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.

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.

House tour tickets on sale by the Wardens House
10/06/2019

House tour tickets on sale by the Wardens House

Washington County Historical Society
10/04/2019

Washington County Historical Society

Sunday is the day! The 2019 Stillwater Historic Home Tour will feature 10 properties that you can visit at your own pace...
10/04/2019

Sunday is the day! The 2019 Stillwater Historic Home Tour will feature 10 properties that you can visit at your own pace on October 6. Tickets can be purchased at 602 N. Main St. For more information visit: http://bit.ly/2019SHHT

Tickets sales directly support the Washington County Historical Society because of our generous house sponsors. Thank you, Lens Family Foods!

Have you planned your visit to the 2019 Historic Home Tour yet? You can purchase tickets online now or visit the Warden'...
10/02/2019

Have you planned your visit to the 2019 Historic Home Tour yet? You can purchase tickets online now or visit the Warden's House Museum for day-of ticket purchases.

The tour will feature 10 properties that you can visit at your own pace on Sunday, October 6. For more information or to purchase tickets visit: http://bit.ly/2019SHHT

Tickets sales directly support the Washington County Historical Society because of our generous house sponsors. Thank you, Schwantes Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc.!

The oldest portion of this building was constructed in 1858! Come see this property and nine others on the 2019 Stillwat...
09/30/2019

The oldest portion of this building was constructed in 1858! Come see this property and nine others on the 2019 Stillwater Historic Home Tour on Sunday, October 6. For more information or to purchase tickets visit: http://bit.ly/2019SHHT

Tickets sales directly support the Washington County Historical Society because of our generous house sponsors. Thank you, Dock Cafe!

Volunteers doing a tour and tasting at Stillwater’s Lift Bridge Brewery!!
09/26/2019

Volunteers doing a tour and tasting at Stillwater’s Lift Bridge Brewery!!

The Stillwater Historic Home tour is just over a week away! The tour will feature 10 properties that you can visit at yo...
09/26/2019

The Stillwater Historic Home tour is just over a week away! The tour will feature 10 properties that you can visit at your own pace on Sunday, October 6. For more information or to purchase tickets visit: http://bit.ly/2019SHHT

Tickets sales directly support the Washington County Historical Society because of our generous house sponsors. Thank you, Johnny's TV!

William Sauntry built a beautiful mansion on North 4th Street in the 1880s. In 1902, Sauntry added a Moorish Style Recre...
09/23/2019

William Sauntry built a beautiful mansion on North 4th Street in the 1880s. In 1902, Sauntry added a Moorish Style Recreation Hall, The Alhambra, that was connected to the main house. After his death, the two were separated and only on occasion have the two homes been open to the public at the same time – this year’s Stillwater Historic Home Tour is one of those times.

The tour will feature 10 properties that you can visit at your own pace on Sunday, October 6. For more information or to purchase tickets visit: http://bit.ly/2019SHHT

Tickets sales directly support the Washington County Historical Society because of our generous house sponsors. Thank you, Alfresco Casual Living!

This year's Stillwater Historic Home Tour includes our neighbor, Main Street Hideaway! The tour will feature 10 properti...
09/20/2019

This year's Stillwater Historic Home Tour includes our neighbor, Main Street Hideaway! The tour will feature 10 properties that you can visit at your own pace on Sunday, October 6. For more information or to purchase tickets visit: http://bit.ly/2019SHHT

Tickets sales directly support the Washington County Historical Society because of our generous house sponsors. Thank you, Mad Capper Saloon & Eatery!

The Stillwater Historic Home tour is right around the corner! The tour will feature 10 properties that you can visit at ...
09/16/2019

The Stillwater Historic Home tour is right around the corner! The tour will feature 10 properties that you can visit at your own pace on Sunday, October 6. For more information or to purchase tickets visit: http://bit.ly/2019SHHT

Tickets sales directly support the Washington County Historical Society because of our generous house sponsors. Thank you, The Tilted Tiki!

On the Stillwater Historic Home Tour for the first time, the Glock House was built in 1899. Restoration work began in 20...
09/14/2019

On the Stillwater Historic Home Tour for the first time, the Glock House was built in 1899. Restoration work began in 2017 and has returned the home to it's turn of the century charm.

The tour will feature 10 properties that you can visit at your own pace on Sunday, October 6. For more information or to purchase tickets visit: http://bit.ly/2019SHHT

Tickets sales directly support the Washington County Historical Society because of our generous house sponsors. Thank you, Lisa Lee - Coldwell Banker Burnet!

Thanks, Sean, for an awesome night of intriguing convict stories! Future events are posted here and at www.wchsmn.org
09/13/2019

Thanks, Sean, for an awesome night of intriguing convict stories!

Future events are posted here and at www.wchsmn.org

We are thrilled to have the Washington County Historic Courthouse on this year's tour. Take a special look inside this b...
09/12/2019

We are thrilled to have the Washington County Historic Courthouse on this year's tour. Take a special look inside this beautiful building. Construction began in 1867 and was completed by 1870. For ninety-two years, it also served as the home of the Washington County Sheriff and his family living on-site in the Sheriff’s Residence attached to the east side of the building. The spacious, three-bedroom home was converted to offices in 1962 and is not typically available for touring, however the space will be open to visitors of the Historic Homes tour. Walk the halls of the former County Sheriff’s home and hear stories of the families who lived there.

The tour will feature 10 properties that you can visit at your own pace on Sunday, October 6. For more information or to purchase tickets visit: http://bit.ly/2019SHHT

Tickets sales directly support the Washington County Historical Society because of our generous house sponsors. Thank you, Valley Bookseller!

Making Local History Relevant TodayThe Washington County Historical Society is proud to announce its featured speaker fo...
09/06/2019

Making Local History Relevant Today

The Washington County Historical Society is proud to announce its featured speaker for the Historical Society’s fall dinner meeting is the Minnesota Historical Society’s Director & CEO Kent Whitworth. The meeting is open to the public, will be held on Thursday September 19th at the Washington County Heritage Center, 1862 S. Greeley Street, (just north of Highway 36) in Stillwater. Reservations are required.

Whitworth took over the top position at the Minnesota Historical Society [MNHS] in July 2018. Prior to coming to MNHS, he was the Executive Director of the Kentucky Historical Society, based in Frankfort, Kentucky, where he was since 2004. He was also at the East Tennessee Historical Society and the Blount Mansion Association in Knoxville.

“Kent’s work on the groundbreaking History Relevance initiative is leading history organizations nationwide in nurturing a greater understanding of how history can help us all address contemporary issues and challenges.” Said John R. Dichtl, president & CEO, of the American Association for State and Local History [AASLH]

For several years, the History Relevance Campaign encouraged people to look at history as “not just nice, but necessary.” Now it seems that everyone has strong opinions about the past, but not necessarily a clear understanding of how history works. This presentation suggests that pulling back the curtain on the historical process will help more of us to see the value of history and its relevance to ourselves, our communities, and to our future.

The event is open to the public and the cost is $25 for WCHS members and $30 for nonmembers. The evening will begin at 5:30 with a social hour, sit down dinner catered by Scheel’s Catering at 6:30 and a short meeting will be at 7:30. Mr. Whitworth’s presentation will start shortly after 7:30pm

Reservations are required. To make reservations or for more information about the event please call 651-439-5956 or email at [email protected]

We begin our sneak peek of the 2019 Stillwater Historic Home Tour! Built in 1881 by lumber-baron William Sauntry, the ma...
09/05/2019

We begin our sneak peek of the 2019 Stillwater Historic Home Tour! Built in 1881 by lumber-baron William Sauntry, the mansion boast 7,000 square feet of Victorian opulence.

The tour will feature 10 properties that you can visit at your own pace on Sunday, October 6. For more information or to purchase tickets visit: http://bit.ly/2019SHHT

Tickets sales directly support the Washington County Historical Society because of our generous house sponsors. Thank you, Rose Floral and Greenhouse!

1st AnnualWashington County Historical SocietyCribbage TournamentWashington County Heritage Center – 1862 S. Greeley Str...
09/04/2019

1st Annual
Washington County Historical Society
Cribbage Tournament
Washington County Heritage Center – 1862 S. Greeley Street, Stillwater.
Sunday, September 8 th , 2019
Start at 1:00 PM---Approx. 4:00 PM

$20.00 per person
$15.00 be paid out in prizes
$5.00 from each entry will go to the Washington
Co Historical Society
RSVP To Be Guaranteed A Spot

Email RSVP to [email protected] or [email protected]
Or call 651-439-5956

Prize Fund
8 Games
Pays first 4 teams,
Amount will be based on
the number of players.

$2.50 per person to Top
High Hand(s)

Hay Lake movie about to begin!!
08/25/2019

Hay Lake movie about to begin!!

Warden Wolfer’s descendant, Kate, stopped in with a wonderful donation to our collection. The “devil chair” and bassinet...
08/11/2019

Warden Wolfer’s descendant, Kate, stopped in with a wonderful donation to our collection. The “devil chair” and bassinet were used by generations of Wolfer grandkids, and the cane was gifted to Warden Wolfer by one of the younger brothers while they were serving their sentence at the Stillwater Prison.

Thank you for choosing the Washington County Historical Society to be the stewards of these items!

Sweet music today at the fair!
08/04/2019

Sweet music today at the fair!

Last day of the county fair! Visit the Historical Society Booth in building C until 8pm!
08/04/2019

Last day of the county fair! Visit the Historical Society Booth in building C until 8pm!

The Lee & Wilson families toured the Warden's House this morning. We were able to bring some of the past family donation...
07/30/2019

The Lee & Wilson families toured the Warden's House this morning. We were able to bring some of the past family donations out for them to view including the magic lantern from Frank T. Wilson that won an award at the Columbian Exhibition in Chicago 1893. The family also donated Frank T. Wilson's clock and some fantastic photos from ca. 1912!! Thank you all for keeping our history alive!!

Are you kidding? It is time for the Washington County Fair!! Visit the Washington County Historical Society in Building ...
07/29/2019

Are you kidding? It is time for the Washington County Fair!! Visit the Washington County Historical Society in Building C all during the fair -- stop by and see what is "spinning!!"

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

Alerts

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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?