Washington County Historical Society

Gateway to Minnesota History

Month: June 2015

One Room Schools: The Teacher & School Board

Where We Wet Our Whistles

This issue: Contents
Tuesday, June 16th, 2015
  • Editor’s Note
  • WCHS News: 8th Annual Hay Lake Beer Tasting
  • WCHS News: WCHS Interns
  • What Is This Thing?!
  • Old News: Let’s Blow Up Some Clouds…for Science!
  • Featured Article: Where We Wet Our Whistles
Editor’s Note

Hello hello hello!

Welcome to the latest issue of the Historical Messenger! I’d like to start off with a quick Boutwell House update here for you folks. First off, our GoFundMe campaign has now raised $675! But monitary donations aren’t the only way to help the project. Last weekend a group of passionate volunteers made the first steps to restoring this piece of our history by cleaning up the house and property! We’ll definitely have more clean-up days in the future, so keep an eye on our social media for more details. Thank you for the support!

…the rest of today’s issue is all about beer!

Partially because it’s the perfect weather to sit outside and knock-back a cold one, but mostly because the Hay Lake Beer Tasting is this Saturday! Check out our first bit of News for all the mouth-watering details.

We’ll use our second bit of News to introduce you to this summer’s WCHS interns!

I’ll also identify the alcohol-accessory from last issue’s “What Is This Thing?!” and introduce our 10th mystery item!

In today’s Old News, you’ll read a suggestion from a local man that would feel more at home in an H.G. Wells novel or in a slurred barroom conversation than in the editorial section.

These days, smaller local craft brewers are growing more and more popular. Well in today’s Featured Article you’ll read about how Stillwater was ahead of that trend…way back in the late 1800s!

Want to learn more about the history of Washington County? “Like” WCHS on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and now introducing our intern-run Instagram!

Sean Pallas

Historical Messenger editor and Warden’s House Site Manager

spallas.wchs@gmail.com

WCHS News 

8th Annual Hay Lake Beer Tasting

Join the Washington County Historical Society this Saturday, June 20th, 2015 from 4:00-7:00pm for the 8th Annual Hay Lake Beer Tasting Fundraiser & Silent Auction. Admission to the event is $15 per person and participants must me 21 years or older. The proceeds from the event help to fund the Washington County Historical Society and its programs.For the eighth year the Hay Lake School Museum Beer Tasting and Silent auction has become a keystone fundraiser for the Washington County Historical Society. This year sponsored by Lift Bridge Brewing will include fourteen different breweries from around the region. Many Minnesota favorites will be participating; Joseph Wolf Brewing, Mankato Brewing, East Lake Craft Brewery, Granite City Brewing, Summit Brewing, Opinion Brewery of Newport, and more!

The beer is just a part of it, as the tasting also will consist of food from the Scandia-Marine Lions Club and snacks will be provided by Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels. Author Doug Hoverson, “Land of Amber Waters: The History of Brewing in Minnesota” will be giving a short presentation preceding the event inside the Hay Lake School and Photographer Mark Fay, “Bottom’s Up: A Toast to Wisconsin’s Historic Taverns and Breweries” will also be speaking. Their books will be for sale at the event.

Justin Miner of the Johnsdale Paranormal Group will also be at Hay Lake to discuss the upcoming Warden’s House Investigation Raffle. Have you ever wanted to hunt ghosts with the experts? This is your chance!

There will also be vintage base ball played on the field next to the museum near the Lions Pavilion. The St. Croix Base Ball Club, Menomonie Blue Caps and the Rum River Rovers will play several timed matches starting at Noon. The vintage base ball matches, played by the rules of 1860, are free to the public.

In addition, there will be a silent auction that includes items from Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Timberwolves, Minnesota Orchestra, Canterbury Park, Water Street Inn, Dancing Dragonfly Winery, and much more from all over Minnesota & Wisconsin.

The Hay Lake School Museum is located at 14020 195th St N, Marine on St Croix, MN 55047.

Contact Dustyn Dubuque at dustyn.dubuque@hotmail.com or 651-433-4019 with any questions regarding this event or to schedule a tour of the museum.

More: Events

WCHS News

WCHS Interns

One of my favorite programs here at WCHS is our summer internship. For the next 10 week Lauren Anderson, Maja Proescholdt, and Alicia Tipcke will be learning the ins-and-outs of local history museums at the Warden’s House and Hay Lake. Lauren is a graduate student at Eau Claire, Maja has just graduated from Luther College in Iowa and Alicia is studying at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth. All three are pursuing careers in Public History and are receiving their first real taste of the field here at WCHS.

They’ll help with events, develop research projects …and they also want to share our massive collection of historic photographs with you!

Check out the new WCHS Instagram and explore the visual history of Washington County with our interns! (…plus they’ve been working really hard on some truly awful puns…so you can enjoy that too!)

Swing by either of our museums, one of our events, or our booth at the Washington County Fair and say ‘Hello!’ to these future historians!

Photo: From Left to Right (Alicia Tipcke, Lauren Anderson, Maja Proescholdt) …and behind them Rev. Boutwell!

More: WCHS Intern Instagram 

What is This Thing?!

What Is This Thing?! (Round 10)

Whew! Last issue’s What Is This Thing?! left more than a few heads scratching. A couple folks supposed it was for planting bulb plants like onions or tulips while others guessed it might have been used to tap into trees to harvest sap.

But a couple of you still managed to hit the nail right on the head with your guess!

Round 9’s mystery item was known as a ‘bung-hole auger’ or ‘reamer’. A ‘bung-hole’ is the small circular hole that is bored into the sides of whiskey barrels. Then they’d either place a tap into the hole or a cork when it was being stored. In the 1880s, “down river Whiskey” (along with local beer) was a popular beverage served at many of Stillwater’s forty-three saloons. Bar owners would often offer a free lunch to bring in the crowds of thirsty lumberjacks.

An improvement to the device was patented in 1882 which allowed the wood drilled out by the auger to be removed from an opening in the side of the borer.

Can you identify the WCHS artifact photographed above? If you’d care to venture an answer, you can send an email to me at spallas.wchs@gmail.com, tweet @WCHSMN, or post your guess on our Facebook page.

Good luck!

Full Image

Old News 

Let’s Blow Up Some Clouds…for Science!

In past issue’s we’ve discussed how the beginning of the 20th century was an amazing time to be alive. Technological wonders seem to be churned out every day. By 1900, wireless telegraphy was being used for instant communication across the English Channel – in less than a year it would be transmitted across the Atlantic. At the same time this article was published, the Wright Brothers were spending their first summer in Kitty Hawk testing their prototype flying machine.

So while the following suggestion for controling Mother Nature seems squarely in the realm of science-fiction, Stillwater wasn’t the only community to suppose that explosives could coax rain from clouds. Even Popular Mechanics was still discussing the ‘success stories’ of the practice in 1912!

The supportive comments at the end of the article by the Stillwater Messenger editor further reveal this idea wasn’t seen as a hair-brained scheme or the ravings of a lunatic – science would prevail over all and Stillwater wanted to reap the rewards.

Why Not Try? – Stillwater Messenger – June 16, 1900

We spend lots of money for city improvements, celebrations, etc. Isn’t it worth while to raise $50 or $100 to buy some dynamite and balloons in order to shake down the rain from the clouds hovering over us?

We don’t know much about rainmaking but actually believe that under conditions like Wednesday evening last, when rain clouds were floating by, concussions of the air would have the desired effect; If it did not we could console ourselves with having failed in a good cause.

Respectfully referred to the city Improvement committee, or any one having the public welfare at heart.

C.C.P

The foregoing article, crowded out of last week’s issue by late news matter, is well worth consideration. The science of rain making is as yet in its infancy but is destined to be, and in the near future, too, of the utmost importance along every line of trade, as all depend upon agriculture.

Featured Article

Where We Wet Our Whistles

by Brent Peterson

In 1851, Norbert Kimmick started a small whisky still on the corner of third and Chestnut Streets in Stillwater. The still was located in his kitchen and he made about five barrels of whisky per week. The next year, Kimmick built a brewery and operated it for about two years before taking on a partner, Frank Aiple. Together they ran the operation until Kimmick’s death in 1857.

After Kimmick’s death, his widow operated the brewery until January 1, 1860, when she married Frank Aiple, at which point he assumed the management of the brewery. A disruptive fire took place at the brewery in May 1868. Mr. Aiple rebuilt on the same site, however, as the work was nearly done, Aiple fell from the roof while putting in some water pipes, and he died on November 5, 1868.

Mrs. Aiple then continued the operation of the brewery until she again married, this time to Mr. Hermann Tepass, on December 14, 1869.

The old kettle that served the Aiple brewery for nearly 30 years was sold to a brewery in Hillsboro, Wisconsin in August 1890. The following month, two buildings on the brewery grounds caught fire. Jacob Bean, of Hersey & Bean Lumber Company across the street, noticed the blaze and shut down his mill. The mill hands raced to the fire and using the mills three hose lines, extinguished the fire before any damage to the brewery could occur.

In the Schulenberg Addition to Stillwater, commonly known as “Dutchtown,” there was a man named Gerhardt Knips who began a brewery in late 1858 or early 1859. This part of Stillwater had the largest German settlement in the city and it would only make sense that they would bring their brand of beverage to the area.

Knips, with his wife and young son, constructed a three-story building at a cost of $1,000. They came from St. Louis, and it was here that he began the “St. Croix Brewing Company.”

In the Stillwater Messenger of January 2, 1866, there was described a fire at Knip’s Brewery in Schulenberg’s Addition. The fire started in the early evening. The two upper stories were “constructed of wood and occupied as a residence.” This portion of the building was completely engulfed in flames, “but through the exertions of our citizens the most valuable portion of the building, cellars, and most of the stock were saved. Loss $1,500.” For the citizens of Dutchtown, their beer was saved!

In an article in the Stillwater Gazette on December 13, 1870, the paper commented on Knips recent improvements to the brewery. “He has made large excavations under the bluff in the rear of his brewery, about 40 feet in length,” said the report. The reporter also commented on the expense of these improvements, saying, “He has expended this season about $1,000 in the way of repairs and improvements.”

Seven years later, the Gazette reported that Knips was getting out of the brewing business. “We understand” the reporter said, “that the Knips brewery has been leased to Messrs. Fred Maisch, D. Millbrook and Jos. Honar – the latter a practical brewer of good repute. The new firm will take possession of the works to-morrow, Feb. 1. We wish the success.”

The new enterprise did not work out, and just a few years later, the brewery buildings were sold to Seymour, Sabin & Company. At the peek of production, the Knips brewery produced 450 barrels of beer annually.

The Knips family moved away from Stillwater in the late 1870s to Nobles County, Minnesota. On March 18, 1879, the organizational meeting for Leota Township in Nobles County was held at the Gerhardt Knips home. Their daughter, Clara, stayed in Stillwater and was one of the first graduates from Stillwater High School in 1876. She later became a schoolteacher in Stillwater. Also staying in Stillwater was their son Emil, who worked for the Stillwater Mills.

Peter Newhouse later purchased the brewery building. He made it into a boarding house in which 16 families lived there during the First World War. When the state decided to widen Highway 95 in 1935, the building was torn down. The back wall was used as a retaining wall for the bluffs, and it was on that wall that a plaque dedicated to the Tamarack House was placed.

According to the “History of Washington County and the St. Croix Valley” published in 1881, the “Marine brewery was started about 1856 by [John] Kaufman, a German from Hudson.” Then, about three years later, Swiss born John Graf purchased Kaufman’s brewery, and in 1865 constructed larger buildings for development of a bigger brewery with his son Emil.

In 1870 the brewery was sold to John F. Wichman and Henry Gartner. These gentlemen had come to Marine in the mid-1850s and were now embarking on making this one of the premiere breweries in the state.

The brewery consisted at this time of a saloon and Wichman’s home, and the buildings were near the river bluff just south of the millstream, near where the mill site historic marker is standing today.

By 1875, the Marine Brewery operated by Wichman & Gartner was making approximately 185 barrels of beer annually. In 1880, after Gartner’s death, Wichman became the sole owner and the production of the brewery was increased. In 1880, the brewery manufactured 300 barrels of beer, using nine hundred bushels of barley and employing two men.

At 8:30 in the evening on February 25, 1886, flames were spotted coming from the dry kiln in the basement of the brewery. The alarm was sounded and the towns’ people came “speedily upon the scene” but the fire raced through the brewery building and any attempt to save it was abandoned. However, the flames were spreading fast and it was possible that the fire could reach the planning mill and lumberyard. A bucket brigade was started and the mill and yard were saved. The fire did spread to the Wichman’s home, which was later destroyed by the fire but some of the household items were brought out to safety.

The estimates of the damage of the fire ranged from $3,000 to $3,500 and since the Wichman’s had no insurance, the brewery was a total loss. The Stillwater Gazette proclaimed “the citizens of Marine are deserving of much credit for their determined fight against great odds to prevent a further spread of the fire which at one time threatened to destroy the entire place.”

On the day of the fire, the Marine Village Council held a meeting and appointed John Bevens to investigate the cost of a suitable fire engine and 500 feet of hose. Later, on April 10, 1886, the council voted to purchase such an engine, which officially established the Marine Volunteer Fire Department.

Wichman did rebuild but the brewery was never put back into operation. Wichman died in December 1915 and his building was used in many different ways, from hotels to restaurants, a couple saloons and even an ice cream shop. The building was torn down in the late 1950s and there was some talk of making the site a nursing home. Eventually, according to James T. Dunn, the site was cleared completely in the fall of 1972 by the Minnesota Historical Society and is today a part of the historic mill property.

In the spring of 1868, Martin Wolf established a brewery at the corner of Main and Nelson Streets. He constructed a one story wooden building 40 X 50 feet. He conducted the business here until March 1871, when it passed into the ownership of Wolf, Tanner, and Company, Joseph Wolf and A. Tanner, being the principle owners. The old wooden building burned on March 25, 1872, and the company rebuilt the building with stone.

In May 1876, Joseph Wolf, the brother of Martin, purchased the whole business. In 1880 a brick office block was built adjoining the brewery. The firm was dissolved then incorporated under the name of Joseph Wolf Company in 1896, with Joseph Wolf as President of the firm. This new firm included three of Wolf’s sons and two son-in-laws.

The Wolf Brewery is the best known brewery from Stillwater, at one time producing more than 25,000 barrels of beer a year, and continued to produce some of the best beer and whisky in the State of Minnesota until the 18th amendment put an end to the brewery.

It took nearly a century for beer brewing to return to Stillwater after Prohibiton. And this Saturday, you’ll be able to sample a few of those local brews at our 8th Annual Beer Tasting at Hay Lake – including the renewed Wolf Brewing Company!

Cheers!

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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The Man Who Made Stillwater Smile & Say “Cheese”

This issue: Contents
Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015
  • Editor’s Note
  • WCHS News: Boutwell House Restoration Project
  • WCHS News: Hay Lake Beer Tasting
  • What Is This Thing?!
  • Old News: Logging Season
  • Featured Article: The Man Who Made Stillwater Smile & Say “Cheese”
Editor’s Note

Happy Tuesday everybody – I hope you’re able to enjoy at least a bit of the absolutely beautiful weather we’re having!

This past weekend, our “A Dazzle of Dragonflies” event hosted by the Lee and Rose Warner Nature Center at the Hay Lake School was a huge success, here’s a quick album of the day’s activities in case you missed the fun!

I’m going to keep today’s Editor’s Note pretty brief because, folks, we’ve got a lot to talk about our first News Story. If you haven’t heard, WCHS has purchased the endangered Boutwell House. Head down to the News section to learn the details and the next steps we’ll be taking towards the home’s restoration project.

Our 8th Annual Beer Tasting is now less than a month away! Check out the second bit of News for more information.

Keep scrolling to learn the answer to last week’s “What Is This Thing?!” and to see if you know the answer to today’s riddle!

We are fortunate to have an amazing photographic record of historic Stillwater and the St. Croix River Valley because of the dedicated efforts of one man: John Runk. Head down to our Featured Article to read about this pioneer of technology.

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

Boutwell House Restoration Project

If you’ve been a regular reader of the Historical Messenger, you’ll remember that way back in January, I first mentioned the imminent destruction of the Boutwell House (and spent a few paragraphs on a soap box about historic preservation).

If you’ve been following the news, you may have heard some rumors and reports about the home over the last few months – but on WCHS’ end, we’ve stayed pretty quiet. We’ve spent the last few months wheeling, dealing and negotiating but I am very happy to report that:

On May 28th, WCHS purchased the Boutwell House and the surrounding land.

But what’s next?

As you can see in the photo above, the house is not in great shape. Before the demolition was haulted, a sizeable chunk of the back of the house was removed. This was our immediate concern and just this morning, we have already taken steps to cover the exposed interior.

Years of neglect have also left the inside of the house in poor condition.

We now need to raise money to complete the restoration and preservation of the Boutwell House.

We see our major goals for this project as the following:

1) Restore the exterior of the home to it’s original condition. Thankfully, the house truly hasn’t changed much since the ca. 1910 photograph above which makes this an ideal candidate for a restoration project.

2) Secure a place on the National Register of Historic Places for the Boutwell House. Once the exterior of the home is returned to it’s original condition, we will begin applying for National Register status which will protect the home in the future.

3) Renovate the interior of the home. After being abandoned for years, the inside of the house definitely needs work especially because of our final goal…

4) Return ownership of the Bouwell House back to either a family or organization. We hope to quickly renovate the exterior to historical standards and interior to modern standards so a new family can add their own history to the House’s already impressive story.

So to wrap all this up – We need your help. The restoration of the house will cost right around $400,000. A decent percentage of this cost must be fundraised from the community.

If you are reading these words in your inbox or on our website, you care about history. It is people like you that will make this project a success. Please consider donating at our GoFundMe page. Every dollar is a step closer to restoring this beautiful home and saving a piece of our history.

Also consider sharing the link to our GoFundMe page on your social media (www.GoFundMe.com/Boutwell)!

Thank you again for supporting local history and we’ll keep you posted on the project’s progress!

WCHS News

Hay Lake Beer Tasting

 

More: Events

What is This Thing?!

What Is This Thing?! (Round 9)

Most of the guesses for last week’s What Is This Thing?! thought that this interesting hammer was used in the St. Croix Valley’s lumber industry (which is correct) – and a few were even able to identify that the raised ring on the face of the hammer was used to brand logs!

The loggers would spend the winter cutting down trees in the northern parts of Minnesota. The felled logs would make their way to the frozen St. Croix River, where they would rest until the Spring thaw brought the harvest down-stream. Because the river would transport millions of feet of logs annually, the loggers used mallets such as this to pound their company’s symbol (in this example, the symbol is an “O”) into the ends of the logs.

Then when the logs were collected at the Boom Site just north of Stillwater, the men working the site would sort the logs based on these markings. Once they were separated and sorted, the logs were sent into Stillwater itself towards the log owner’s mill.

Thanks for playing our little guessing game and I can’t wait to see this week’s answers!

Can you identify the WCHS artifact photographed above? If you’d care to venture an answer, you can send an email to me at spallas.wchs@gmail.com, tweet @WCHS2, or post your guess on our Facebook page.

Good luck!

Full Image

Old News

Logging Season

When you stroll down Stillwater’s Main Street today and pass malt shops, antique stores, and beautiful river scenery – it’s very easy to forget that originally Stillwater was an industrial center.

And the king of Stillwater’s industry was lumber.

Throughout the later half of the 1800s, Stillwater grew and grew around her lumber mills. Even though the industry had began to gradually slow down by 1900, this article from 1906 reveals that “slowing down” still meant an insane amount of lumber.

Boom Will Start Monday – Stillwater Messenger – June 2, 1906

The St. Croix boom will be started for the season on Monday. The supply of logs at the mills is very low and mill men have been anxious over the situation. Several log drives have arrived at Never’s dam, and there are about 28,000,000 feet in the boom, enough to keep the sorting works busy several weeks. By that time odd drives will begin to arrive.

Featured Article

The Man Who Made Stillwater Smile & Say “Cheese”

by Brent Peterson

A collection of John Runk’s films and photographs are available through WCHS.

His photographs are still used today and are among the most popular at the Minnesota Historical Society. He was a businessman, a lumberjack and an inventor. His name still is recognized throughout the St. Croix Valley even though half a century ago. He is John Runk.

Runk was born on May 10, 1878, in a little log cabin outside of Menomonee, Wisconsin. He was the second of seven children, and at age 5, he and his family moved to Nebraska, looking for a better life. The family tried to farm, but the soil was so dry, the family started back to Wisconsin. Upon coming to the lumber city of Stillwater, Minnesota, Runks father, John Sr., found work, and the family settled in the St. Croix Valley.

He started work at age thirteen, in a foundry, making cores at the Minnesota Thresher Company in downtown Stillwater, for fifty cents a day. Following the Thresher Company, Runk worked in machine shops, at the St. Croix Boom Company, on log drives and in the pineries. He built dams, trapped, hunted and fished, as well as loading railroad ties on boxcars.

His creative side included making wire jewelry, such as pins, rings, necklaces, and so forth that he would sell at fairs and carnivals.

Runk began his professional career as a photographer in 1899 when he set up the “American Eagle Studio,” with a photo of an eagle as his trademark. He started his business out of his home at 1710 North Main Street. He later moved closer to town at 110 North Main Street, and by the late teens, Runk was at 235 South Main.

Runk had a mechanical eye. He always was looking for ways to improve things, or for new inventions. On November 8, 1921, he registered a patent in the United States for an invention known as the “Kleantone,” which improved the sound of phonograph records. He also had it patented in Canada. He also invented things in the photographic field.

He devised a camera, which would do almost every kind of photography, including portraits, out door views, enlargements, reduction and general photography. It took Runk many years to perfect this camera, but it ultimately led to the creation of his historical collection.

Runk became the first photographer in Stillwater to use electric lights in taking portrait photos; the first to use cut-films instead of dry plates; and the first to use tinting in his work. Runk took many photos of the most interesting scenes in the St. Croix Valley.

Runk’s greatest contribution to this community was his passion for his historical collection. Runk not only took photographs of the area, but he also collected photographs from people. He made a specialty of reproducing old photographs of people and places. Runk announced to the public that to everyone who would bring in to him a suitable picture which he could reproduce, he would make a new picture for the owner, also returning the old, while putting a copy of it into his collection. This system was extremely successful.

By 1937, Runk’s collection numbered 435, and he donated the first set of the John Runk Historical Collection to the Stillwater Public Library. However, Runk, a very meticulous man, had made special asbestos lined metal boxes for the correct storage of the photographs. He also drew up a trust agreement with the library, then later on with the Minnesota Historical Society. Included in the agreement, is a portion titled “Injury to Photos from Insects.” Runk went on to name which insects are harmful and then gives a formula on how to get rid of them.

Runk said at the time of his first donation that it was only the beginning. He was right. The very next year, 1938, Runk had added another 187 photographs to the collection at the library, making a total of 622. By this time, he had moved his studio to 221 East Chestnut Street in the downtown of Stillwater.

Late in his career, Runk made movies. This was just a hobby he once explained, but many of the films were great demand and Runk would pass them around to various organizations.

By 1964, John Runk’s health began to fail and in October 1964, John Runk died.

John Runk’s passion became his life’s work. He spent most of his extra money on producing one of the most complete photographic histories of any area in the United States. Runk never intended on making a profit from his collection. “I’m not interested in making a pile of money out of this, but it’s my contribution to the city I’ve called home for so many years.”

Thank you, John Runk.

Upcoming Events

More information: WCHS Events >>>

Membership

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.