Based out of Stillwater, “The Birthplace of Minnesota”, the 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!

How a “Thank You” led to the coolest job in Baseball    WCHS Annual Meeting Thursday March 21st

The Washington County Historical Society is proud to announce its featured speaker for the Historical Society’s annual meeting is the Minnesota Twins Curator Clyde Doepner. The meeting, open to the public, will be held on Thursday March 21st at the Lowell Inn in Stillwater. Reservations are required.

Doepner, who says he got started with just a simple “thank you” to then Twins owner Calvin Griffith for a free pass to the games that was sent to him and all Minnesota High School baseball coaches in the 1960s. He then started a relationship with the Griffith family that led to a collection of well over 3,000 items relating to the Twins.

He displayed his collection of Twins’ memorabilia at the annual Twins’ fest. Team owner Carl Pohlad (Pohlad acquired the Twins from Griffith in 1984) and Twins’ President David St. Peter recognized the value of what these historic items could bring to the fan experience. They brought Doepner on as the Twins’ Curator. Clyde: the keeper of the collection. He was the first curator hired in Major League Baseball. Clyde is responsible for all of the displays exhibited at Target Field — some 50 displays in all.

He will present many stories of the Twins, show some of the unique artifacts collected over the years and tell everyone of the “coolest job” in baseball!!

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, dinner at 6:30 and the business meeting will be at 7:30. Clyde Doepner’s program will begin around 8pm.

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

Museums are Closed for the Tour Season

The Warden’s House Museum in Stillwater is available for group tours  contact Gibson Stanton, Site Manager at or 651.439.5956 to schedule.

WCHS Latest Publications

Company K in the Border War

In 1916, Company K of the Stillwater National Guard was dispatched to the Mexican Border to defend against attacks from the famous Mexican rebel, Poncho Villa. Through letters and photographs from the WCHS collection, “Company K in the Border War” details the in-glamorous reality these Stillwater men faced while stationed in Texas.

This book recently won a Minnesota History Award for publications!!

Thru the Mill

Originally published in 1915, “Thru the Mill” was written by inmate number “4342”, George Bartlett, who served ten months in the old Stillwater Prison. This book is his account of life behind the stone walls of Minnesota’s most infamous prison.

 Want to help support your local history? Here’s your chance!

The Washington County Historical Society is the only county historical society in Minnesota that receives no annual assistance from their county.

We are 100% reliant on your generosity.

Thank you for helping us save our shared stories and history!

Museum and Research Center Hours

Research Center
602 Main Street N., Stillwater
Open year-round
Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays 12:00-5:00 PM, Wednesdays 3:00-9:00 PM
Please call ahead or email to confirm research center availability.
(651) 439-5956 |

Warden’s House Museum
602 Main Street N., Stillwater
May – October: Thursdays – Sundays 1:00-5:00 PM.

Hay Lake School and Johannes Erickson Log Home
14020 195th St N, Marine on St Croix
May, September, October: Saturdays & Sundays 1:00-4:00 PM
June-August: Fridays – Sundays 1:00-4:00 PM

Eder School House
4442 Hadley Ave N, Oakdale, MN
June – August: Sundays 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM