(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

Research Center and Archives

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.

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

THE 7PM TOUR IS SOLD OUT!  THERE ARE STILL SPACES LEFT ON THE 8:30 TOUR.

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.

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

WE ARE SORRY, BUT THIS TOUR IS SOLD OUT!

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.

Oct
27
Fri
Imprisoned Spirits: Paranormal Museum Tours @ Old Courthouse Museum
Oct 27 @ 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.

Nov
8
Wed
Managing Wisconsin’s Heritage @ Old Courthouse Museum
Nov 8 @ 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Managing Wisconsin’s Heritage @ Old Courthouse Museum | West Bend | Wisconsin | United States

UW Anthropology Lecturer Brett Hoffman will share the story of a mysterious cardboard box of stone tools found at Lizard Mound County Park in 2014.

He will also explore the challenges are facing Wisconsin’s heritage and what people are doing to help.

Program is free with Old Courthouse Museum admission. Includes hands-on investigation of artifacts.

Nov
11
Sat
Veterans Day FREE Admission @ Old Courthouse Museum
Nov 11 @ 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Veterans Day FREE Admission @ Old Courthouse Museum | West Bend | Wisconsin | United States

Join us to commemorate our veterans, past and present.

The Old Courthouse Museum will be open for free from 9:00am-3:00pm on Saturday, November 11, 2017. Stop in before or after the ceremony on the Veterans Plaza.

Sorry, Old Jailhouse Museum tours will not be available.

Nov
14
Tue
Annual Membership Meeting @ Old Courthouse Museum
Nov 14 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Nov
23
Thu
CLOSED-Museums and Research Center @ Old Courthouse Museum
Nov 23 – Nov 24 all-day

The Museums and Research Center will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.  Happy eating!

Dec
23
Sat
CLOSED-Museums and Research Center @ Old Courthouse Museum
Dec 23 – Dec 26 all-day
CLOSED-Museums and Research Center @ Old Courthouse Museum | West Bend | Wisconsin | United States

The Museums and Research Center will be closed for the holidays from Saturday, Dec. 23rd through Tuesday, Dec. 26th.  Normal hours resume Wednesday Dec. 27th.

The primary mission of the Research Center and Archives at the Washington County Historical Society is to collect, preserve, and make accessible materials that concern the history of Washington County and the people who have made it home.

The Research Center and Archives is located on the third floor of the Old Courthouse Museum at 320 S. 5th Avenue in West Bend.  We do conduct research for those who are unable to visit.  Click the icon below to make a Request for Research.

Visit The Research Center

Contact:

Heather Przybylski
Curator of Archives

research@historyisfun.com
(262) 335-4678

Anne Molineu
Research Center Assistant

anne@historyisfun.com
(262) 335-4678

Hours:

Wednesday – Friday 11am to 5pm
Saturday (1st and 3rd of month only) – 9am to 1pm
Closed the first two weeks in January for inventory.

Appointments are recommended.   **Please allow a minimum of 1 hour for research**

Fees:

Daily Research Fee:  $5/person, daily fee is waived for HCWC members.  To become a member click here.

Photocopies:  $0.25/letter $0.50/ledger

Photo Reproductions:  Call for pricing

Research Requests:  $25 for the first hour and $20 for each additional hour

Please note that the Research Center does not accept credit cards at this time.  Cash or Check only.

Visiting Guidelines:

  • Please verify that we are open the day you are planning your visit by calling 262.335.4678
  • Please note that for large research requests or projects it may take us some time to gather materials. When organizing your project please keep that in mind.  Large requests for information without at least 3 weeks notice will incur an additional fee.
  • Be sure to bring cash or checks. As of right now the Research Center does not accept credit cards.
  • With a group of 4 or more please call ahead to make an appointment.
  • Materials are for use in Reading Room only. Materials are non-circulating.
  • Feel free to bring your laptop, but know that we do not have public access to our wi-fi.
  • Pencils are to be used in the Reading Room. No pens.
  • Scanners of any kind are not allowed.
  • Briefcases, bags, backpacks, purses and laptop bags are not allowed.
  • No food or beverages.
  • In respect of fellow researchers no cell phones. (If you must have phone access, use vibrate setting and take calls in lobby)
  • No adhesive materials such as sticky notes or gum.
  • We reserve the right to refuse copy requests.

Resources and Collections

The Collections of the Research Center and Archives only concern Washington County.  Materials can be accessed in the Reading Room.  Some of our materials are shared here in our Digital Collection.

  • Church and Cemetery Records – Consists of copies of church records and cemeteries of Washington County.
  • Local History Books
  • City Directories and Telephone books
  • Photograph Collection – Consists of over 16,000 photographs of Washington County.  Reproductions can be made of most of the images in this collection.
  • Probate Court Records– Contains 7,600 case files beginning in the 1850’s
  • County Newspapers on Microfilm
  • Census Records on Microfilm
  • Naturalization Records on Microfilm
  • Map Collection– Includes Plat Maps (digitized versions can be found here), Sanborn Maps, City Maps as well as others.
  • Real Estate Assessment and Personal Property Tax Rolls
    • Note: Not all townships, villages, cities, and years are available.
  • School Records – The collection consists of school censuses, annual reports, ledgers, and newspaper clippings for the schools of Washington County.
  • Yearbooks
  • Surname Files– The Surname Files are files on individuals who lived in Washington County that we have information on.
  • General Vertical Files (Additional Resources)– The Additional Resource files are an assortment of subjects, businesses, and industry in one location.