This geocache is part of the West Bend GeoTour:
Twenty geocaches have been hidden throughout our historic city that highlight the best of West Bend in any season!
Teams must pick up a West Bend GeoTour Passport from the Chamber of Commerce (preferred method) or download a passport. To earn a GeoCoin, collect 25 points as detailed in the passport. See complete details at visitwestbend.com/geocaching-2.
Remember to record the password from this cache in your GeoTour Passport!
GeoTour Stop #2: Old Courthouse Museum and County Jail
Clad in brick, the Courthouse was built in 1889 in the Richardson Romanesque Revival Style and served as the county courthouse until 1962. Today, The Old Courthouse Museum is thought by many to be the best local history museum in the Midwest. The museum houses extensive displays on local businesses and industry, early settlers, family and social and cultural life as well as the Norm Colby Interpretive Center, an interactive exhibit gallery. The small admission fee is well worth the tour.
Next to the Courthouse stands the Old Sheriff’s Residence & Jail. This historic house museum is one of the last remaining sheriff’s residences in the United States. Built to be “escape proof” in 1886, this facility served as the county jail until 1962 when Washington County turned the use of the building over to the Washington County Historical Society. The building now represents life in the first half of the 20th century. The Old Sheriff’s Residence and Jail is viewed on a 45-minute docent-guided tour which begins at the Old Courthouse Museum. For more information about the Courthouse Museum or Jailhouse Tour, visit www.historyisfun.com.
If you are a fan of old buildings and history, you may also want to walk to the northeast corner of Courthouse Square. You will see the historic Poplar Inn, one of the oldest buildings in West Bend. James Kneeland, one of the founders of West Bend, purchased this plot of land in the early 1840’s. This gabled cream city brick building was erected in 1858.
In 1860, the building served as an Inn owned by Union Civil war Captain Jacob E. Mann. Veteran Civil War Private Ernst Fitzner purchased this building in 1878. The building was converted in 1892 into a two-family side-by-side dwelling. From 1910 through the 1940’s, it was a one family home. The use of the building changed in 1946, and was primarily used for business purposes including an abstract and title company from 1955-1959, a tea room in the 1960’s, Norwood Paper Company in 1975, and from the 1980’s to present for various dining establishments.
The Geocache: The cache is now a small clear container. Permission was granted to hide this cache.