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Washington Historical Society Self-Guided Tour

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  • SSome of the earliest settlers in the Washingtonarea were literally followers of Daniel Boone, who hadblazed a trail from the hills of Kentucky to the wilder-ness of east-central Missouri.The German populace forwhichWashington is known began with the arrival oftwelve Catholic families in the fall of 1833.This groupand other later German immigrants were sometimescalled followers of Gottfried Duden, who for twoyears lived at nearby Dutzow and wrote glowing re-views of the area for readers in his homeland.The lush,green, rolling hills and the river valley reminded Dudenof the area from which he came.

    A natural river landing, at what was to become theWashington site, made this an ideal place to begin a set-tlement. In the first three decades of the nineteenth cen-tury, the small community grew upon the gently slopinghillside on the south bank of the Mis-souri River.

    William G. Owens and his wifeLucinda settled in the area in1818.They eventually purchased most ofthe land that would becomeknown as downtownWashington,which included about fifty acres.Town lots were sold atauction in 1829. However, in 1834, Owens was mur-dered, and legal entanglements in his estate blockedthe establishment of the new town.His widow Lucindawould eventually receive clear title to the towns core,and on May 29, 1839, she filed a plat at the countycourthouse thus establishing the city ofWashington.

    Ferryboats served the community from the early1800s until the bridge was completed in1936. In 1854,John B. Busch, an older brother of the famous Adol-phus Busch, established a brewery inWashington, bot-tling the first Busch Beer.The Pacific Railroad laid linesas far as Washington by1855. An Austrian immigrant,Franz Schwarzer, began the manufacture of his world-famous zithers in 1866.HenryTibbe and his son Antonbegan making corn-cob pipes in 1869; that businesswould help putWashington, Missouri, on the map asthe Corncob Pipe Capital of theWorld.

    Many of Washingtons historic structures remaintoday, proudly standing as reminders of times past andevidence of the pride and determination of our fore-fathers.

    For more history onWashington, Missouri,visit our web site at www.washmohistorical.org

    town lotswere soldat auctionin 1829

  • TheWashington Historical Society Museum at thecomer of 4th and Market Streets offers an interesting

    glimpse into the 19th and 20thcentury heritage of theWashing-ton area. A large photographiccollection, business papers, rarebooks relative to Missouri historyand other archival material areavailable for viewing or research.

    Franklin County records, mar-riage licenses, family histories, obit-uaries, and local newspapers can

    be accessed and copied in theRalph Gregory Library. The li-brary is staffed by members ofthe Four Rivers GenealogicalSociety, who offer personal re-search assistance.Over 25 pub-

    lications, including areahistories, a biograph-ical directory ofFranklin Countyof 1925, ceme-

    tery records, and reproduced county atlases,are available in the museums gift shop.

    Exhibits on two levels of the building includehundreds of items representing Washingtonspast. Major exhibits feature the John B. BuschBrewery, Schwarzer Zither factory, Dr. Bozzosoffice, Zoff Photography Studio, shoe factoriesofWashington, and the corn cob pipe industry.Artifacts have been selected to reflect the

    areas human culture, from primitive stone tools usedby Native Americans to the golden era ofWashing-ton in the 1890s.

    The Firehouse Museum, open by appointment, isjust a few blocksaway. It featuresantique firetrucks and othervehicles that havean important placeinWashingtons his-tory. Open on Saturdays andSundays by appointment only.

    TheWashington Histori-cal Society AMEAnnex, for-merly the African MethodistEpiscopal Church, is just a blockaway and houses many earlyFranklin County records.Availablefor use by appoint-ment only.

    Travel back intime as you

    walk throughour expandedand renovated

    museum, locatedin one of

    Washington'shistoric districts

    OPEN March 1 -December 23Museum Hours:

    Tues-Sat 10 am-4 pm,Sun 12 noon-4 pmLibrary Hours:Tues 9 am-3 pm,

    Wed-Sun 1 pm-4 pm

    Closed Mondays& Major Holidays

    CLOSED Dec. 24 til March 1

    exhibitson twolevelsartifacts

    that reflectthe area'shumanculture

    Did youknowThe would-be founderof Washington,

    William G. Owens, wasmurdered in 1834 and

    the town was founded by hiswidow Lucinda in 1839?

    JamesW. Owens, the sonof Washingtons founder,was one of three StateRepresentatives selectedto draft the ordinance

    abolishing slavery in Missouri?

    The younger brotherof Washingtons beer baron

    John B. Busch, wasAdolphus Busch, whomarried Lily Anheuser?The rest, as they say,

    is history.

    Heinie Diestelhorst,proprietor of the OldDutchTavern, was an oldbuddy of Harry S.Truman?

    Washingtons zither

    maker Franz Schwarzerhad a pet alligator?

    Franklin County Missourican boast of two Medalof Honor recipients?Lorenzo Dow Immell

    (CivilWar)George Phillips (WW II).

    President Franklin DelanoRoosevelt once spent thenight inWashington?

    General Douglas MacArthur,MarkTwain, Popeye andFrosty the Snowman

    all smoked corncob pipes?

    W A S H I N G T O N

    Historical SocietyMUSEUM

    W A S H I N G T O N

    Historical SocietyThe Washington Historical Society was

    founded in 1959, though other groups fo-cused on preserving Washington's historylong before that.The society was able to buyits current building in 1995 and hire a full time

    director in 2001.

    Besides its many exhibits and archives, the museum also houses the FourRivers Genealogical Society whose services are utilized by people acrossthe United States and in several foreign countries.

    Membership is $25 individual, $35 family and $50 business.Dues are renewable annually.

  • W A S H I N G T O N

    Historical SocietyEVENTS & PROGRAMS

    CemeteryTours: Each autumn around Halloween, the Historical So-ciety teams up with the caretakers of theWildey Odd Fellows Ceme-tery for a cemetery tour. The tour includes discussion of approximately200 former Washingtonians and highlights their contributions to thecommunity. Established in 1865, the cemetery contains over 1200 gravesand many elaborate monuments.A small fee charged for the tour helpscover maintenance costs of the cemetery.

    GhostTours: The success of the first Ghost Tour in October of 2007has resulted in plans for more Ghost Tours to tell the stories ofWash-ingtons more interesting ghosts.Whether you are a believer or not, youllenjoy hearing these stories.And, of course, we cant let the opportunitypass to tell you undisputed facts about Washingtons history.This tourincludes a fee to cover expenses and help to fund other programs. Checkwith the Historical Society to see when the next GhostTour is scheduled.

    Washington onWheels: The "WOW" tour utilizes an open air tramthat takes you to see first hand where the events ofWashingtons historytook place. This is a guided tour led by our Museum Director, MarcHouseman, whose humor is only matched by the number of interesting

    stories ofWashingtons past.This tour includes a fee to cover expensesand to help fund other programs. Check with the Historical Society forwhen the nextWashington onWheels tour is scheduled.

    Character Project: This project includes several Historical Societyvolunteers who have researched characters from Washingtons past.Most will come to your group in costume and in character or you canvisit the Museum to hear their stories. Characters includeWashingtonsfounder, Lucinda Owens; local beer baron, John B. Busch; local zithermakers wife, Josephine Schwarzer; snag boat captain, E.M. Baldwin;Wash-ingtons first lawyer, Judge Daniel Q. Gale; one of Missouris first womendoctors, Dr.Mary McLean; first female business owner inWashington, Jo-hanna Adams; and world famous frontiersman and neighbor to theNorth, Daniel Boone.A fun way to learn about local history from a reallive character who was there. Call the Museum to schedule a visit.

    Evening at the Museum: Programs on local history are presentedone evening a month from March through December at the HistoricalSociety Museum.This has become a very successful program for arearesidents interested in local history. Programs are presented by the Mu-seum Director or volunteers who are knowledgeable about subjects oflocal interest. Free to the public.

    TravelingTrunk & NativeAmerican Basket: Educational re-sources for teachers, scouts, church groups or others interested inteaching about the history ofWashington or Native Americans inFranklin County. Contains guides with suggested discussions, activities,work sheets, background information as well asnumerous objects, photographs, and otherimages to aid in teaching these sub-jects. These resources are designedto fit into the schools educationalrequirements.The trunk or bas-ket can be checked out for atotal of 7 days and is geared for3rd through 5th grades, but canbe adapted for other agegroups. For more informationcall 636-239-0280

    Looking for that long lost ancestor?TheWashington HistoricalSociety Museum can help you with your genealogical needs.

    F O U R R I V E R S

    Genealogical SocietyThe Four Rivers Genealogical Society is dedicated to promoting ge-

    nealogical research as well as assisting members and others in re-searching and documenting their family histories.The Society is alsoresponsible for maintaining and enhancing the Ralph Gregory Libraryand for providing library monitors.

    Use of the library is free, with assistance available from the monitorsas needed. Research can be done by experienced members for a fee.To request someone to research for you, send a letter or email withdetails to:

    Four Rivers G

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