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!


St. Croix Base Ball Club begins season with open practice

The St. Croix Base Ball Club, a vintage base ball club that plays by the rules of 1860, will begin the 2017 season with an open practice on Saturday April 29th starting at 3pm at the Old Athletic Field [corner of Orleans & Sixth Avenue South] in Stillwater.

The St. Croix’s are a public program for the Washington County Historical Society and will begin its 19th season. This program has won a Minnesota history award and was nominated for a National Award of Merit.

The rules of 1860 have some very interesting differences. The players do not wear gloves; if the ball is caught on the first bounce the batter is out; there are no balls or strikes called by the umpire – although a batter can still strike out if he swings and misses three times; foul balls are not considered strikes; and the base runners can be tagged out if they over run first base.

“This type of base ball allows people from age 7 to 70 play and have a great deal of fun,” said Brent Peterson, WCHS Executive Director, “it is a great way for one generation to connect to another using the game of base ball as the link through their history.”

The St. Croix Base Ball Club has participated in National exhibitions in Ohio, Chicago and Nebraska. The 2016 schedule has the St. Croix’s playing in Forest Lake, Afton, Stillwater, Rochester, Becker, Northfield, Arlington, Mankato and in Cameron & Menomonie, Wisconsin.

Anyone interested in participating in the club are welcome to come and learn more about the vintage base ball rules, how it is played, and learn how to become more involved in this growing version of the National Pastime.


 Sugar has his game face on!!

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 saving our shared stories and history!

Museum and Research Center Hours

Warden’s House Museum(602 Main Street N., Stillwater) May 1st – October 31st, Thursdays – Sundays 1:00-5:00 PM. Tours at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, & 4:00 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) Every Sunday, June 5 through August 14th (except July 3rd) – 12:00 to 4:00 PM

Please call ahead (651.439.5956) or email ( to confirm Research Center availability.

Research Center(602 Main Street N., Stillwater) January 1st – December 31st, Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays 12:00-5:00 PM / Wednesdays 3:00-9:00 PM


Help WCHS Save the Boutwell House!

Visit our GoFundMe Page for more information.