Washington County Historical Society

Gateway to Minnesota History

Month: January 2015

Uniting the “Last Men”

This issue: Contents
Tuesday, January 27th, 2015
  • Editor’s Note
  • WCHS News: Ice Cream Social Recap
  • WCHS News: Annual Membership Meeting
  • Photo of the Week: Piles of Winter Crud = Miles of Spring Flood
  • Old News: Chuckles Not Guaranteed
  • Featured Article: Uniting the “Last Men”
Editor’s Note

Hello! And welcome to the Historical Messenger!

Can it really already be the end of January?! Whew! 2015 is off and sprinting! Let’s take a minute to recap a few things you might have missed and give you a heads up on what to expect from WCHS in the quickly coming months!

WCHS’ Annual Winter Ice Cream Social was January 17th. Head down to the first News Story to see some of the fun! (And see if you managed to sneak into one of our pictures!)

Reservations for our Annual Dinner Membership Meeting on March 26th are already starting to be snatched up! You won’t want to miss Special Guest, Cathy Wurzer, so scroll on down to the second News Story to learn how to secure your spot.

Today’s Photo of the Week will remind you that there’s still plenty of time left in the season to get more snow…

We’ll once again dip into the editorial section of the Stillwater Messenger for some Old News to see what passed for witty riddles back in 1906.

And finally, as this year marks the 150th anniversary of the closing days of the Civil War, one of the featured exhibits here at the Museum will highlight Washington County’s original “Last Man’s Club”. Every year, veterans of the Civil War would meet in Stillwater to remember their comrades who had not only died during the war, but also those who had passed away in the years since.

This 19th century tradition has survived into the 21st. Last weekend, the few surviving WWII veterans and veterans of the Korean War met at the Stillwater American Legion for their annual meeting. Today’s Featured Article will discuss the “Bully Beef Club” and reveal how these veteran organizations – from Civil War, to World War I, to World War II, to Korean and beyond – are all connected in this shared legacy.

Want to learn more about the history of Washington County? “Like” WCHS on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Sean Pallas

Historical Messenger editor and Warden’s House Site Manager

spallas.wchs@gmail.com

WCHS News

Ice Cream Social Recap

In case you missed it, a couple weekends ago we held our Annual Winter Ice Cream Social! The weather was wonderful and around 1,300 brave Northerners decided 30 degree weather was perfect for an ice cream cone.

In fact, this years attendance is actually the best we’ve had since we started the annual event! We couldn’t have done it without our sponsors and donators: Leo’s Malt and Grill Shop, Lift Bridge Brewing, Pub 112, and Daily Grind – so a huge thank you goes to them. And of course, we also couldn’t have hit these record setting numbers without the lovely folks who decided to come out, say hello, and spend the afternoon with us! Thank you!

If you’d like to see a few pictures from the Ice Cream Social – Click Here.

And if you have any photos from the event you’d like to share with us, you can email them to spallas.wchs@gmail.com or tweet us @WCHS2!

WCHS News 

Annual Membership Meeting

We are excited to announce that Cathy Wurzer will be the special Guest Speaker at the 2015 WCHS Annual Membership Meeting! The meeting will be held at the Water Street Inn, in Stillwater, MN on Thursday, March 26th. The event begins with a social hour at 5:30PM, dinner is served at 6:30, a meeting and election of WCHS Board Members will begin at 7:00pm, Cathy Wurzer’s presentation follows.
Cathy Wurzer is the host of Morning Edition for MPR News. She is also the co-host of Almanac, a weekly public affairs program produced by Twin Cities Public Television for Minnesota’s statewide public television network. Wurzer has won four Emmy Awards for her work on Almanac. Prior to her return to radio, she was an anchor and reporter for WCCO-TV, the CBS affiliate in Minneapolis. She has also been a talk show host for WCCO-AM radio, a producer for KMSP-TV, and political reporter for KSTP-AM radio.
She will be discussing and selling/signing copies of her 2008 book, “Tales of the Road: Highway 61“.
Reservations are required and can be placed by calling 651.439.5956 or online: WCHS Members / Non-Members

Photo of the Week

Piles of Winter Crud = Miles of Spring Flood – March 1965 – Between Bingham Lake and Windom, MN

Even though here in Minnesota we’ve been fortunate to have a fairly mild winter thus far (knock on wood); I’m sure you’ve heard that currently New England is having slightly less luck.

As heavy snowfalls are pounding states like New York and Massachusetts, tens of thousands of travelers are becoming stranded in airports all along the east coast. The first time poor weather conditions closed the St. Paul / Minneapolis International Airport was in March of 1965.

In 1965, the entire state was hit with a massive spring blizzard. Up north, Duluth experienced 60 mph wind and zero visibility while here in the Cities more than 16 inches of snow fell within a few days. An average year gives the Twin Cities area about 50 inches of snow annually. But in this record breaking year, 66.4 inches of snow fell in March alone. In the Minneapolis Tribune photograph above, a locomotive plows massive piles of snow away from the vulnerable tracks.

Of course, this late season snow storm affected more than travel. When April brought warmer weather, the over-abundance of melting snow caused massive floods on the Minnesota, Mississippi, and St. Croix Rivers.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of these devestating floods, the Warden’s House Museum will feature a special exhibit on the subject during the 2015 season. If you’d like to get a sneak peek of some truly breathtaking photographs and artifacts, be sure to keep your eyes on the Historical Messenger and come check out the Museum Open House on April 26th.

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Old News 

Chuckles Not Guaranteed

On the opposite page of these jokes and bits of wit, the editors of the Stillwater Messenger printed a lengthy article on the political relationship between France and Germany. Today, we know what that rivalry would produce only a few short years later – hundreds of miles of trenches and and millions of deaths.

109 years later these riddles might still produce a chuckle, but in 1906, they were a necessary bit of relief amongst building global tensions.

Who Can Tell? – Stillwater Messenger – January 27, 1906

When may an army be said to be totally destroyed?- Answer – When its soldiers are all in quarters.

Why are dudes no longer imported into this country from Europe? Answer – Because a Yankeedude’ll do (Yankee Doodle Do.)

What three great writers’ names might you think of if you were watching a house burn down? Answer – Dickens, Howett, Burns

Where was the first Adams Express Co. located? Answer – In the Garden of Eden, when Eve was created.

What word of only three syllables combine in it twenty-six letters? Answer – Alphabet

When will there be but 25 letters in the alphabet? Answer – When U and I are one.

Why is it almost certain Shakespeare was a broker? Answer – Because no other man furnished so many stock quotations.

What are the two largest ladies in the United States? Answer – Miss Ouri and Mrs. Sippi

Featured Article

Uniting the “Last Men”

An elderly man sits alone at the head of table at the Lowell Inn in 1930. Slowly he rises and raises a glass of wine. He makes a toast to his fallen comrades in front of 33 black draped chairs. Charles Lockwood, the last of the Last Man’s Club of Company B, First Minnesota of the Civil War is that last man, and the club ended its final meeting.

The following year, 1931, veterans of the First World War, the “War to End all Wars,” formed a new last man’s club with Lockwood as an honorary member. This club, named for a can of dried beef found on the battle fields of Europe would meet on Washington’s Birthday every year until the last man. Later, Lockwood would donate to the new club a bottle of wine to be opened by the last man – just as he had done a couple years earlier.

Over 280 veterans of the First World War signed up for that first meeting of the “Last Buddies Bully Beef Club” in 1932. Instead of draping chairs in black as the old Last Man’s Club did, candles would be lit for the members who had passed on the previous year. A candleholder was made with the veteran’s name on it for the lit candle to shine during the meeting.

On the 10th Anniversary of the club, 1941, the main speaker for the evening was Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen and guests of honor for that meeting included the commissioned officers of Company A and Company D. Milton H. Kuhlman was the sergeant major of the group and Chester Wilson, one of the clubs corporals, acted as toastmaster.

The ritual of lighting a candle was begun at this meeting, and color movies were taken of the meeting, with the film being shot by Edward Drews and Harry Swanson under the direction of Judge Edward Thelen.

The movies, shot at the Lowell Inn, show a brief portion of the first candle ceremony and then close up shots of each person who attended the meeting that night. There is no sound, and the members are not identified, but the movies certainly capture a moment in the history of this club and the military history of Washington County.

By the 50th reunion of the Last Buddies Bully Beef Club, only 46 members attended. In 1986, only 9 members of the over 280 original members were able to attend the meeting. Five years later, only three of the six living members attended the meeting on Washington’s Birthday. It was the final meeting of the bully beefers. The clubs records, rusted can of bully beef, and bottle of wine was turned over to the Washington County Historical Society to forever keep the deeds of those veterans alive in history.

On January 13, 1998, Moritz Lott – then living in California – died, which made Frank Manning, a former typesetter at the Stillwater Gazette and living in Sarasota, Florida – the last man. The bottle was never opened, and remains in the collection of the Washington County Historical Society.

Manning has since passed away, leaving no World War One veteran left from the original members of the club. The promise that they gave to one another never faded, and was kept until the last man:

“With faith in the ideals of justice, freedom, and equal opportunity for all men, we pledge ourselves to maintain, protect and perpetuate the way of life that is America. And for that we will serve and sacrifice – to the last man.”

WASHINGTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY | GiveMN

Upcoming Events

More information: WCHS Events >>>

Preserve the Past, Share in the Future!

Become a member of the Washington County Historical Society!

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 and sense of place.

Benefits of membership:

  • FREE admission to the Warden’s House Museum in Stillwater and Hay Lake Museum Complex in Scandia
  • Discounts on purchases in the museum gift shop (10% Individual & Family members, 15% Patron & Sustaining members)
  • FREE use of WCHS library and research center
  • Subscription to Historical Whisperings, the society’s quarterly newsletter
  • Discounts on tickets to membership meetings
  • Knowing that your membership dollars support the preservation of our treasured past for generations to come

The Washington County Historical Society has depended on membership ever since it was formed in 1934. Please show your support for the organization by becoming a member today.

More: WCHS Membership >>>

Mission Statement

Washington County Historical Society collects, preserves, and disseminates the history of the county and state of Minnesota.

A Most Revered Resource?

Receive the Historical Messenger in your inbox once every two weeks by signing up for our mailing list!

This issue: Contents
Tuesday, January 13th, 2015
  • Editor’s Note
  • WCHS News: Winter Ice Cream Social – This Saturday!
  • Photo of the Week: A Eulogy for the Boutwell House
  • Old News: Privy Profits
  • Featured Article: A Most Revered Resource?

Editor’s Note

If you remember the last issue of the Historical Messenger, our Featured Article discussed the short-sighted destruction of the beautiful Stillwater Union Depot. As it turns out, that selection has proved somewhat prophetic.

Just yesterday, Stillwater Township issued a demolition permit for the historic Boutwell House on Boutwell Road. In fact by the time you are reading this very sentence, the shattered remains of this 144 year old house may already be sitting in a landfill. Despite objections in the community, the property owner sees the house as an obstacle for converting the acreage into new housing development. Even after 50 years, Stillwater still mourns the loss of the Union Depot. Will today’s demolition lead to the same regret?

When pieces of our shared heritage are so callously discarded we must be re-inspired to protect the history that still remains. Whether that be the Old Stonebridge, the Washington County Courthouse, or even WCHS’ own museums. These aren’t just “old buildings”, they are our visible and physical link to the past. Every day of their lives the men and women who built Washington County ate, worked, loved, laughed, and sometimes even died in these places. I just hope that is not being taken for granted.

If you would like to help the Washington County Historical Society preserve the history that is under our care, please consider becoming a member. Thank you.

Okay, let me step down from my soapbox.

Be sure to come down to Mulberry Point in Stillwater this Saturday for our annual Winter Ice Cream Social! Check out our news story for the last minute details!

Head down to our Photo of the Week as we take a final look at the Boutwell House.

Curious how much money Stillwater was making from it’s public bathroom in the early 1900s? Well you and the 1912 readers of the Stillwater Messenger have something in common! You’re in for…or should I say, “urine” for a treat in today’s Old News!

And just because our History of Washington County is a great source of information on all the local communities in the county…that doesn’t necessarily mean that every account written on the subject is worth reading. Our Featured Article today will take a look at the controversy surrounding the earliest, and perhaps least factual, of these histories.

Want to learn more about the history of Washington County? “Like” WCHS on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Sean Pallas

Historical Messenger editor and Warden’s House Site Manager

spallas.wchs@gmail.com

WCHS News 

Winter Ice Cream Social – This Saturday!

On Saturday, January 17th, the Washington County Historical Society you to a Winter Ice Cream Social, which runs from Noon – 4:00 PM.

The weatherman says we’ll be hitting the 30s this weekend – well that’s practically summer! Don’t forget your suntan lotion and your beach towel!

Join your neighbors and fellow hearty Northerners for some free Leo’s Malt and Grill Shop Ice Cream, Root Beer from Lift Bridge Brewing, Hot Chocolate from Pub 112, and Daily Grind Coffee while we scoff at Father Winter’s best efforts to keep us indoors!

Chili from Leo’s will also be available for a nominal fee.

More Events

Photo of the Week

A Eulogy for the Boutwell House – ca. 1910 – Stillwater Township

Reverend William T. Boutwell came to Stillwater in 1847, settling on a piece of land two miles west of the city where in 1870 he would build the house discussed in the opening remarks and photographed above.

Once he settled in, he, along with Reverend J. C. Whitney, organized the First Presbyterian Church of Stillwater. Before Boutwell came to Stillwater, regular church services would feature only the occasional missionary who would preach a Sunday service. In addition to his work with the Presbyterian Church, Boutwell was the first chaplain for the Minnesota Territorial Legislature.

He was also a bit of an explorer. Headed by Henry Schoolcraft, Boutwell was a member of the party who formally discovered the headwaters of the Mississippi River. Schoolcraft wished to give the small lake an appropriately dramatic name and suggested the Greek words for “True” and “Head”. But there was one issue, no-one in the group spoke Greek. Boutwell, however, did know Latin. “True Head” becomes “Veritas Caput” in Latin and the name “Itasca” was born from the combination of these two words.

Life on the frontier was hard. Boutwell and his wife had a total of nine children, several of whom died as infants. When visiting relatives in New England, the couple was persuaded to allow Boutwell’s brother to adopt two of their three living children. Instead of returning to the harsh pioneer life, they would remain in civilization.

In 1890, Rev. Boutwell told of a happy reunion took place on the front porch of the home photographed above:

“One day a stranger knocked at my door, and being admitted remarked that he knew my brother Clark at Nashua, N.H. I inquired his name, when he rose and said, ‘Father have you forgotten Ramsey, your son?’ I was dumbfounded. Could I be expected to recognize in the gray-whiskered man of 52 years the boy whom I had last seen at 15? It was a joyful meeting. After a time of mutual questioning, I stepped to the kitchen where Kate [Mrs. Jones] was busy and told her a gentleman had called who desired to see her. She replied that she had seen a fellow coming along the road whom she supposed to be a peddler; that she had no time or money for his gew-gaws; that later, if he still desired to see her, she would come in. When she entered the room I said, ‘This gentleman is from New England, and saw my brother Clark a few days ago. He approached, and taking her had grasped it with a firmness which is not warranted on first acquaintance, remarking on seeing her indignant expression, “Kate, don’t you know your own brother?”

“In 1852, I made my second and last visit to New England. The boy, now fifteen years of age, returned with me for a visit of three months. For thirty-seven years not one of the family except Hattie had seen him until he rapped at his father’s doors a few weeks ago.”

Boutwell would die in his home a few months later.

Boutwell made tremendous sacrifices for Washington County. Instead of joyously admitting a long-lost son, the front parlor of this historic home will soon be entertaining a bulldozer.

It’s absolutely tragic that this short article and a single photograph is the best memorial I can create for this piece of Washington County’s heritage when it deserves so much more.

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Old News 

Privy Profits

Whew. Thanks for sticking with me so far. I’ll be the first to admit that today’s e-newsletter has been pretty heavy.

Quick! We need something to lighten the mood! How about we see how much money Stillwater was making off people’s…erhm..bodily functions…back in 1911? Perfect!

Rest Room Prospering – Stillwater Messenger – January 13, 1912

People of Stillwater will be glad to know that the rest room in this city is nearly self-supporting. A detailed statement of the treasurer discloses the fact that the receipts for the past year, including donations, amounted to $3,009.02*, while the disbursements were $2,929.60, leaving a balance in the treasury of $79.42. The rest room is an institution that does credit to this city to maintain, and a great convenience to farms’ wives and children as well as residents of this city. It will require a helping hand yet a while, but may soon be able to stand alone and be entirely self-supporting.

*$3,000 in 1911 is about $75,000 in today’s dollars.

Featured Article

A Most Revered Resource?

by Don Empson

When doing any kind of historical research in Washington County, one of the first sources usually consulted is the History of Washington County and the St. Croix Valley, published in 1881. This is the earliest of the Washington County histories, and generally revered as an unquestioned source of historical fact.

But think again. Let’s look a little closer at this “history.” Usually the author is cited as the Reverend Edward D. Neill, a Protestant clergyman, the founder of Macalester College, and an eminent historian in early Minnesota. However, a close look at the title page reveals that this volume includes a work by Neill entitled Explorers and Pioneers of Minnesota, but Neill had nothing to do with writing the history of Washington County. In fact, the proper author citation would be North Star Publishing Company, Minneapolis. Using Neill’s name was an intentional effort by the publisher to both expand and legitimize the book. The fact that most readers believe that Neill is the author of this book also confirms the publishers successfully mislead many readers.

The North Star Publishing Company, or as it was sometimes referred to, Warner & Foote, was a business venture of Charles M. Foote (1849-1899) and George E. Warner (1826-1917). The impetus for their business was undoubtedly the success of the Andreas Atlas of Minnesota, which had been sold by subscription widely throughout Minnesota in 1874. This Atlas, with some history included, was the first general history of the state that was published as a commercial venture. It was sold by book agents traveling around the state soliciting orders in advance. For an extra payment, the subscriber could have a picture of his house or business included along with a caption. Typical of the subscription business with its practice of obtaining orders in advance, the agent probably had a very attractive mock-up of the book prepared to show prospective buyers and persuade them to order a copy. Having an beautiful sample may also have unrealistically raised the customers’ expectations of a attractive cover.

Having witnessed the success of the Andreas Atlas, Warner and Foote took their business to a more local level, and published a series of county maps in the late 1870’s, including, among others, the Map of Freeborn County, 1878; Map of Fillmore County, 1878; Map of Blue Earth County, 1879; and Map of Carver County in 1880.

They expanded their catalog to books, and in 1881, they published, using the pre-sale method, A History of Hennepin County, A History of Ramsey County, A History of Dakota County, and our History of Washington County. Today there is a tendency to consider these books as factural, and they hold a revered status as reliable reference sources. However, the local Stillwater subscribers were not pleased when they received their $10 (3 days wages) copy of A History of Washington County.

The first howls of discontent were recorded in the Stillwater Messenger of August 27, 1881:

“There are several hundred persons (and more to hear from) in our city and county who have within the past two weeks made a new and unusually solemn vow never to buy a book or anything else of a canvassing agent. Some six or eight months ago a squad of well-dressed smooth-talking fellows visited every nook and corner of our county as well as the St. Croix valley, soliciting subscriptions for a history of Washington county. Twelve or fifteen hundred persons were thus induced to place their autographs upon the pages of a book, agreeing to pay $10 on receipt of the contemplated volume. Two weeks ago the work of delivery commenced, and simultaneously a tremendous howl arose from the throats of persons who had subscribed for the work. The book is probably all that was promised, but subscribers do not find it all their fancy painted it. Quite a number refuse to take it, while others have paid the requisite X and have charged it up to experience account.”

A couple of weeks later the Mayor went into action as described in the Stillwater Messenger of September 10th,1881:

“Get Even With A Book Agent

A few weeks ago an alleged history of Washington county was handed to his excellency mayor Matthews (which his front name is Sam). Sam didn’t know what he had done to merit such an infliction, and declined to accept the book until he was shown a certain other less pretentious but more “binding” volume in which his autograph appeared, though he had no recollection of ever placing it there. He surrendered unconditionally and also surrendered a ten dollar note. Now if there is anything which harrows up Sam’s very bottom soul it is the thought that he has been taken in some business transaction. For ten days or more he busied his brain in an endeavor to devise some scheme whereby he could get even with that book agent. At length a “happy thought” occurred to him and he proceeded to “book it.” Inquiry of the city clerk elicited the fact that the deliverer of books in question had never obtained a license for such business, and an examination of the ordinances revealed the further fact that the fee for such licenses may not exceed $200. Mr. book agent was speedily notified that he was liable to arrest if he delivered any more books without procuring a license. On receiving this notification the b.a. made application for a license, but on learning that the price was $200 he was in a quandary. He had 100 books yet to deliver to Stillwater subscribers, but in the absence of instructions he did not feel authorized to invest $200 in license. He is still in a quandary, and one hundred deluded citizens of Stillwater hope the concern will fail before the $200 is paid. Other victims wish the license had been $2000 and Sam had thought about the matter before they paid for the evidence of their folly.”

Other communities were no more enthusiastic.

The Hudson True Republican wrote:

“It is distressing to hear the groans of our people, as they hand over ten dollars for what purports to be a history of this vicinity, which they were deluded into subscribing for last summer. They felt as though bathing in salt water would be as beneficial.”

The Stillwater Messenger editorialized on September 17th:

” There is a general desire that the license for foreign book agents be placed uniformly at $200, and that any agent who attempts to canvass for or deliver any book without a license be fined $200 for every offense. There are parties living in this city, honest and deserving, who can supply our citizens with all the books they are hungering to subscribe for, and even they are not getting rich so fast as to be proud.”

The following week, the Messenger quoted the Hudson newspaper again:

“It is pretty near time that another history of the St. Croix county was canvassed for. It will require a young man whose brass extends below his face, and renders him shot and leather proof, if he interviews any victim of the Minneapolis fraud.”

Meanwhile in Stillwater:

“Some fifteen or twenty of the subscribers for the snide history of Washington county have combined to resist payment. They propose to stand by each other and will spend several times the cost of the book before they will pay for what they consider an unmitigated fraud.”

After trying to arrest the book agent and having him escape to Hudson, court action was taken in Stillwater:

“The case of the city against J. H. Chandler, charged with the crime of attempting to deliver a so-called history of Washington county to a deluded subscriber without a license was on Wednesday again postponed one week.”

But to no avail:

“The case of the city v. J. H. Chandler, charged with delivering or attempting to deliver a snide history of Washington county without a license, was on Wednesday dismissed in the mucilage on the ground that the ordinance requiring such license was in conflict with the constitution or something of the kind.”

The book company retaliated: The Daily Sun of December 20, 1881, lists a suit in municipal court:

“North Star Publishing Co. vs. Abram T. Gillispie. This is an action brought to recover for a book, the “History of Washington County” which defendant claims was not what it was represented to be.”

Unfortunately, we cannot discern the specific complaints about the book because the municipal court archives no longer exist; some irony for current historians who rely on documentation. But the book itself provides some evidence for the extreme controversy that raged when it was published. It’s likely that the physical appearance of the completed volume did not fulfill the promise of those who solicited its purchase. The sample version promoted to potential subscribers may not have matched the final product. Reality and expectations collided in an uproar.

A close reading of the contents reveals minimal original factual research, specifically about Washington County. Approximately one-third of the book is “filler:” Neill’s Explorers and Pioneers of Minnesota and Williams’ Outlines of the History of Minnesota are long sections with emphasis on state-wide information; both were published many years previously. These two works were also used in the other county histories published by Warner and Foote.

There is also a question about the accuracy and objectivity of the personal profiles in the book. Those subscribers wishing their biographies in the county book paid an extra fee — and they submitted the information they wished published. Those who could not afford the fee, or who did not care about their image for posterity, were not included. Arguably, this could be considered a limitation of many subsequent history texts.

Most of the “historical” information, specifically about Washington County, was probably written by a local journalist/writer/person hired to compose this county history. The text is flowery/romantic description, rather than hard facts that current researchers could rely on for accuracy. In the book’s favor, there are sections that appear to be based on interviews with some of the residents of the time — some of whom also bought a place in the subscriber biographical section. However, many of the local facts in this book were taken directly from the earlier newspapers to the extent this history could be used as an index to the area newspapers.

Is this a good history? The subscribers at the time certainly did not think so. Does this book hold up as a reliable source for contemporary historians? What do you think? And would you be willing to pay $300 or so for the book — today’s equivalent of the original $10 price?

WASHINGTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY | GiveMN

Upcoming Events

More information: WCHS Events >>>

Preserve the Past, Share in the Future!

Become a member of the Washington County Historical Society!

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 and sense of place.

Benefits of membership:

  • FREE admission to the Warden’s House Museum in Stillwater and Hay Lake Museum Complex in Scandia
  • Discounts on purchases in the museum gift shop (10% Individual & Family members, 15% Patron & Sustaining members)
  • FREE use of WCHS library and research center
  • Subscription to Historical Whisperings, the society’s quarterly newsletter
  • Discounts on tickets to membership meetings
  • Knowing that your membership dollars support the preservation of our treasured past for generations to come

The Washington County Historical Society has depended on membership ever since it was formed in 1934. Please show your support for the organization by becoming a member today.

More: WCHS Membership >>>

Washington County Historical Society

Mission Statement

Washington County Historical Society collects, preserves, and disseminates the history of the county and state of Minnesota.

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