Exhibits

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Coming Soon:
The Life of an Object: Stories, Meanings & Moments

Open June 5 - December 31, 2021
Join Washington County Parks to explore how an object may communicate ideas, values, and meaning with the exhibition “The Life of an Object: Stories, Meanings & Moments” opening at the Washington County Historic Courthouse in June 2021. Learn how the artifacts in the Historic Courthouse archives have been preserved and collected through the years tell not only the story of the building itself, but are also a reflection of a time, people, and community.

You can Participate!
Do you have an historical object with a unique or interesting history? The Historic Courthouse is looking for objects to highlight in a community "Show & Tell" section. Select objects will be displayed alongside the exhibit on a monthly rotation throughout the six month exhibit. Call or send an email to the Historic Courthouse with information if you have an object that you would like to include. Act soon, so that items and stories are collected by April 17. For more information, call 651-275-7075 or email historiccourthouse@co.washington.mn.us.

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 Exhibits: 

Coming Soon:
Freedom Independence & Citizenship: The History of Voting Rights in Minnesota

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

People & Places: Architecture in Washington County