Discover Merrill's History

Explore the rich heritage of Merrill through our historical exhibits and artifacts.

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Click on Stanley Rahlf above to see if you have any family photo negatives at the Historical Society from 1952.

Thursday, July 25th - 4 to 6 PM, at the Cosmo Event Center a Program by Filmstudio Bendestorf, Germany

blue and white striped round textile
blue and white striped round textile

On Thursday, July 25th Board Members of Filmmuseum Bendestorf will be visiting Merrill and giving a presentation about the history of Studio Bendestorf, German film, and local filmmaker Bill Rebane’s role in getting American film producers to make their movies in Germany.

In 1947, after World War II ended, Studio Bendestorf was one of the first film studios to start making movies again. In the 1960s and 70s, Bill Rebane was the US representative for the studio and helped convince such film makers of Dollars (1971) starring Goldie Hawn and Warren Beatty, How I Won the War (1967) starring John Lennon, and The Odessa File (1974) starring Jon Voight to take advantage of Studio Bendestorf’s facilities.

The studio closed in 2005, but a wing of the building has been preserved and now houses Filmmuseum Bendestorf. A museum dedicated to preserving the history of not only Studio Bendestorf but all German film.

TICKETS ARE $5 AND CAN BE PURCHASED AT THE MERRILL HISTORICAL SOCIETY, 100 E Third Street, Merrill or by phone 715-536-5652.

Contact the Merrill Museum at 715-536-5652 for more details and join us for this rare opportunity to learn more about German film and Merrill’s connection to it.

About Us

Merrill Historical Society & Museum has been preserving the town's history since 1978. We are dedicated to showcasing the stories, culture, and traditions that make Merrill unique.

Please call ahead to find out if we have resources that will help in your family or home research, or just local history.

Resources you will find at the Merrill Historical Society...

  • High School Yearbooks 1901 through 2020

  • Rural Schools of Lincoln County - pictures and history

  • City Directories from 1893

  • Mike Weckwerth's Logging Notes 1891-1945

  • Early Plat Books and Maps of Lincoln County

  • Merrill City Appraisers records from 1970

  • Assorted Abstracts from Lincoln County

  • Various Family Histories of Merrill's Families

  • Photographs and history on local businesses, farming, churches, logging and sawmills, scrapbooks and minutes from local organizations, Merrill and Lincoln County histories, Military records of local residents, various obituaries, vital statistics from 1949-1959, various home histories, George Gilkey's notes of Merrill.

These are a few of the tools that were used to craft the Pinery Exhibit. Come and discover the story of Scott Mansion, or learn about Bill Rebane's film career and view one of the movie props from the Giant Spider film. Take a trip down memory lane with the Remember When exhibit, bone up on local politics with some local political background, see the vintage fishing equipment, including an outdoor boat motor collection, or some of the fun kitchen items that your mother and grandmother may have used. Discover how design and art played a part in pocket watch holders from a private collection currently on loan.

Happy Visitors

The Merrill Historical Society & Museum is a hidden gem. I learned so much about the town's history and the exhibits were fascinating.

Contact Us

Have questions or want to learn more? Get in touch with us!


**Please call if the weather is bad to verify we are open (715-536-5652).

Summer Hours

OPEN Monday - Friday from 9 am to 1 pm
*We are happy to accommodate other times and days by appointment for research or visits to the museum, please call or email.

Someone is generally in the office until 5 pm Monday through Friday.