To safeguard the city's heritage by preserving sites and structures; improve property values; protect Washburn's attractions; and support business by educating the public about the need of a historic preservation program.
The Historical Preservation Commission (HPC) was established in 2003 under a new ordinance.
During our years of service, we have created several local designations, including the Washburn Family Dentistry building, and The Washburn Cultural Center. We repaired and moved the Kitchen Building in Memorial Park. And in 2015, we accomplished our state and
nationally designated Historic District comprised of homes along 3rd Street East.
Currently, the HPC is finalizing the process of creating wayfinding signage for historic sites throughout the City. We are initiating efforts to collaborate with school staff to encourage student participation in some of our activities. We also always interested in helping local residents and businesses with preservation efforts and local designations where appropriate.
Story: Did you know?
In 2013 Washburn's Residential Historic District was listed on the Wisconsin State Register of Historic Places and the National Register of Historic Places, maintained by the National Park Service. Bounded by East Third Street from Central Avenue to 4th Avenue East, the District contains four duplexes and twenty-six single family homes. Some of the homes were built when the DuPont Company expanded its TNT plant in Barksdale. The Factory Superintendent and Assistant Managers lived in the more stately homes on this street, which is also called DuPont Row. The homes were generally built between the 1880's thru the 1930's.
For two years the HPC has hosted a picnic in the late summer commemorating the dedication of the first picnic at Memorial Park. In 1920 the DuPont employees, using their own money, organized the first picnic at Memorial Park to honor the veterans of the First World War.
At our 2015 commemorative picnic the American Legion veterans were special guests and they presented a plaque for the obelisk in a ceremony at the start of the picnic. Robert Mackreth, local historian, spoke about the historical significance of the picnic. Mark Rossow played music from that era. Local businesses donated picnic baskets which were auctioned off as a fundraiser for the HPC. Residents and campers enjoyed the lovely evening on the lakefront. In 2016 we hosted another picnic, again with donated picnic baskets and music. At this picnic, the HPC provided free ice-cream and local families and campers enjoyed croquet and other games. We look forward to this becoming an annual event.
Our meetings are held once each month, in the Washburn Public Library and are open to the public. We welcome visitors and we are also inviting applications from citizens who would like to join us. Please contact one of our members or city all for more information and an application form.
Article was originally published in "The Brownstone", by the Legacy Consortium.