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The Polk County Historical Society Invites You to Visit 
The Polk County Museum
120 Main Street
Balsam Lake, Wisconsin 54810

               MISSION STATEMENT:  Preserving the past for future generations by establishing a

unique and enduring collection of Polk County history, shared with the public through educational

programs and exhibits.


                         Please visit us at our razoo webpage, We always appreciate your support 

                                                                           Historical Three-Story Courthouse
                                                        Open Memorial Day though Labor Day (including Holidays) 
The Polk County Museum is located in the heart of Balsam Lake, Wisconsin (HWY 46) and Mill Rd,
the Museum is accessible to all, equipped with an elevator on the north side addition. 
There is also an entrance on the south side of the building on Old Courthouse Rd.
          2015  Hours of Operation:                                    
 Thursday, Friday, Saturday,  Sunday
                      Noon to 4 p.m.


Handicap accessible (with elevator)

During our open season call for Information and Tours:
715-485-9269.  Thank you for visiting our website.
Built in 1899, the Polk County Museum was the County Courthouse until 1975. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places and is an absolute treasure. You'll find three floors of galleries just bursting with items; some dating back as far as the Revolutionary War! Most of what you'll encounter is from the early 1900's
Visit the newly designed Logging Exhibit.  Explore the impact the Logging Industry of the St. Croix River Valley had on Polk County.  Immerse yourself in the history of the Polk County people during the Logging Era.               
Visit our exhibit; Bison  Bones' Back-ground on this phenomenal exhibit; in 1934 a farmer in the St. Croix. River Valley (between Minnesota and Wisconsin) presented the University of Minnesota with several large animal bones.  The bones were discovered by accident at a marl dredging pit, east of Dresser in Nye.  They were identified as an extinct species of bison, (bison oliverhayi). Based on recovered woody plant remains, they reasoned that the site dated to the late Pleistocene. The Nye bones were relocated to the Museum, after 75 years, through the efforts of the Polk County Historical Society and the farmers' family member . 

Come visit us soon and lose yourself in the rich heritage of this area.  There is an exhibit to fit almost any interest. Thanks to everyone for your continuing support, helping to contribute towards our goals!

PIONEER STUDENTS WANTED                     

The Polk County Historical Society is excited to be offering two, three day sessions of Pioneer Schooling to be held at the restored, Polk County Lanesdale Rural School in Balsam Lake.  The first session begins on Tuesday, August 18, 19, 20.  The second session begins on Tuesday, August 25, 26, 27.  The fee for each three day session is $ 35.00 per child.

This unique program accepts children ages 6-14. Children will experience reading, writing, and arithmetic lessons as taught 100 years ago.There will be lots of old fashioned games, stories and music.

Questions can be directed to  715-485-9269 or Email

Admission Forms and payment should be submitted by August 1;

Mail to;  P.O Box 41, Balsam Lake, WI. 54810   or Return to;   The Museum Th- Sun. 12-4 pm




Free Museum Event            Friday August 7th               6:30 pm

Wisconsin’s Gangster Past

Put on your zoot suit and follow in the footsteps of America’s most infamous gangsters as they turned Wisconsin  into their own criminal vacation land. Filled with deadly bank robberies, explosive shootouts, brutal murders, and daring kidnappings, this presentation lets the audience discover the grisly locations where the gangster history will never die.

See Where:

John Dillinger had his bloody shoot out with the authorities

Baby Face Nelson hid out and looked to mowed down innocent bystanders

Al Scareface Capone vacationed while the heat was on him in Chicago

The gangsters’ favorite hangouts where they danced the night away.

The Barker-Karpis gang ransacked towns, bribed police, and killed anyone in their way.

Speaker Bio

For over two decades Chad Lewis has traveled the back roads of the world in search of the strange and unusual. From tracking vampires in Transylvania and searching for the elusive monster of Loch Ness to trailing the dangerous Tata Duende through remote villages of Belize and searching for ghosts in Ireland's haunted castles, Chad has scoured the earth in search of the weird. 

Chad has been featured on the Discovery Channel's A Haunting,  William Shatner's Weird or What, ABC's Scariest Places on Earth, along with being a frequent contributor on Ripley's Believe it or Not Radio. With a Masters Degree in Psychology, Chad has authored over 20 books in the strange and unusual. The more bizarre the legend, the more likely it is that you will find Chad there.

Please join us for fun family entertainment; tour the Museum, then enjoy Chad’s exciting presentation with refreshments to follow.




                                                                                                                                  Thank you to our Funders


                                                                                          HUGH J. ANDERSEN FOUNDATION

                                                                                                        Fred C. and Katherine B. Andersen Foundation

                                                                                                                            Xcel Energy FOUNDATION

                                                                                                                                                                                                       BERNICK'S                                                                                                                               Polk-Burnett Charities, Inc.



Thanks to Bernicks and everyone who made the Fun Fest Rootbeer fundraiser a success



Balsam Lake is 4 miles north off HWY 8.

Map provided courtesy of Wisconline® Used by permission.

This page updated  7/25/2015

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Polk County Museum / Historical Society Balsam Lake, WI Phone: 715-485-9269