Step Into History

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

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

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

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

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

Contains many Nez Perce artifacts, early mining exhibits, and other early Idaho history.

Historical Museum at St. Gertrude
327 E. Second St., Cottonwood, ID

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.

Latah County Historical Museum
327 E. Second St., Moscow, ID

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

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

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)

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

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.

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.