A group of people interested in preserving the history of Rosendale gathered together at the former Rosendale Village Hall, 208 N. Main St., in the summer of 2000. There appeared to be enough interest to officially form a Historical Society. The State Historical Society was contacted and advised us how to proceed and become a member of the State Society. This was done and became official in the spring of 2001. James & Emajean Westphal loaned the Society a building at 103 S. Main St. for use as a museum. The building was originally a filling station and later became a small home. Volunteers renovated this building and items were collected to furnish it. This remained the Museum until 2013.
Philip & Susan Pinch purchased the former Grange Hall in 2010 and donated it to the Society to be used as a museum. The Grange Hall had been empty for 24 years, primarily serving as a dwelling for a large number of raccoons and rodents. It took over 2 years to renovate the building making it usable for a museum. A fund drive was held to help with the major expenses. Windows were sold for $500 each as memorials or to honor someone. Countless volunteer hours were given to renovate the building. In the spring of 2013, all of the items from the first museum were moved to the larger building. Gathering, sorting and displaying memorabilia relating to Rosendale is ongoing. The Grange building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014.
In 2005, the remaining half acre of the former Sissons Peony Gardens, which contained the original windmill built by Jesse Phillips in 1929, was purchased by James & Emajean Westphal. It was given to the Rosendale Historical Society and they had to restore that portion of the gardens. Many of the original peonies were still growing there through bushes, grass and even trees. These were dug up that fall and planted in cultivated rows. People from the society and area then “adopted” a row to care for during the season. As the original fence had deteriorated, new white picket fence sections were placed around the Garden with people donating sections with chosen names on them. In 2007, Sissons Peony Gardens was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.