The Museum was erected in 1887 as a General Store for Fechtel-Hilkemeyer until sold by Miss Alice Fechtel to the Society for use as the museum, in 1973. A millinery shop was formerly housed on the upper floor. The large walnut double-glass door showcase, with large lower drawers (now to the rear of the museum) was used to display hats. The one-story addition on the west side was built for A.L. Hilkemeyer for use as a chicken hatchery (1930s) and later leased to the local Knights of Columbus Council, until they erected their first hall at the corner of Maries Avenue and Linn Street.
In 2016, the log cabin of Gerhard Schauwecker was moved to the museum grounds.
St. Joseph Church in Westphalia, MO was placed on the National Register of Historic Sites April, 1972. The cornerstone was laid March 18, 1848 and the bell tower added in 1883. Four bells were cast by J.C. Stuckstedde & Bros. of St. Louis - the largest 3'9" x 4'11" wide at the base. They were dedicated on Pentecost Sunday 1883 - donors were George & Elizabeth Castrop, Louis Dohmen, Casper and Louisa Fechtel, Charles and Regina Holtschneider, John Hundepohl, John & Mary Luebbert, Bernard and Johanna Melies, Joseph Morfeld, Herman and Anna Stuckenschneider, Conrad and Louise Verhoff and Conrad and Angela Werner. The second, third and fourth bells are progressively smaller, the last being 2'2" by 2'10". Donors of the second: Anton & Elizabeth Bartmann, Henry Brentrup, Stephen & Mary Johannesmeyer, Anton & Theresa Morfeld, Martin & Elizabeth Morfeld. Donors of the third bell: Christ & Theresa Hoer, his mother Mary Hoer, and their children Martin, Anna, Henry and Johanna, Donors of the fourth, John & Elizabeth Radamacher and their children, Mary, William, Peter, Henry, Anna, Elizabeth and John.
After 45 years under direction of the Jesuits from the St. Louis Province, the parish in 1883 was placed in the hands of its first secular pastor, Anton F. Diepenbrock who was here until his death in May, 1923.
In 1905 the main body of the church was enlarged with the addition of the clerestory. Stained glass windows, made by the Emil Frei Co. of St. Louis (the company is still in business in St. Louis County as of 2004) and installed. They were donated by parishioners.
Rock used in construction is dolomite (natively called "cottonstone" because of its texture) as opposed to the limestone on the wall fronting the church property, which was laid by the Eichholz Brothers, local stonemasons.