Taking a Tour at the Washington County Historical Society


Established on April 11th in 1934, the Washington County Historical Society is an educational, private, non-profit institution that has about 700 members. The society runs four museums’ locations.

In the early days in the history of the society membership, meetings were held in the Stillwater Public Library. The society’s first president was Edward E. Bloomquist, who was also the county superintendent of schools. The first gift to the society came from the book The History of Washington County and the St. Croix Valley by Warner and Foote.

The Society bought in 1941, the Warden’s House Museum in Stillwater from the state. It is among the oldest buildings in the state as well as the second oldest continuously operating museum. The Society has leased Hay Lake School as a museum in the year 1974, then bought it in 1978 from Forest Lake school district. The school’s adjacent building Johannes Erickson Log House was donated by the Society in the 1980s. It was then relocated to the new site and was then renovated. The three buildings are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The family owned historic Boutwell Cemetery west of Stillwater was bought in 1978.

In 1996, the Society renovated the Carriage House that was originally situated in front of the Warden’s House. In 2001, climate control was added, and the archives and textile collection were relocated to the new location.

Two membership meetings are every year in late summer and winter months. The society’s library of research has grown since the first meeting in 1934. It is located in the Carriage house that was reconstructed in the back of the Warden’s House Museum. WCHS Endowment Fund was created in 1984 in order to provide an avenue of financing to cover operating and administrative costs.

The latest project the museum has undertaken is to open the brand newly constructed Washington County Heritage Center to be located at Greeley Street in Stillwater, MN. The project has taken 16 years to complete the new Heritage Center. It showcases the rich and exciting past of all the towns and regions within Washington County.

The Washington County Historical Society acts as a historical umbrella for the county’s history-related organizations and is a source of information for the community for organizations and individuals who are looking for information about the past. The Society:

  • has four museums that are interpretive that showcase the county’s heritage,
  • offers educational programs for schools and the general public,
  • aids researchers to record their personal, local, and state histories,
  • is a resource to support community groups preserve collections and create exhibits,
  • examines and publishes the history of the county,
  • preserves and collects documents and cultural artifacts to be preserved for future generations,
  • highlights the county’s history by displaying exhibits, displays and other exhibitions across the county.

WCHS collaborates with various community organizations to organize discussions in the local community about history. They also help with advertising and networking for their respective projects. The main aim is to provide a chance for all residents of the county to understand and appreciate the history of their community and develop an appreciation for the community’s heritage.

Available Rentals

Miller House Museum

The Miller House is the headquarters for the Washington County Historical Society since 1966. Over the last 50 years, it has been an integral element of their work and serves as a permanent location for their offices as well as the library and collections belonging to the historic society and providing them with plenty of space to present local history to the general public.

One of the most treasured secrets in The Miller House lies in its garden that is part of the museum. It is located at the back of the structure. It is not accessible from the street, but it occupies about 50% of the property’s acre. Since it is enclosed by a fence, it’s a secure and stunning location for hosting gatherings, summer lectures and many other events that they hold annually at the historical society.

Properties Available for Rent

Their townhouse and garden have hosted many occasions including wedding receptions, to community gatherings.

  • The Miller House Museum and Gardens is a beautiful background for any occasion. It is located in the heart of downtown Hagerstown, the historic 1825 townhouse with its garden courtyard are available for rental all year long.
  • The cost for renting Miller House Museum and Gardens Miller House Museum is $150 per hour, with an obligation to rent at least three hours.
  • Miller House Museum is perfect for intimate gatherings of up to 50 guests. The gardens are able to host up to 100 guests.

You can also check out Uncovering the Lake Wedington Recreational Area

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