Information on:

Bonner County Historical Society and Museum

611 South Ella Avenue

History of the BCHS

In 1953, the first Museum in this area was established in Room 2 of the Sandpoint High School by Dr. Ethel Page Westwood. It was called the Museum of Natural and Human History and displayed her extensive collection of rocks and fossils along with artifacts that were contributed by local residents.

Within a year, the Museum moved to the annex of the Sandpoint Community Hall and later to the basement of the Sandpoint Library at Second and Poplar Streets. Without a permanent location, the collections suffered damage and there were limitations in how things could be displayed, so the long search for a permanent structure to house the Museum began. Fundraising efforts to build a museum started with the David Thompson Sesquicentennial Commemoration in 1959 which put $550 into the coffers.


Dina Demara

Saturday, May 5, 2018
The museum is small but with lots of interesting objects. There are some sections related to the history of the area (native tribes, Lewis & Clark, railroad, mining, logging) that are permanent with specialty collections that change. The 1930s era kitchen is a favorite. May 2018 new exhibit was curiosities with fascinating displays including taxidermy and circus freaks. The caboose located outside has displays as well.

Ingrid DeTinne

Wednesday, June 13, 2018
I wish we could have stayed longer. My husband and I will call Bonner County home in the future, but the museum exhibits gave us a glimpse of the past. It's such a friendly place, even children were there to enjoy the displays. We didn't get to view the arboretum but will take that in on our next trip.

Matt Mulder

Monday, May 21, 2018
The Bonner County Historical Museum has a few interesting artifacts relating to the history of Bonner County but the majority of their displays are revolving displays that featured different things and I was a little bit disappointed that they didn't actually have more of the Bonner County history at any given time. Ask to get into the Caboose out front though because that's pretty neat.

Lisa Manske

Thursday, May 3, 2018
Wonderful little museum that tells the history of Sandpoint going back to the Kootenai and Kalispel peoples. From a fur trading outpost to a small shanty town, to a booming town with a railroad, Sandpoint has a rich history. There are temporary exhibits, also, that change seasonally. The museum is located in a lovely park with large western red cedars. The Kinnikinnick Native Plant Society maintains an area of native plants with labels that makes for a nice stroll. There is also a caboose under renovation. Overall, a very nice way to spend a morning or afternoon.

Christopher Corpus

Thursday, May 31, 2018
Local history at its finest.

Bonner County Historical Society and Museum is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media