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The Polk County Historical Society

Invites you to visit the

Polk County Museum- Old Courthouse

Open Memorial Day through Labor Day Weekend

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.

   Handicap Accessible / Air Conditioned  

The Polk County Museum is closed for the regular 2018 season, but we

are looking forward to our October Events.


Thursday, October 11th Author Lois Joy Hoffman dicussed her adventures sailing around the world and the books that have captured her journeys.


 Lois shared; The Long Way Back,  published last October. She had introduced the book in San Diego but have never had the opportunity to introduce it here. Maiden Voyage is the first book in the series and the second is Sailing the South Pacific. After sharing several adventures from her book, she introduced her husband Gunter, the Captain of thier yacht Pacific Bliss, and together they answered questions and gave insights into thier amazing voyage.


Wednesday October 17th The Polk County Historical Society will hold thier Annual Meeting, please join us for Dinner and a Program at the Indianhead Supper Club in Balsam Lake. Details to follow.


October's Annual SPOOKTACULAR HALLOWEEN will be happening at the Polk County Museum, please watch for more information.

120 Main Street
 Balsam Lake, Wisconsin 54810
Call for Information and Tours:
715-485-9269.  Thank you for visiting our website.
e-mail: [email protected]

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday noon to 4 pm

                           No Fee for Admission- Donations Appreciated and Sustain our Efforts


Click here to see ByLaws

Built in 1899, the Polk County Museum was the Polk 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 our exhibit; 9,000 year old 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, dated to the late Pleistocene. The Society was part of a team that helped bring the 'Bones' back to Polk County.
Immerse yourself in the history of the Polk County people during the Logging Era with a visit to the newly redesigned Logging Room.  Explore the impact  of the Logging industry in the St. Croix River Valley.  Preview some of our Exhibits under the About


2018 Summer Events


The Polk County Historical Society

Hosted the following traveling Exhibits;

Sponsored by funds recieved from The Amery Lions Club and 

Fred C. and Katherine B. Andersen Foundation


John Muir Exhibit Banner


Wisconsin's John Muir: An Exhibit Celebrating the Centennial of the National Park Service. On loan from the Wisconsin Historical Society

Commemorating the centennial of the National Park Service, the traveling display "Wisconsin's John Muir: An Exhibit Celebrating the Centennial of the National Park Service" explores Muir's youth in Wisconsin, his advocacy for national parks and his views on environmental issues such as logging, hunting and climate change.



Friday August 10th, The Polk County Historical Society was excited to host Guest Speaker, Dr. Dave Clausen, Amery, presenting an introduction to the WI. Historical Society’s Traveling Exhibit, Wisconsin’s John Muir, An Exhibit Celebrating the Centennial of the National Park Service.

Guests enjoyed Dr. Clausen’s insight on John Muir’s interesting life experiences and legacy, the Exhibit Banners and refreshments including root beer floats on the patio. The Exhibit will be on display through Labor Day Weekend.



WWI Beyond the Trenches: 

Stories from the Front  Over 122,000 Wisconsin men and women served on land, sea, and in the air during World War I.  The Wisconsin Veterans Museum marks the centennial of the First World War with the opening of a major exhibit featuring an up close and personal look at the Great War through the eyes of Wisconsin veterans.

On loan from the Wisconsin Veterans Museum

On the evening of June 14th the Polk County Historical Society hosted 
an open house honoring Wisconsin's WWI Veterans, with displays "WWI Beyond the 
Trenches: Stories from the Front," on loan from the WI Veterans Museum.

Society President Jason Whitley introduced Polk County Historical 
Society member and historian, Dr. Larry Smetak, who  presented an 
inspiring program honoring our Veterans, invited the fifty visitors who 
had gathered at the Polk County Museum to share their memories and 

Sharing stories of their father, WWI Veteran, Ray Thompson of Milltown, 
were his sons Bob and Garry (who also loaned our museum many

artifacts and belts from the war).  Dr. Smetak concluded his presentation with 
a group sing a long of; "You're a Grand Old Flag," by George Cohan,
written for that era.

Visitors enjoyed light refreshments and a tour of the Museum's Veteran Exhibit.  



Students from Amery, Frederic and Unity toured the Museum, treated to an 
exciting program by Chief Dan Mosay of the St. Croix Band of Lake Superior Chippewa,  
history tours, and a visit to the Lanesdale one room school house    

July Freedom Fest, the Polk County Museum celebrated  Balsam Lake Freedom Fest. Many joined us and cooled off at our Annual Root Beer Float Fundraiser. Thanks to Bernicks and all our wonderful volunteers and helpers.



Thanks to a Grant from Polk-Burnett Electric, Operation Round-Up

students enjoyed another fun, educational  2018 Summer Session 



The Polk County Historical Society is offering two, three day sessions of Pioneer Schooling held at the restored, Polk County Lanesdale Rural School in Balsam Lake. 

To make this program successful, we suggest the children, are ages 6-14. Students dress as children did in the 1900’s; costume’s available at school.  School Marm Tammy, provides the children with a unique and fun learning adventure. 

Questions and Enrollment can be directed to Tammy 715-485-9269 or email us  [email protected]




This page updated  10/13/2018

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Polk County Museum / Historical Society Balsam Lake, WI Phone: 715-485-9269
  Email: [email protected]