McLean County Museum News

What's Happening!! 


  • Summer of 2023--The Nettle Creek Schoolhouse and Washburn Public Library will be hosting story hour at the schoolhouse on Mondays at 1 pm until July 17th.  
  • May 18, 2023--The Washburn 1st Grade class along with their teachers visited the museum and one-room schoolhouse for their school field trip at the end of the school year.
  • October 18, 2021--The 1905 Courthouse was torn down to make room for the Washburn Veterans Memorial Park.
  • July 14, 2021--The model buildings, built by Ernest Wagner of Wilton, went back to the city of Wilton and now on exhibit at the city hall and the Wilton Depot. There were on exhibit at the museum from 1999-2021.
  • July 2021---The McLean County Museum was voted "The Best Museum in McLean County" in the BHG Inc. "Best of the Best" poll.  Thank you to everyone who voted for us!!!!!!!!
  • Updates--The museum has been doing some projects while the museum is closed for the season.  The "Energy" display has been updated thanks to Great River Energy, Midwest Ag (Blue Flint) and the Falkirk Mine.
  • The museum has a research area for those interested in doing family history or any other research.  The museum has the Leader from 1883-present and other newspapers in McLean County.  There are various town and county books to help with research.
  • November 2018 will mark the 50th Anniversary of the McLean County Museum.  It was an idea of Fred Jefferis.  Mr. Jefferis thought McLean County needed a museum to preserve the history of McLean County and the homesteaders who came to make it their home.  With the help of the McLean County Historical Society and other volunteers, a museum was established in the 1905 Courthouse.

 Ongoing Projects 

  • The museum is working on changing up the displays and adding new ones.
  • Obituary Files 


  • Metal Shelves were donated by the Washburn American Legion for the research area.
  • "Old Abe" Case iron statue (bald eagle on globe)--Ray Wicklander Family
  • Items from Weyburn Johnson (Gramophone with records, butter churn, 48-star flag)
  • Nettle Creek School records
  • Items from the Morris Nelson Family (Washburn)

 Books for Sale

  • Fifty Pioneer Mothers of McLean County North Dakota by Mary A. Barnes Williams ($15.00)
  • Pioneer Days of Washburn and Vicinity (Books One and Two) by Mary A. Barnes Williams ($10.00)
  • Homestead Memories on Buffalo Paunch Creek...The Story of North Dakota Pioneers, Lorentz and Martha Lorentzen and family by Yvonne Lorentzen McGuire (15.00)
  • Daddy was an Artist...The Story of North Dakota's Pioneer Artist, Henry Lorentzen, and his wife Grace by Yvonne Lorentzen McGuire ($10.00)
  • Centennial Celebration -100 Years 1905-2005 Turtle Lake ($25.00)
  • Tracing your Dakota Roots: A Guide to Genealogical Research in the Dakotas by JoAnn B Winistorfer and Cathy A Langemo ($25.00)