Washington County Historical Society collections

The society’s collection covers more than 150 years of local history, and has been growing since 1934. Please visit our Washington County Timeline for an overview of some of these historic names, events, and places. In the years before the Warden’s House Museum, the WCHS collection was at the Stillwater Public Library. It is now housed in the reconstructed Warden’s Carriage House. Among the resources available are:

  • The Washington County Name Index – now over 150,000 entries.
  • Copies of registers for Fairview Cemetery, Stillwater, through the year 1906, and other cemetery indexes.
  • City directories for Stillwater, Bayport and Hudson, Wisconsin
  • Vertical files on county subjects, individuals and families
  • Printed histories from around the county and other historic books
  • Records of the Stillwater Territorial Prison and Stillwater jail
  • Stillwater telephone books
  • Stillwater birth and death records
  • Bound copies of the Stillwater Post-Messenger, St. Croix Valley Press, and South Washington County Sun
  • County school records, histories and photographs
  • Government, business, military and fraternal records, including a recent donation of Baytown Township records
  • Plat maps and atlases of Washington County
  • St. Croix County, Wisconsin Territory tax assessments for 1847 and 1848 (covers area north and east of Mississippi River in what is now Minnesota)
  • More than 1,500 photographs of the area, including the original John Runk historical photograph collection of 435 images and photographs from the Stillwater Gazette newspaper. Download the Gazette Photo Collection portrait index (Microsoft Excel file).
  • Indexed scrapbooks

Researching in Person

The WCHS Research Center is located in the Warden’s Carriage House, a separate building behind the Warden’s House Museum. It is open all year to assist researchers, accept donations and provide general information.

Research hours: Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, noon to 5 p.m., Wednesdays 3-9 p.m. or by appointment. It is advised to call (651-439-5956) ahead and verify these hours or by emailing information@wchsmn.org

Our address is 602 North Main Street, Stillwater MN 55082. Free parking is available between the carriage house and the museum, below on Main Street and across the street in the city lot.

The research library has photocopier that can enlarge and reduce. It can make tabloid-size copies. Copies are 25 cents a page. Reproductions of the society’s photographs can be arranged. Call or write for more details.

Please do not eat or smoke in the building and do not touch artifacts unless invited by the museum staff. A $5 research fee is assessed to non-members.

Researching by Mail

Individuals who cannot perform on-site research may request it. The WCHS research service is $25 per hour, with the first hour paid in advance. For more information, call (651) 439-5956.