Pinecrest Historical Village

Imagine a small travel trailer, its silver metal reflecting the heat of a warm Wisconsin summer day. In this make-shift storage shed works a small team of dreamers, wearing dress shirts and sweating as they look over land plans transforming the 40 acre farm field around them into an outdoor historical village. MCHS Board President Armond Kueter, Past President Joseph J. Rappel, and Pine Crest planning committee members had a vision for what our Society and museum could become and today we are entrusted with its success.

Over 50 years ago, neighbors like you gave generously, held bake sales, and passed the offering basket again and again to secure treasured century old structures and build, debt-free, what would become Pinecrest Village.

When the first wave of visitors came to our museum in 1977, the future was far from guaranteed. Many sacrificed what little they had and their valuable time and energy to keep the gates open.

The Manitowoc County Historical Society and its Pinecrest Historical Village soon became part of the fabric of our community. It’s where the stories of our ancestors are preserved, where our family roots are shared, and where our triumphs, tragedies, and laughter will forever live. It’s the place we all count on to be there for us and for those of the future.

During the 1977 dedication of the Village, volunteer and committee member Edward Ehlert asked, “Where do we go from here”? He said that depends on you, your generosity, and your spirit.

You’ve helped make our Manitowoc County Historical Society one of the leading museums in innovation and preservation across Wisconsin, and now it’s our turn, as the next generation, to expand this vibrant museum campus for our future. We’re just starting the conversation on what the future will look like. We know it will include more programs, opportunities for learning and travel, and a re-imagining of what history looks like.

Today, the recreated Pinecrest Village features over 30 structures gathered from throughout Manitowoc County. Our museum campus is divided into 3 theme areas: 

  • Newcomers: Discover life for early immigrants to Wisconsin in the mid to late 1800s

  • Growing Community: Experience life around the year 1900 for a rural Wisconsin town

  • Civic Center: Follow the action of an engaged community, as the Meeme House, Poll House, and Livery Stable are restored to share the story of transforming from a stagecoach stop to boarding house and ballroom.

Click on the structures below to discover our Museum Campus: