Step Into History

March 13, 2019

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.
Interesting Tidbit:
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.

Asotin County Historical Society Museum 215 Filmore, Asotin, WA 509.243.4659
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.
Appaloosa Museum 2720 W. Pullman Rd., Moscow, ID 208.882.5578
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.
Canoe Camp 4 miles west of Orofino on Hwy 12 208.843.7009
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.
Clearwater County Historical Museum 315 College Ave., Orofino, ID 208.476.5033
Contains artifacts from Lewis and Clark, the Nez Perce Tribe, the Idaho gold rush era, and pioneer days.
Grangeville's Bicentennial Historical Museum 305 North College Ave., Grangeville ID 208.983.2104
Contains many Nez Perce artifacts, early mining exhibits, and other early Idaho history.
Historical Museum at St. Gertrude 327 E. Second St., Cottonwood, ID 208.882.1004
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 208.464.2814
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 208.935.2290
See bones from a mammoth skeleton found near Kamiah. Adjacent to the Kamiah Welcome Center on Main Street.
Latah County Historical Museum 327 E. Second St., Moscow, ID 208.882.1004
Located in a former Governor’s mansion, the McConnell House features period rooms and changing exhibits on Latah County history.
LCSC Center for Arts & History 415 Main St., Lewiston, ID 208.792.2243
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.
Lewis-Clark Discovery Center 5100 Hells Gate Rd., Lewiston, ID 208.799.5015
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.
Nez Perce National Historical Park Visitor Center Spalding, ID, 10 Miles East of Lewiston (Hwy 95) 208.843.7001
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.
Nez Perce County Historical Society Museum 0306 Third Street, Lewiston, Idaho 83501 208.743.2535
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 208.435.4200
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.
Nez Perce Tourism
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.


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