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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, open now through December 2019.

From basic transportation to recreation, from the high-wheel Penny Farthing to the modern fat-tire bike, the exhibit will highlight how bicycles have impacted the lives of area residents over the past 160 years. 

Click here for tour times.

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.

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.

Online Exhibit - People & Places: Architecture in Washington County

Washington County County has beautiful natural scenery, lovely Victorian homes, history and connections to a shared past. This online exhibition highlights the County's rich architectural history by featuring 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. 

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

People & Places: Architecture in Washington County