Mission/Background

The mission of the Ozaukee County Historical Society is to preserve, advance and disseminate knowledge of the history and heritage of Ozaukee County through historic preservation, education and programming.

The Ozaukee County Historical Society was established in 1960 as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.  OCHS currently owns and operates three historic properties: The Hazel Wirth Archives and Research Center in downtown Cedarburg , Stony Hill School in Fredonia and Ozaukee County Pioneer Village in Saukville.

The Interurban Depot was built in 1907 served as a gateway for local residents to travel to Milwaukee, Sheboygan and places in between until 1948.  The system provided passenger/commuter travel along with package-freight services bringing milk, packaged goods and supplies to the county. This very unique historic landmark and serves the general public as an Electric Interurban Railway Museum and a historical resource center with information technology workstations for researchers, students and families to utilize. This location also serves as the Ozaukee County Historical Society business office and archive space for the society’s artifacts and vast collections.

 

Stony Hill School represents a tangible connection to the country’s national celebration of our flag and is the birthplace of Flag Day.  Bernard J. Cigrand, a Wisconsin schoolteacher, taught at Stony Hill School in 1885 and observed the very first “Flag Birthday”, on June 14th. Stony Hill School is a location included in our school tours for children to learn about education in a one-room school house.

In 1962, the Ozaukee County Board of Supervisors designated ten acres of Hawthorne Hills County Park for the Ozaukee County Historical Society to restore, furnish and preserve historic structures from around the area.  The Ahner House was the first such structure that was dismantled and rebuilt on this site.  Since the 1960s, numerous other buildings were added to the collection of what has grown to 24 historic structures in the outdoor living history museum that is now known as the Ozaukee County Pioneer Village. These structures represent those who immigrated to Ozaukee County in the late 1800s. Some of these are German, French, Luxembourg and Irish. The buildings follow the architectural styles of the countries the people came from, such as log, stone, and half-timber. Every year, attendance is increasing (as well as our membership) due to this wonderful living history museum and educational site. 

 

In the past five years, the Ozaukee County Historical Society has completed the construction of a 4000 sq. ft. multi-purpose facility that provides indoor restrooms, a catering food service area, grilling area and a hall that can accommodate 125-150 guests and can be rented by the public for weddings, private parties and business meetings.. The facility has a 72” monitor TV that is suitable for presentations and live steaming events. This has been a great addition to the amenities offered at Ozaukee County Pioneer Village and a source of additional revenues for the society.

 

In the past two years, the Ozaukee County Historical Society has further restored the 1907 Cedarburg train station at Ozaukee County Pioneer Village. The exterior was repainted in the colors of the Milwaukee Road during the time period 1928- 1948, when passenger rail traffic was at its peak. The colors accent the Queen Anne style architecture. A new ADA ramp was added to allow visitors with disabilities to enter for the first time. The interior of the building was repainted, benches and flooring were refinished and all new exhibits tell the story of the importance of the railroad in Ozaukee County and provide memories from the past.