2022 Roots Recipient

The Washington Historical Society is pleased to announce this year’s Roots recipient, Gene (Wink) McCoskey.  As this year’s recipient, Gene will give a presentation to the community on Thursday, September 22 at 7:00 p.m. and will ride in the homecoming parade on September 23.  Please make plans to join us for both events!

Gene has led a fascinating and productive life, including work at two large corporations and many years volunteering for various civic organizations in and around his community. To read the full article about Gene, please click here

The Washington Historical Society is proud to call Gene McCoskey one of Washington’s own and are pleased to honor him with this well-deserved recognition.

Historic Walking Tours on the Square

The Historical Society will be offering historic walking tours on and around the square during Autumn Fest on September 24. This year’s Autumn Fest will feature live music, food trucks, family activities, and in-store specials at the various shops on the square. To add to the festivities, the Historical Society will offer walking tours at 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. that leave from our front door at 128 Washington Square. The tours are free, but if you would like to reserve your spot on one of the tours, please send an email to washingtonilhs@gmail.com with your name, the number of people im your party, and the tour time you prefer. These 20-30 minute tours will be led by guides who are knowledgable about Washington’s great history and they will certainly be a lot of fun. 

Historic Washington

Dr. Harley Zinser Home

105 Zinser (Est. 1858)

Constructed in 1858, the home of Dr. Zinser features a Greek Revival structure and was designed to be a single family home with an office in the east parlor. Additions to the home were added later in the 1880’s and early 1900’s. It was officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.

Though the Zinser House was owned by the Washington Historical Society for many years, today it is back in private ownership by a member of the Zinser Family. The House is a home once again. 

Hiram Price Home

109 Burton (Est. 1867)

Although exact building records are questionable, the home at 109 Burton was originally built at 102 Burton in 1867 with an Italianate Structure by Hiram Price. Price served as Mayor of Washington from 1899-1901. In 1915, the home was purchased and moved to 109 Burton by Henry Denhart which later accommodated the First National Bank’s Money Store. After some renovations in recent years, the house still stands as a single family home in Washington. [1]

116 N. Elm

116 N. Elm (Est. 1898 or 1906)

The exact age of this historic home is unknown, however it is believed to have been constructed in either 1898 or 1906. It is a foursquare house and has been well-preserved over the years. Its past owners have included two Washington Mayors: John G. Gorin and Richard F. Tanton. [1][2]

Israel Zinser Home

307 E. Jefferson (Est. 1878)

Moving his family to Washington to become the City’s primary pharmacist, Israel Zinser built this house in 1878 for his family. The home has kept the same look and feel as it did in its day for over 130 years, the only exception being the porch that was added to the home in the early 20th century. The home remains in the Zinser family, as it has for five generations. [1][2]

Holland Home

312 S. Market (Est. Mid-1800's)

Like many historic homes, the exact date of construction on the home at 312 Market is hard to place. The front portion of the main level was constructed in 1870, and the upstairs and rear of the home were added in 1893. Still, the home has some pretty big historic significance for Washington, with its history dating back to the Matthew Holland, son of Hollands Grove Founder (later re-named to Washington), William Holland.[1]

What We Do

Acquire, Preserve, Display

The mission of this Society is to acquire, preserve, and display Washington’s history.