Exploring the history of West Bend

Published: April 15, 2015

West Bend is a place with a long and rich history. This beautiful place by the Milwaukee River was home to Native Americans for centuries and evidence of their time here can still be seen in the ceremonial mounds they constructed long ago.

Europeans arrived in the 1840s, when West Bend was a rest stop on a territorial road between Milwaukee and Fond du Lac.

In coming weeks, West Bend will feature a number of special events connected with the city and region’s history, including an architecture tour and a  Blast into the Past Family Day at the Old Courthouse Museum.

West Bend’s past is easy to explore at a number of convenient sites around town. These sites will transport you to the past and make for an unforgettable outing.

Here are a few places you won’t want to miss:

Lizard Mound County Park

This park, listed on the National Register of Historic places, includes 28 well-preserved mounds that were built more than a century ago. A nature trail will take you through the park. The park is located north of West Bend.

St. Agnes Historic Convent & School

This fieldstone structure provides a window into the challenges of 1850’s pioneer living. The site is one of the first public schools in the region and is on the National Register of Historic places.

Learn more.

Old Courthouse Museum and Jail

This museum is housed in the building that served as a county courthouse until 1962. Built in 1889, it’s considered an excellent example of Richardson Romanesque Revival architecture. The museum features special exhibits that tell the story of Washington County from the glaciers to the industrial age.