The Port Washington Historical Society was founded in 1991. Over the years the organization has demonstrated its strong volunteer commitment as a non-profit educational organization dedicated to the preservation, advancement and dissemination of knowledge of the history of the Port Washington area.
From 2000 to 2003 the Port Washington Historical Society restored and now maintains the Port Washington 1860 Lighthouse and Light Station Museum. Overlooking downtown Port Washington, the Light Station includes a museum depicting the life of a lightkeeper, and the nearby generator building houses a small maritime museum.
In 2012 the Port Washington Historical Society purchased the historic 1852 Barnum Blake building in downtown Port Washington and embarked on a restoration of the property. With restoration complete in 2014, the building became the Resource Center, housing the Society’s archive and research centers and office.
In 2012 the organization acquired a historic downtown building to house an interactive history museum. The Port Exploreum engages visitors in a hands-on manner to tell the stories of the community, its people and nearby Lake Michigan.
To preserve the city’s rich heritage for future generations, educational programming includes quarterly historic programs open to the public, historic walking tours, quarterly newsletters, guided tours of the 1860 Lighthouse and Light Station Museum and 1852 Resource Center, and the Port Exploreum.