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WCHS Store

WCHS Store

The Warden's House Museum gift shop continues to grow! It is open during museum and library hours. Many local history books and other historic items, some only available at the Warden's House, can be purchased by mail order. Shipping starts at $4. All prices listed include Minnesota sales tax. Your purchase supports the Washington County Historical Society.

New Releases

Growing up in Grant: History of Grant in Washington County

Growing up in Grant, written by Eileen Sletten, is a book that aims to share information that the Grant Heritage Committee has collected about the area. Though it does not contain every name, every date, or every event, with sections titled, "Early Education in Grant," "Everyday Life in Grant," and "From Township to City - Grant's Government," the author provides a great overview of the city and how it has grown and changed over the years. $10

In Their Own Words: The Civil War As Seen by Washington County Soldiers

The Washington County Historical Society has published a book about local soldiers during the Civil War based on their letters home, diaries and reminiscent accounts. In Their Own Words: The Civil War As Seen by Washington County Soldiers, $25, tells how these men saw it as it happened to them. The book is written by Robert Goodman, author of A History of Washington County, and Peter DeCarlo, who transcribed the battlefield letters of Adam Marty and wrote up his account, to which the writings of numerous others have been added.


Memories of Stillwater's Lumberjack Days Celebrations, 1934-1995

"Memories of Stillwater's Lumberjack Days Celebrations, 1934-1995," was written by Diane Thompson. She and her husband, Bob, brought back the annual celebration in 1968 and it is still going strong today. The book is full of great memories and pictures from these special celebrations over the years.


An Ode to Stillwater: The John Runk Films

A few years ago, the Washington County Historical Society (WCHS) received an extensive
collection of 8mm and 16mm motion film from the collection of John Runk, the prolific
Stillwater photographer who extensively documented Washington County life during much of
the 20th century.

The films have since been transferred to digital media and were edited to create "An Ode to Stillwater: The John Runk Films." This film, that shows footage of the St. Croix Valley area from the 1950s, is now available for purchase at the Warden's House Museum or by mail.


A History of Washington County: Gateway to Minnesota History

The new Washington County history book, written by Robert Goodman, the first in over 30 years, brings county history up-to-date, about equal attention to pioneer and more contemporary life, and explaining the county's unique role as the gateway to Minnesota history. This book is arranged by generations, starting with the pre-settlement period and continuing on through the suburbanization of the present day. The book also includes the local histories of 33 Washington County communities.The 280 page book is fully indexed and nicely illustrated. Hardcover $40, paperback $25.

Garage Sounds

Garage Sounds, written by local musician Scott Schell, was a unique undertaking for the Washington County Historical Society.  The 350-page book is richly illustrated and brings to life the sounds and times when country, jazz, and rock ā€˜nā€™ roll music were being cross-pollinated by a new sound from Great Britain.  Beginning in the 1950s the book looks at the sounds and groups that inspired so many local musicians over the years. $40

The Last Rafter

The Last Rafter is the story of David Bronson, who came to the St. Croix Valley as a young clerk to Isaac Staples and stayed to play a major role in developing the lumbering and rafting industries in the valley. When Bronson stepped off the boat in Stillwater in 1855 the logging boom was just beginning. When he retired from lumbering and rafting in 1918, the last deadhead had been lifted from the river, the last raft had been cleared to the Point Douglas bar, and the St. Croix boom had closed forever. $15

Best sellers

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Stillwater: The Next Generation

Brent Peterson's book of fascinating stories includes "Fisherman" John Jeremy, "Sport" the Cat, horse troughs of Stillwater, neighborhood grocery stores, the courthouse cannon, inventors, Janda's, Kolliner's, Hooley's, and many more. Includes many previously unpublished photographs. 160 pages, fully indexed. Hardcover $50, paperback $25.


Paddlewheels on the Upper MississippiBook cover

A new WCHS book, Paddlewheels on the Upper Mississippi tells how that uniquely American invention, the western river steamboat, made settlement of the Upper Midwest possible in the days when the river was America's western frontier. $18
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Ghost Stories of Minnesota

Explore the state's spooky, spine-tingling tales. From well-known legends to accounts of current ghost hunters, these chilling tales of inexplicable events are sure to please readers interested in the paranormal. Tales of events from Camden, Lakefield, Little Falls, Stillwater, St. Paul and more. Paperback, 208 pages. $13

Other selections

Scandia - Then and Now

Anna Engquist's popular book, originally published in 1972, has been reprinted many times. WCHS has again reprinted the volume with all of Anna's material, plus several new pictures, and information that brings the book up to date. $25

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The Story of Cole Younger

Missouri guerrilla, Confederate officer, bank robber, notorious outlaw, Wild West showman - Cole Younger's life was the stuff of myth and legend. In The Story of Cole Younger, long out-of-print, he tells his story in his own words after his parole from prison at the age of 59. $14
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Convict Life at the Minnesota State Prison

A reprint of the 1909 book describing life at the Minnesota's original state prison at Stillwater, including a chapter related by one of the prison's most famous inmates, Cole Younger. $13
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Hard Time: Voices from a State Prison

A compelling look at Stillwater Prison life in another era, vividly recalled through historic photographs and startling first-person accounts. Paperback, 146 pages. $23

Sesquicentennial Medallion and Mug

The circular bronze medallion, approximately one-and-a-half inches in diameter, carries the slogan Stillwater, Birthplace of Minnesota, with an engraving of Steamer Ben Hur about to depart from Stillwater.

In addition to the collector's coin, a souvenir coffee mug, which bears an image of the medallion engravings is available, too.

Original price: Mug $9, medallion $15
Current price: Mug $5, medallion $5

Pioneers of the Big Lake Community

This book, by Dick Johnson and Paul Wahlquist, shares the history of the western half of Big Lake, the businesses, families and the school that took its name. Paperback, 230 pages, fully indexed. $25


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Joseph R. Brown: Adventurer on the Minnesota Frontier

This volume is more than part one of the first full length biography of Joseph R. Brown. It is a chronicle of life, free enterprise, and politics on the frontier. $30
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Afton Remembered

Relatively unspoiled by progress as she approaches the twenty-first century, Afton remains a world apart for those who love her. Combining memoir with narrative history, Afton Remembered is admirer Ed Robb's heartfelt paean to his hometown. $25
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New Postcards by Debra Chial

Debra Chial, the leading photographer in the St. Croix Valley for the past 20 years has just released two more postcards to her growing collection of postcards of the St. Croix Valley. These new postcards depict the Washington County Historic Courthouse and sunset at the Lily Lake in Stillwater. These and her other cards can be purchased at WCHS for 50 cents each
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Minnesota Beginnings: Records of St. Croix County, Wisconsin Territory, 1840-1849

Before the creation of Minnesota Territory, Washington County was part of St. Croix County, Wisconsin Territory. $30
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A Past To Remember

A book that describes the early history of Woodbury and its surroundings. By the Woodbury Heritage Committee. $10


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St. Croix: Midwest Border River

With picturesque anecdotes and complete annotation, The St. Croix: Midwest Border River tells the story of the scenic and popular waterway that forms part of the border between Minnesota and Wisconsin. $13
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Saving the River, Second Edition

The history of the St. Croix River Association, 1911-2001. $15
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Jo Lutz Rollins and the Stillwater Art Colony

Sketches by the well-known Stillwater artist, and a history of the summer art school she organized in the 1930s and 1940s. $5
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Folsom "Fifty Years in the Northwest" Biographical Index

An index to the classic Minnesota history book. $15

To the Rescue: Stillwater Fire Department 125th Anniversary

The history of Stillwater's fire department. $20

St. Croix River: A River of Dreams DVD by Joe Narusiewicz

A River of Dreams is devoted to the real history and life of the St. Croix River. From the glaciers to the Native Americans and Fur Traders, the early history is explained by the foremost historians of present day. The scenery on the DVD is as spectacular as it is in real life and the historic photographs give the viewer a perspective of how the early pioneers must have seen and used the St. Croix. $20

The Unique Legacy of Red Rock & Newport Minnesota 1837-1989

The history of the area for more than 150 years, printed on the occasion of Newport's Centennial. Hard cover book. $15


Fairview Cemetery Interments - indexed by Nancy Bader & Duane Thein.

Fairview Cemetery is the largest cemetery in Stillwater and was started by local citizens back in 1867. This is a transcription of the first burial book dated from 1868 to mid-1906. The information includes the name, date of death, burial location and the page number in which the password is listed in the original book. Soft cover - $15

Father Joseph Goiffon - A Tale of a French Missionary Edited by Duane Thein


Autobiography of one of Minnesota's earliest Catholic Missionaries. $20


The History of Oakdale Township published by the Oakdale Lake Elmo Historical Society

This first volume book has recorded many of the events of the early years in the formation of the Township of Oakdale. $20


Reflections of Forest Lake by Elsie Vogel.

The telling of the history of Forest Lake from 1893 to 1993. $25

1870 + 1879 Maps of Stillwater

The Washington County Historical Society has two "bird's eye view" maps of Stillwater for sale. One map dates to 1870 and the other 1879. $15

Hank Sampson Heritage Series CD Hank Sampson Heritage Series CD


St. Croix Valley Souvenirs

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"Retirement on the St. Croix"

These 8x11 color prints, from the late Bob Thein collection of White Bear Lake, show the old steam locomotive Engine 328 a year after it was placed in the Stillwater's Lowell Park. The engine sat in that location for 30 years, enduring a number of floods and vandalism until the Minnesota Transportation Museum restored her in 1985. The engine now runs excursions out of the Osceola, Wisconsin depot during the summertime. $5
Prison fire

Bricks from the Minnesota Territorial Prison

Arson destroyed the old Minnesota Territorial Prison twine factory in September 2002. These bricks were pulled from the rubble the following week, before condominiums were built on the site. Call for details.

Washington County Historical Society members receive a 10% discount on all books.

Many local history books and other historic items, some only available at the Warden's House, can be purchased by mail order. Shipping for 1-4 books is $4, 5-10 books $7, and 10+ books $12. ALL PRICES LISTED INCLUDE MINNESOTA SALES TAX. For more information, call 651-439-5956 or e-mail Brent Peterson.