1889 Courthouse home to the Heritage Exchange in Washington County, Wisconsin

Plan Your Visit

History Where It Happened

Plan your visit to the 1889 Courthouse and 1886 Jailhouse, to explore immersive museum exhibits, discover the Research Center (home to our archives), or visit the Heritage Exchange.

We love having people visit our historic sites, but ask that they please get tickets or schedule appointments at least one day in advance. It helps us to provide better experiences. If you’re interested in planning a group tour or need special accommodations, please contact us.

1886 Jailhouse on the campus of The Tower Heritage Center

1886 Jailhouse

1886 Jailhouse: Thursday 10:00-3:00


Adults (18+): $10.00

Kids (6-18): $5.00 (Children under age 5 are free)

Members: free

Guided tours between 30 and 45 minutes, for up to 10 people. Beginning in the lobby of the 1889 Courthouse, you’ll be led through the humble lifestyle of the Sherif and his family, walking through the residence and cells. As only one of two jails with a fully intact cell block in the Upper Great Lakes Region – this building is truly unique. Your ticket includes admission to the 1889 Courthouse museum afterward.

1889 Courthouse with The Tower Heritage Center

1889 Courthouse

1889 Courthouse: Thursday & Friday 10:00-3:00

Enjoy a self-guided tour of the 1889 Courthouse. Visiting is free of charge, but we ask that you please select a time slot beforehand. Right off the first floor, this museum is a rotating tribute to some of Washington County’s time-treasured stories – from the aluminum industry to life on the homefront.

Research center and archives of the Washington County Historical Society

Research Center

Research Center: Thursday & Friday 10:00-3:00

Appointments: Members: $10 / Students & Teachers: $15 / Non-Members: $25

Book an hour-long appointment at our Research Center to look at anything from genealogy to properties to local businesses and organizations, guided by our Historic Resource Coordinator.

Locations and Parking

The Tower Heritage Center is located at 320 S. 5th Avenue, West Bend, WI 53095. The accessible entrance and parking entrance are located off of Chestnut Street between 5th and 6th Avenue.

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Members are our greatest champions – joining us in our mission of forging meaningful connections across generations. Join today, to receive exclusive benefits and behind-the-scenes experiences