Recognized as the oldest county museum in Nebraska, the Washington County Historical Museum officially opened its doors to the public in 1937. It was in that year that the Washington County Historical Association purchased the Fort Calhoun State Bank building to serve as a home for its collection of historical artifacts. The museum?s collection ranged from prehistoric times to 20th century inventions, including but not limited to dress, relics, and equipment used by Native Americans, antique farm tools, and various types of artifacts that afforded visitors a deeper understanding of how early settlers lived in the 19th century. Also of interest is the museum?s exhibit of artifacts related to inventor Thomas Edison and the first few models of telephone equipment.
Other exhibits show off a beautiful collection of antique dolls, a special clock room, an array of antique musical instruments, and artifacts belonging to the Fort Calhoun State Bank (1914 ? 1934). In 1968, the museum opened its South Gallery, which featured Native American and pre-historic collections including a ?dig box? for kids to dig out fossil specimens.
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