(262) 335-4678

Old Courthouse
& Jail Museums

Wednesday – Friday: 11:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday: 9:00 – 3:00 p.m. 

St. Agnes Historic Site
By Appointment Only

Washington County Courthouse Museum

Explore opportunities to discover your past. In-class and adult traveling programs are available at low cost. School and adult groups can experience the museums on a guided tour. Boy Scout and Girl Scout Museum Visits and Programs,
and home school classes help children learn about history the fun way.

Call (262) 335-4678.

Upcoming Events

May
3
Wed
Wisconsin Remembers: A Face for Every Name @ Old Courthouse Museum
May 3 @ 11:00 am – Jul 8 @ 3:00 pm

Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Television and the Wisconsin Veterans Museum are pleased to share Wisconsin Remembers: A Face for Every Name – a traveling exhibit that features a photo for each of the 1,161 Wisconsinites officially listed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C*. The exhibit also includes additional photos for names that are listed on The Highground Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Neillsville, WI. Wisconsin Remembers is a tribute to lost life and lost potential.

May
29
Mon
Memorial Day Free Old Courthouse Museum Admission @ Old Courthouse Museum
May 29 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

memorialday_vetsdayEnjoy the Memorial Celebration on the Washington County Veteran’s Plaza then visit the Old Courthouse Museum for FREE!

Jun
21
Wed
Free Museums Admission Week for County Residents @ Old Courthouse Museum
Jun 21 – Jun 25 all-day

Washington County Residents are invited to visit all 3 History Center Washington County Museums this week for FREE. It’s our way of saying, “Thank you!”

On Wednesday, June 21 all Museums are open late.

  • Old Courthouse & Old Jailhouse Museums, 11:00am-7:00pm
  • Father Rehrl’s Rectory & Exhibit at St. Agnes Historic Site, 5:00pm-7:00pm. Open Wednesday only.

 EGG DROP from Old Courthouse tower June 21 from 4-7pm! Group-build a secure, drop-proof egg carton in the courtroom (or at home) for 1 raw egg. For $10/egg/drop, drop it from the balcony level (80 feet) of the Old Courthouse tower.

Hit the target and the egg survives, win a prize. Hit the target and the egg does not survive, you still get a prize. Try as many times as you wish, but it is $10/egg/drop. Tower is open only to those participating in the egg drop.

 

The Old Courthouse & Old Jailhouse Museums will also be open Sunday, June 25 from 1:00pm-4:30pm.

LAST OLD JAILHOUSE MUSEUM TOUR each day begins 45 minutes before close. Stop at the Old Courthouse Museum for a FREE Old Jailhouse Museum tour ticket.

Regular hours for Museums apply the rest of the week.

Residents, please bring a photo id with your current address, or a utility bill with photo id. Regular museum admission applies to non-county residents. Egg drop fee is in addition to museum admission.

Egg Drop at the Museum @ Old Courthouse Museum
Jun 21 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Group-build a secure, drop-proof egg carton in the courtroom (or at home) for 1 raw egg. For $10/egg/drop, drop it from the balcony level (80 feet) of the Old Courthouse tower.

Hit the target and the egg survives, win a prize. Hit the target and the egg does not survive, you still get a prize. Try as many times as you wish, but it is $10/egg/drop. Tower is open only to those participating in the egg drop.

Egg Drop is during our Free Museum Admission Week for Washington County Residents. Residents, please bring a photo id with your current address, or a utility bill with photo id. Regular museum admission applies to non-county residents. Egg drop fee is in addition to museum admission.

Jul
13
Thu
Father Rehrl’s Rectory & Exhibit Open @ St. Agnes Historic Site
Jul 13 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Built in 1856, it was here that the Sisters of St. Agnes managed one of the first schools in Washington County, educating children of all denominations.

Within the fieldstone rectory of Father Caper Rehrl, the exhibit “From Mound Builders to Church Builders” highlights the triumph of survival over inexperience on the unsettled Wisconsin frontier.

No charge.

Jul
18
Tue
River City Irregulars Band Concert @ Washington County Veterans' Memorial Plaza
Jul 18 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
River City Irregulars Band Concert @ Washington County Veterans' Memorial Plaza | West Bend | Wisconsin | United States

Enjoy a summer evening performance of the West Bend Community Band, the River City Irregulars, on the Old Courthouse Museum Square. Admission is free and all ages are welcome.

Bring a chair or blanket.

Aug
3
Thu
Father Rehrl’s Rectory & Exhibit Open @ St. Agnes Historic Site
Aug 3 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Built in 1856, it was here that the Sisters of St. Agnes managed one of the first schools in Washington County, educating children of all denominations.

Within the fieldstone rectory of Father Caper Rehrl, the exhibit “From Mound Builders to Church Builders” highlights the triumph of survival over inexperience on the unsettled Wisconsin frontier.

No charge.

Aug
10
Thu
Pioneer Kids Day “Homesteading with Science” @ Old Courthouse Museum
Aug 10 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Pioneer Kids Day “Homesteading with Science” @ Old Courthouse Museum | West Bend | Wisconsin | United States

Find out how stumps were pulled, what wind power can do, why compasses work, and more!

Age: Open to children entering 1st-5th grades in fall.

Fee: $6/child before Aug 1. $7/child Aug 1 & after. Free for children of WCHS members at Family level or higher

REGISTRATION and PAYMENT REQUIRED by Aug 10, 2017. Each child must be registered by a parent or guardian. Please, no unregistered children or adults. Children may be dropped off NO EARLIER than 8:45am and must be PICKED UP promptly at Noon.

Register and pay online: http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=9grf65jab&oeidk=a07ee2yzsz409ac35ac

Register by mail: http://www.historyisfun.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/PKDregsheet2017.jpg

Presented by Washington County Historical Society, Inc. Sponsored in part by West Bend Noon Kiwanis

Sep
7
Thu
It’s in the Details: Architecture Tour & Trip to Tower @ Old Courthouse Museum
Sep 7 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
It’s in the Details: Architecture Tour & Trip to Tower @ Old Courthouse Museum | West Bend | Wisconsin | United States

See the Old Washington County Courthouse in a new way! Discover architectural details, learn the meanings behind the symbolism, and trace the construction of this local and national landmark. Climb to the balcony level of the tower and see features rarely seen by the public.

Patrons must wear sensible shoes and be able to climb steep stairs (109 steps from 1st to 6th floor).

$8/WCHS members, $12/non-member. Register and pay at www.HistoryIsFun.com. Due to very limited space, advanced payment is required.

 

Sep
12
Tue
It’s in the Details: Architecture Tour & Trip to Tower @ Old Courthouse Museum
Sep 12 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
It’s in the Details: Architecture Tour & Trip to Tower @ Old Courthouse Museum | West Bend | Wisconsin | United States

See the Old Washington County Courthouse in a new way! Discover architectural details, learn the meanings behind the symbolism, and trace the construction of this local and national landmark. Climb to the balcony level of the tower and see features rarely seen by the public.

Patrons must wear sensible shoes and be able to climb steep stairs (109 steps from 1st to 6th floor).

$8/WCHS members, $12/non-member. Register and pay at www.HistoryIsFun.com. Due to very limited space, advanced payment is required.

For Teachers

DISCOVERY BOXES

Due to staffing changes, Discovery Box presentations will not be scheduled between May 19-September 10, 2017. Beginning Monday, September 11, 2017, please contact Patricia, Executive Director, (262) 335-4678 or director@historyisfun.com to schedule presentations.

Let the museum come to you! Discovery Boxes are interactive traveling programs that are designed as in-class programs presented by the Curator of Education or trained volunteer. Discovery Boxes provide historical photographs, modern images, and touchable artifacts.

CHOOSE FROM:

  • Glaciers & Geology
  • French Fur Trade
  • Woodland Indians
  • Road to Statehood
  • Pioneer Life
  • Civil War
  • State Signs & Symbols
  • Winter
  • World War II
  • Show & Tell

MUSEUM VISITS 

School visits to the Old Courthouse and Old Jailhouse Museums are available as usual. Please contact Patricia, Executive Director, (262) 335-4678 or director@historyisfun.com to schedule visits.

At our museums you will see exhibits chronicling the history of Washington County from the glaciers to the present day. Within our flagship museum, the Old Courthouse Museum, nine exhibit rooms are devoted to people, ideas, and events, such as Menominee and Potawatomi, Immigrants, Technology, and World War II. On the second floor are the restored Circuit Courtroom, Judge’s Chamber, and Attorneys’ Room. Don’t miss the 27-room Zinn Dollhouse, one of our largest artifacts, and the 100,000 year-old Trenton Meteorite, our oldest artifact.

Next to the Old Courthouse Museum is the Old Jailhouse Museum where you will walk through the County Sheriff’s mid-20th Century home with eight jail cells in the back.

SETTLERS & SCIENCE

Due to staffing changes, St. Agnes Historic Site visits will not be scheduled between May 19-September 10, 2017. Beginning Monday, September 11, 2017, please contact Patricia, Executive Director, (262) 335-4678 or director@historyisfun.com to schedule visits.

At the St. Agnes Historic Site, your 3rd grade students will learn how changing the forests of Wisconsin into farmland took not only brutal force and many tools, but also planning, math (measurements, statistics, and probability), and science.

First, students will trace the travels of the first settlers to Sourtheastern Wisconsin and Washington County on historical and modern maps. Then, students will learn how ordinary people used math and science to farm, start businesses, and make basic necessities. All activities contain original, reproduction, and modern artifacts; photographs; and documents from Washington County’s past.

Homeschool

Learn about history using the real thing! Classes feature touchable artifacts, a tour of related museum exhibits, crafts and projects, special presenters, at-home activities, off-site trips, and more. Recommended for ages 8-11.

Registration for 2017 classes is closed. Check here in late 2017 for 2018 classes.

Scouts

OLD JAILHOUSE MUSEUM VISITS

Scout visits to the Old Jailhouse Museums are available as usual. Please contact Patricia, Executive Director, (262) 335-4678 or director@historyisfun.com to schedule visits.

This 1-hour visit gives Cub Scouts and Brownie Girl Scouts an up close look at the life of the county sheriff and his family in the mid-20th century.

A visit will fulfill Tiger Elective Adventure: Tiger Tales #7; Wolf Elective Adventure: Collections and Hobbies #3; and Brownie Girl Scout Citizen-Celebrating Community Badge

WOLF CUB SCOUT ELECTIVE
ADVENTURE: COLLECTIONS & HOBBIES

Due to staffing changes, “Wolf Cub Scout Elective Adventure: Collections & Hobbies” will not be scheduled between May 19-September 10, 2017. Beginning Monday, September 11, 2017, please contact Patricia, Executive Director, (262) 335-4678 or director@historyisfun.com to schedule.

This program will fulfill #3 and #6 Wolf Elective Adventures. Handouts with suggestions to complete the adventure at home are provided. Program takes 1 hour and is limited to 1 Wolf Cub Scout Den and their adults. May be scheduled during regular meeting times.

$3/person. Advance registration and payment required.

Contact Jessica (262) 335-4678 or education@historyisfun.com

JUNIOR GIRL SCOUT
“MYSTERY IN THE MUSEUM”

The Junior Girl Scouts are called to the scene of a robbery at the Old Courthouse Museum. As a team, they will complete activities and put clues together to discover who the culprit is!

2018 DATE: Check here late 2017 for updates.

For Adults

GROUP MUSEUM VISITS

Group visits to the Old Courthouse and Old Jailhouse Museums are available as usual. Please contact Patricia, Executive Director, (262) 335-4678 or director@historyisfun.com to schedule visits.

Taking a personalized group tour through the Old Courthouse & Old Jailhouse Museums and/or St. Agnes Convent & School is a great experience for families and organizational members. Group rate available for scheduled groups of 10 ore more people. More information:

TRAVELING PROGRAMS

Due to staffing changes, Adult Traveling Programs will not be scheduled between May 19-September 10, 2017. Beginning Monday, September 11, 2017, please contact Patricia, Executive Director, (262) 335-4678 or director@historyisfun.com to schedule presentations.

Each of these 7 presentations covers a variety of topics and are presented by the Curator of Education or trained volunteer. Some have touchable artifacts, and all have historical photographs and modern images. Beginning June 1, 2014, an annual Program Fee for schools and organizations will be charged.

Every Kid in a Museum Initiative

EVERY KID IN A MUSEUM INITIATIVE

The History Center Washington County has partnered with Washington County Retired Educators Association to create Every Kid in a Museum for the 2016-2017 school year.

This initiative gives all 2nd graders in Washington County, Wisconsin the opportunity to see, touch, hear, and even smell their local history at the Old Courthouse and Old Jailhouse Museums in West Bend.

Participation in Every Kid in a Museum is free for schools and districts, as well as Washington County home school families. Also, classroom teachers can schedule a free 30 minute in-class presentation, “Go On an Adventure…to the past,” that reminds students of this amazing opportunity and shares highlights of Washington County history.

If you are a Washington County 2nd grade teacher and have questions, or are a home school family with a 2nd grade learner and wish to participate contact Patricia Lutz (262) 335-4678 or director@historyisfun.com.

Internships

SUMMER EDUCATION INTERNSHIP

Open to college freshmen and sophomores, this internship gives budding museum professionals a taste of giving tours and developing youth and adult programs, as well as learning how museums work behind the scenes.

The intern will receive a stipend from the Jeanne Kreilkamp Fund.

Click below for the internship description and application.