Caterpillar employees and retirees: please consider taking advantage of the Caterpillar Foundation’s 2:1 match in honor of Giving Tuesday. For a limited time, your donation to the Washington Historical Society will be DOUBLED by the Caterpillar Foundation, so your $500 gift would be matched at $1,000 by the Caterpillar Foundation and turned into $1,500 to the Society! Please act quickly; once the funds are gone, the limited program is over. As always, we appreciate your support!


Walldogs Mural Added to Washington’s Square

Our wonderful Walldogs painter, Anat Ronen, completed our latest historically themed mural on Sunday, September 19. We are so pleased with the results! The mural, located on the west-facing wall of 106 S. Washington Square, pays tribute to the three bandstands that stood in the center of Washington Square from 1885 through 1959. The Historical Society will gladly and gratefully accept donations to help cover the cost of the mural and artist-related expenses for the duration of her stay in Washington. If you wish to make a donation for the mural, please send it to:

Washington Historical Society

P.O. Box 54

Washington, IL 61571  


Announcing the 2021 Roots Recipients:

Congratulations to this year’s Roots recipients! That’s right, this year, for the first time ever, there are TWO recipients: Dr. Christian Vercler and Dr. Marcus Jarboe were nominated as a pair by multiple nominees this year for their tremendous medical accomplishments. To read about Dr. Vercler and Dr. Jarboe, please click here.

Dr. Christian Vercler
Dr. Marcus Jarboe

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 Market (Est. Mid-1800's)

Like many historic homes, the exact date of construction on the home at 312 Market is hard to place. It is said to have been constructed in the mid-1800’s, however building records show a permit issued for the home in 1898. 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.