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The Washington Historical Society was founded in 1959, focused on preserving Washington, Mo., history. The society purchased the old Presbyterian Church building at Fourth and Market Street in 1995 and in 2001 hired a full-time director. Besides its many exhibits and archives, the museum also houses the Four Rivers Genealogical Society and the Ralph Gregory Library.


  • WHS Museum at Fourth and Market Streets. It encompasses about 6,000 square feet and provides space for exhibits and historical and genealogy paper records. Items exhibited at the museum are relative to the history of Washington, Mo., and its
  • Ralph Gregory Library, located on first level of the museum, is the home of the Four Rivers Genealogical Society. It promotes genealogical research, assists members and others in researching and documenting family histories.
  • Firehouse Museum at Fifth and Stafford Streets. It houses three fire trucks and three early Washington passenger vehicles. The 1917 Model T Ford was Washington's first motor-driven fire truck.
  • St. John's African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church at Walnut and Fourth Streets. Built in 1891, it was rehabilitated as an archive for Franklin County Court records.
  • Kohmueller Farmstead. Owned by the city of Washington, the society is responsible for the house and barn's upkeep. The house was completed in 1879. The farmstead is located at Grand Avenue and South Lakeshore Drive.

Exhibits include:
The Missouri River and Bridge
Turnverein (Turner Society) 
Franz Schwarzer Zithers
Corn Cob Pipes
Historic Buildings
John B. Busch Brewery
Military Veterans
Shoe Factories
Elijah McLean
Firehouse Museum