The Museum is open!

Hours: Tues-Fri 9-5; Sat 9-1

Travel the Heritage Trail

Learn more about the people and events that shaped Washington County through interpretive signs located at historic locations along The Washington County Heritage Trail self-guided tour.

Step Back in Time With Us

The history of Washington County is as rich and varied as its people.

Our history starts with fur trading posts, Native tribes, and Lewis & Clark, who held their first meeting with the Otoe here. Fifteen years later Fort Atkinson was established, the first military presence west of the Missouri River.  Home to the 6th Infantry and housing over 20% of the United States Army, this outpost on “earth’s remotest bounds” became the site of the first school, library, hospital and large-scale agricultural operation in what would later become the state of Nebraska. Fort Atkinson projected the might of the military into the growing fur trade and kept the peace with local tribes.  Within a few years, Brigham Young established a farming operation here called “Summer Quarters” to feed the influx of Mormon emigrants, using the bricks and land once used by the frontier army. The door to western settlement flew open and within a few years, towns such as De Soto, Rockport, Cuming City and Fort Calhoun were being platted and families were establishing homes and businesses.

These early settlers and pioneers built on what was before them, just as we have built on what they did.  The Washington County Museum was established to preserve the history of these early pioneers and to honor their memories.

The Washington County Museum has been operating since 1925 in the heart of historic Fort Calhoun, just a short drive on Highway 75 north of Omaha.  We are caretakers of the oldest county museum in the state, housed in the historic Fort Calhoun State Bank building. See artifacts from the excavation of Fort Atkinson, then go 3 blocks east to tour the rebuilt fort and 1820’s military life.

See the history of this county that welcomed famous mountain men, Mormon Pioneers, and early homesteaders to Nebraska. The museum tells the story through Lewis & Clark’s visit here, Native American artifacts, military relics, and stories of the early pioneers.

Researching your ancestors from Washington County? Our library contains thousands of genealogical records, old newspapers and maps, court records and more.  We can assist you with your family records.

While you are here, visit the 1905 Frahm House and see the story of the Frahm Family, early Fort Calhoun pioneers. This lovely Victorian Home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is available for tours by appointment and for rental.  Whether you are a Nebraska native wanting to see something new, or an out-of-state traveler looking for historic stops, call us today and we can help make your visit a step back in time.

Our Latest News & Events

To see more of our Latest News and Events, click below.

Jam & Bread

Friday, July 26  Noon-1:30 Join in the old-time music jam session and bread sale.  Feel free to bring an instrument and join the circle, or just listen. Locally made bread provided by Anna Olsen, Kennard .

Open House Rescheduled

Construction continues on the front porch of the historic Frahm House.  Open House is rescheduled to Saturday, August 31 from 10-4 pm. Step back in time to 1905 – watermelon on the porch, cold tea, live music and croquet on the lawn.  Dress in your historic clothes and join us. Tour the recently renovated historic

Invitation to Bid

INVITATION TO BID FOR NEW BUILDING ADDITION CONSTRUCTION The Washington County Museum will be accepting bid proposals from General Construction Contractors for the addition of an exhibit gallery and ADA restrooms. The Washington County Museum is located at 102 North 14TH Street, Fort Calhoun, Nebraska 68023. The project consists of: A North Addition that will

Board of Directors Meeting

Monthly Board of Directors meeting scheduled for Tuesday, July 16, 2024 at 5 pm at the Museum.  Meetings are open to the public. An agenda is available at the museum by the Friday prior to the meeting. Annual meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, August 20 at 5 pm.  Public is encouraged to attend.  

Long Creek School

The 1877 Long Creek School has been renovated and is ready for use!  The school can accommodate up to 50 people, has heat/AC, electricity and a sound system. Consider the schoolhouse for your next event, corporate meeting, anniversary, reunion or party. We welcome photographers who wish to use a historic backdrop for their photo shoots.

See what’s in our Basement

Join Curator Faith as she introduces us to little known items in our collection. Medical devices, cooking utensils, clothing and interesting artifacts from our vault.

Contact us

Washington County Museum
102 N. 14th Street
P.O. Box 25
Fort Calhoun, NE 68023

Museum Hours

Sunday: Closed
Monday: Closed
T – F: 9 to 5
Saturday: 9am – 1pm
Frahm House: By Appointment