Before plastic film and digital storage, glass was used to capture images. Visit the History Center and see a selection of glass plate negatives and their printed images from the Research Center and Archives Collection. Also on exhibit will be our 1908 studio camera and a selection of equipment used for taking glass negatives. Free with regular museum admission.
Dig out your family treasures, dust them off, and bring them to Show ‘n’ Tell with Mike Paul. Mike Paul is a professional appraiser and auctioneer of Paul Auction Company, Inc. in Kewaskum.
Mike will share his incredible knowledge of antiques with the audience as he examines each piece.
Even if you don’t have anything to share, this evening is fun & informative.
$5.00/non-member. Free/WCHS Member. Please, only ONE ITEM per person.
Don’t have an item? There’s no charge to watch.
Over 122,000 Wisconsin men and women served on land, sea and in the air during WWI. WWI Beyond the Trenches, a traveling exhibit from the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, features an up close and personal look at the Great War through the eyes of Wisconsin veterans using photographs and first person accounts. This special exhibit is free with museum admission.
Dig into the past at our free family-friendly, indoor-outdoor celebration! This year, we’re exploring archaeology in honor of Wisconsin archaeology month.
See how stone tools are made, learn how archaeologist identify and interpret artifacts, and MORE!
Guided tours of the Old Jailhouse Museum will be available at 9:45, 10:15, 10:45, 11:15, 11:45, 12:15, and 12:45. Stop at the Old Courthouse Museum front desk for free tour tickets.
Learn about the dark past of West Bend as Executive Director of the History Center of Washington County reveals the crimes of West Bend! This second talk in the 3 part series co-sponsored by the West Bend Library and the History Center of Washington County will take place at the Old Courthouse Museum.
Thank you for your interest in supporting The History Center Washington County operated by the Washington County Historical Society through a monetary donation. The Historical Society is a 501c3 organization and funding from individuals is an important part of our success. Please download the form below to make a Memorial Gift, Honorarium Gift, Restricted Gift, or an Unrestricted donation. If you have questions or are interested in information on how the Society can be included in your Estate Planning, please contact Patricia Lutz at 262-335-4678 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
We strain to listen to the ghosts and echoes of our inexpressibly wise past, and we have an obligation to maintain these places, to provide these sanctuaries, so that people may be in the presence of forces larger than those of the moment.
— Ken Burns, Preservation Magazine January/February pg 16
The artifact and archival collections of the Washington County Historical Society range from prehistoric ceramics to mid-century clothing and modern day toys.
The museum accepts donations of artifacts that help in meeting our mission of preserving and promoting the cultural heritage of Washington County, Wisconsin. We rely on the generosity of donors to enhance and expand the collections.
What Types of Artifacts Does the Museum Accept?
We collect a wide variety of artifacts from prehistoric to present day. Each potential donation is reviewed by the Curator of Collections and Exhibits to evaluate its appropriateness for the permanent collection.
Artifacts accepted into the collection generally meet the following basic criteria:
- The artifact has an Washington County connection and a known history or is representative of artifacts that would have been used in the County
- The artifact is in good and stable physical condition.
- The artifact is unique and not already over-represented in the collection.
- The artifact can be acquired without restrictions such as requirements for a long-term loan or permanent exhibition of the artifact.
What Happens After my Artifact is Accepted into the Collection?
If it is determined that an artifact is appropriate for the collection, the donor completes a Deed of Gift transferring legal ownership of the artifact to the Washington County Historical Society and the donor receives a copy of the Deed of Gift. Donations may be tax deductible; however, IRS regulations and policies prohibit museum staff from appraising artifacts. Donors who wish to receive a tax deduction for their donation should consult a tax professional and a qualified appraiser prior to completing the Deed of Gift.
When Will My Artifact be on Exhibit?
How do I donate an Artifact?
Artifact Donations are by appointment only. Artifacts are acquired though donations, bequest, and short term loans. No permanent loans are accepted. The Museum will not assume any loans or donations with specific conditions or restrictions.
Have a an artifact you would like considered? Contact Janean Mollet-Van Beckum, Curator of Collections and Exhibits, at 262-335-4678 or e-mail email@example.com to make an appointment.
What does the Research Center and Archives Collect?
The Research Center and Archives is collecting materials that document people, places, and events of Washington County’s history. Materials will be carefully cared for and preserved so they will serve as a research and information source for future generations. Have documents, family papers, letters, photographs, maps, etc. that you are interested in donating to the Research Center and Archives? Contact Heather Przybylski, Curator of Archives, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 262-335-4678. Appointments are needed for all donations.
Other Ways to Support HCWC
Love telling stories and working with the public, or are you detail oriented and want to work behind the scenes? HCWC is always looking for volunteers to fill essential positions. Fill out an application or check out open positions on the Volunteer Center of Washington County’s website.
Become a member
Becoming a member of the History Center has many benefits!
Our members receive our outstanding newsletter “The Court Reporter” filled with information about the HCWC, articles about the history of the County and photos and information about exhibits and artifacts.
Members receive first notice of programs with fee discounts and discounts in the gift shop. Members also enjoy unlimited passes to the Old Courthouse Museum and the Sheriff’s Residence and Jail. For more membership information click here, to join download and print the form below.
Browse for souvenirs and books by local authors in the Treasurer’s Vault Gift shop.
The Shop is located on the 1st floor of the Old Courthouse Museum, 320 S 5th Ave, West Bend, WI 53095. Hours are Wed-Fri 11-5 and Sat 9-3. No admission to shop.
Order some our most popular items from the Treasurer’s Vault Gift Shop online!