview someone who was at that speech. If you were there please contact Justin at the address/phone number/email listed below Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Justin Atkinson | Government Producer
6939 Pine Arbor Drive South #106
Cottage Grove, MN 55016
Office: 651-458-9241 Ext. 3
Email: [email protected]

OK Facebook Friends & Followers -- we need a little help here.The photo was recently donated to our collections. We need...
10/09/2019

OK Facebook Friends & Followers -- we need a little help here.

The photo was recently donated to our collections. We need help with identifications. The man in the center with the black & white checkered shirt is Pauley Glaser. The cook is believed to be Phil Henne....but who are the rest of the group? Where is this taken? The calendar says either 1956 or 1966....and this is a Stillwater, MN group.

Address

602 N Main St
Stillwater, MN
55082

General information

The Washington County Historical Society serves as a historical umbrella for the county's history organizations and acts as a community resource for individuals and organizations seeking historical information. The Society: - operates two interpretive museums showcasing county heritage, - provides educational programs to schools and to the public, - assists researchers to document their own, county, and state history, - provides expertise to help community groups conserve collections and produce exhibits, - investigates and publishes county history, -collects and preserves cultural artifacts and documents for future generations, and - showcases county history through exhibits and displays throughout the county. WCHS works with other community groups to facilitate local discussions on history and provide advertising and networking for each other's projects. The ultimate goal is to provide the opportunity for all county residents to learn about and enjoy their area's history and build a sense of community heritage.

Opening Hours

Tuesday 12:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 15:00 - 21:00
Thursday 12:00 - 17:00
Friday 12:00 - 17:00
Saturday 12:00 - 17:00
Sunday 12:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(651) 439-5956

Website

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Comments

St. Croix National Scenic Riverway is organizing a Hands on History Day for the summer of 2020. We are looking for volunteer artisans skilled in historical crafts such as blacksmithing, flintknapping, etc to demonstrate to Riverway visitors. If you are interested in participating please let us know. Thanks
Relative of anyone? Pm me I will mail it. Found in a book that came from my family's homestead in Hugo.
Ancestors from Skaraborg County in Sweden?
Still keeping an eye out for elusive photo of Half-Way House on Stilwater Road while I continue my family genealogy research. I ran across this description today in Stillwater Messenger Saturday 23 May 1887, (page 4?) talking about how the Half Way House burned down and the Gray family remembering what the house was like and the different kinds of visitors that came there. Sorry it's a screen shot so not easy to read. Got it off of MNHS Newspaper Hub. https://newspapers.mnhs.org/jsp/viewer.jsp?doc_id=mnhi0031%2F1HMB4Q58%2F87052101&query1=&recoffset=0&collection_filter=All&collection_name=462c092d-c3f2-4d72-a116-d253ad0cdf05&sort_col=Publication%20Date&cnt=0&CurSearchNum=5&recOffset=0
Are the disbanded Oakdale Hist Soc papers/records etc that were donated to WCHS actually held at WCHS on Main St in Stillwater or are they held at the Eder School in Oakdale? I wanted to come out to Stillwater this afternoon and take a look at what was donated that might apply to my family if anything. First I need to know where the papers are. Second if at WCHS if anyone will be at Main Street location this afternoon? 
Hi Friends. My dad, Steven Lindberg, went to the original Hay Lake school in the 1940-50s. He is turning 75 this year and I am writing a book of stories about him. If you know of someone that grew up with him, please let me know.
Here's hoping someone from the WashCo H.S. will take pics & video of the old lift bridge before and after official closing.
Are your Swedish ancestors from Skaraborg county or the nearby region?