(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

Jul
13
Thu
Temporary Exhibit: Washington County Association for Home and Community Education 80th Anniversary @ Old Courthouse Museum
Jul 13 @ 1:11 pm – Oct 7 @ 2:11 pm

Learn about the history of Home and Community Education and area Homemaker Clubs with this exhibit put together by the Washington County Association for Home and Community Education in honor of their 80th Anniversary.

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.

Sep
19
Tue
Frozen Water Trade @ Old Courthouse Museum
Sep 19 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Frozen Water Trade @ Old Courthouse Museum | West Bend | Wisconsin | United States

Eileen Eckert of Barton Historical Society will remember the forgotten industry of ice harvesting.

Before electric refrigerators and mechanical ice making technology, ice was cut from frozen ponds, lakes, and rivers and sold to meat packing and brewing companies, as well as to residential ice box owners. Explore the many inventions that enhanced ice production, an industry that rivaled cotton in the 19th Century.

Eileen will also present her drawings and paintings that depict the rise and fall of the ice harvesting industry.

No charge.

Oct
3
Tue
Oshkosh Museum Bus Trip @ Old Courthouse Museum
Oct 3 @ 7:30 am – 5:30 pm

Enjoy the morning at the gracious Paine Art Center featuring “Wonderland” Photographs by Kristy Mitchell.  A family style lunch will be served at Roxy Supper Club. In the afternoon, we will explore the EAA  museum and end with shopping at   Oaks Candy Corner for a sweet treat.   $55 person – Includes: motor coach, lunch, & admissions fees. Bus leaves from History Center, West Bend.

Oct
11
Wed
Imprisoned Spirits: Paranormal Museum Tours @ Old Courthouse Museum
Oct 11 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Imprisoned Spirits: Paranormal Museum Tours @ Old Courthouse Museum | West Bend | Wisconsin | United States

Are the Old Washington County Courthouse and Old Jailhouse in West Bend haunted? Visit areas in both Museums where bizarre and unsettling phenomena have been experienced.

90-minute guided walking tours leave promptly at 7:00pm and at 8:30pm. Meet in front of Old Courthouse Museum 15 minutes before tour time. 320 S. 5th Avenue, West Bend, WI 53095

$8.00/WCHS member, $12.00/non-member.

Not recommended for children under 12 due to adult themes.

@ Old Courthouse Museum
Oct 11 @ 8:30 pm – 10:00 pm
 @ Old Courthouse Museum | West Bend | Wisconsin | United States

Are the Old Washington County Courthouse and Old Jailhouse in West Bend haunted? Visit areas in both Museums where bizarre and unsettling phenomena have been experienced.

90-minute guided walking tours leave promptly at 7:00pm and at 8:30pm. Meet in front of Old Courthouse Museum 15 minutes before tour time. 320 S. 5th Avenue, West Bend, WI 53095

$8.00/WCHS member, $12.00/non-member.

Not recommended for children under 12 due to adult themes.

Imprisoned Spirits: Paranormal Museum Tours @ Old Courthouse Museum
Oct 11 @ 8:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Imprisoned Spirits: Paranormal Museum Tours @ Old Courthouse Museum | West Bend | Wisconsin | United States

Are the Old Washington County Courthouse and Old Jailhouse in West Bend haunted? Visit areas in both Museums where bizarre and unsettling phenomena have been experienced.

90-minute guided walking tours leave promptly at 7:00pm and at 8:30pm. Meet in front of Old Courthouse Museum 15 minutes before tour time. 320 S. 5th Avenue, West Bend, WI 53095

$8.00/WCHS member, $12.00/non-member.

Not recommended for children under 12 due to adult themes.

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.