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Spokes & Folks: The Evolution of Bikes and Trails in Washington County 

Minnesota is considered the second most bike-friendly state in the United States, with residents riding bikes as a pastime, a mode of transport, a physical activity and a sport.

To celebrate the amazing and varied history of the bicycles and to highlight the vast network of trails and paths in Washington County, including the history of rails to trails, the Washington County Historic Courthouse is hosting an exhibit Spokes & Folks: The Evolution of Bikes and Trails in Washington County, which will open June 1 and run through 2019.

To launch the exhibit, Washington County is seeking loaned contributions of bicycle artifacts, such as horns, bells, helmets, historic bikes, or a new bike for display. All things bicycling are welcome, such as bike accessories or parts, cycling clothes or jerseys, stories of biking in Washington County, photographs, biking objects or documents.

Call 651-275-7075 or send an email to the Historic Courthouse at historiccourthouse@co.washington.mn.us. Act soon, so that items and stories are collected by April 30.

ONLINE EXHIBIT People & Places: Architecture in Washington County

People & Places: Architecture in Washington County

This online exhibition highlights various architectural styles found in the county from pre-1850 to 1960 in a scrolling, cascade-style format. Sections focus on Lost History (sites and buildings that are no longer); Early Peoples; Mills & Merchants; Learning & Leisure; Law & Order; Victorian & Turn of the Century; Modern. Click the link above and scroll through the different sections from beginning to end or choose your area of interest using the key in the upper right corner. 

Washington County has beautiful natural scenery, lovely Victorian homes; history and connections to a shared past. This exhibit showcases the County’s rich architectural history and the people who lived it.

Special thanks to Washington County's GIS Department, including Courtney Eickhoff and David Brandt, for assisting us with this project.

The Washington County Historic Courthouse Through the Years: 1870-Today

This exhibit showcases Historic Courthouse artifacts from 1870-1975, including antique office equipment, furniture, period clothing, a judge's office display, and much more. 

Rotating tabletop displays throughout the building feature the history of area events, Washington County and the City of Stillwater. 

 click here for tour times

The Great Courthouse Debate

Within its 150-year history, the Historic Courthouse has had its share of debates, and not just in the courtroom. In the 1960's the courthouse faced demolition during a debate on whether to build a new government center or add-on to the existing space. Saved by the community, the courthouse continued to be the focus of debates and discussion on its use, fundraising, restoration and its role as a historical landmark. 

This exhibit examines the historic and contemporary issues and highlights the key questions posed to our community about how to bring the Historic Courthouse into the future, while preserving its past.