A special ﬂare for art and culture add yet another spice to the mix in North Central Idaho. Year round, one can indulge in many unique and specialized events in our region. Museums provide insight into how this area was originally home to the Nez Perce Tribe long before the miners and explorers came.
According to tribal legend, Nimiipuu, “the people,” were created in north central Idaho at the dawn of time. There is evidence dating back more than 11,000 years of Nez Perce inhabiting the regions surrounding the Clearwater and Snake River valleys.
The Nez Perce people are credited for saving the lives of the Corps of Discovery explorers who entered their camp near starvation. Without the food and shelter provided by the Nimiipuu villagers, the Lewis & Clark expedition may have had a tragic ending.
Features hands-on displays emphasizing the region’s pioneer period. Highlights include a Mastodon elephant tusk over 10,000 years old, 1880s sheepherder’s cabin, pioneer home, old time barbershop, and a one-room schoolhouse. Square-nail construction and complete details reﬂect its original look.
Celebrate the history of Idaho’s state horse with displays of Western art, saddles, Indian artifacts, and a hands-on children’s area. Explore the evolution of the breed and its importance to Native American and western cultures.
At this site the Lewis and Clark Expedition, aided by the Nez Perce, built ﬁve canoes in September 1805. Here the ill and hungry men of the Lewis and Clark expedition hewed and burned out the "Holler" of the ﬁve canoes which were to carry them on to the Paciﬁ c. From September 26 to October 7, 1805, the explorers camped at this point. They had used packhorses in crossing the mountain trails from the upper Missouri; here they returned to river travel, caching their saddles and gear and leaving their horses to be wintered with the friendly Nez Perce.
4 miles west of Oroﬁno on Hwy 12
Contains artifacts from Lewis and Clark, the Nez Perce Tribe, the Idaho gold rush era, and pioneer days.
Contains many Nez Perce artifacts, early mining exhibits, and other early Idaho history.
Houses a unique collection of over 70,000 artifacts which reﬂect the early history of the region. Highlights include the Rhoades Emmanuel Memorial and an extraordinary collection of ﬁne Asian and European art. Visit the Monastery of St. Gertrude, just up the road from the Historical Museum. It is home to over 60 Benedictine Sisters. The chapel is on the National Register of Historic Places and is the only part of the monastery open to the public for self-guided tours.
J. Howard Bradbury Memorial Logging Museum
103 S. Main St., Pierce, ID
Contains a wide assortment of historical mining and logging artifacts. Also visit the ﬁrst government building in Idaho, the Shoshone County Courthouse, located behind the Logging Museum.
Kamiah Valley Historical Museum
518 Main St., Kamiah, ID
See bones from a mammoth skeleton found near Kamiah. Adjacent to the Kamiah Welcome Center on Main Street.
Located in a former Governor’s mansion, the McConnell House features period rooms and changing exhibits on Latah County history.
Houses the Beuk Aie Temple and other Chinese artifacts while telling the story of thousands of Chinese miners who were located here in the 1860s. The gallery rotates exhibits of visual art works, showcasing the talents of regional, national, and international artists.
Has interpretive displays including an Indian tepee, dugout canoe, and salmon stream. Enjoy a 30-minute video, Lewis & Clark: From the Mountains to the Sea, shown every day on the hour starting at 9 am.
In the Center’s museum, view clothing and daily objects reﬂecting traditional Nez Perce ways of life, and a ribbon given to a tribal member by the Lewis and Clark Expedition. A picnic area, arboretum, and the historic Spalding townsite are a short distance from the Center.
Preserves 150 years of the county’s rich history through a historical campus that includes museum exhibits, historic photograph collection, archives, research library, and a beautiful historic house and Trolley Car 8.
The Weippe Hilltop Heritage Museum
617 N Main St, Weippe, ID 83553
Has displays of the old Weippe High School, veterans display honoring local heroes, displays of old-time businesses, and mining and lumber industry displays. Elwin Hutchins' portable sawmill is a permanent ﬁxture in the museum in Elwin’s honor.
White Bird Battlefield
85 Miles South of Lewiston, ID on Hwy 95
The ﬁrst battle of the Nez Perce War was fought here June 17, 1877. When soldiers arrived in the area, they ﬁ red upon Nez Perce, who were waving a white ﬂag of peace, beginning the ﬁght. Thirty- four soldiers were killed while the Nez Perce lost none. There is an interpretive shelter along Hwy 95 that overlooks the battleﬁ eld and explains the sequence of events that day.
Offering the only tours created to connect you to Nimiipuu culture through interactive storytelling, song, drum and dance. Nez Perce Tourism offers land and water journeys. These excursions will give you insight into the Nimiipuu way of life.