Where History Happens Every Day!
The Museum is housed in the historic Central School building, which first opened its doors in 1894. In nearly 100 years of serving the educational needs of the Flathead Valley, Central School had been a high school, a junior high school, a grade school, and housed classrooms for Flathead Valley Community College.
Today Central School carries on its educational tradition as a museum preserving and presenting local history.
Currently at the Museum
Then and Now Exhibit
Through Fall 2018
Everywhere we look, we can’t help but see how the world has evolved, and is evolving still. Even our household goods, the things we use regularly in our everyday life, sometimes bear little resemblance to the earlier versions of “things” meant to serve the same purpose. Over a century after the end of the Industrial Revolution, common items are made and used more abundantly and more efficiently than ever before. And yet, even though today’s goods are more available and more affordable, there is little doubt that this widespread availability has brought with it certain sacrifices.
Where as in the past something old may have been fixed and repaired whenever possible, and passed down to future generations, it is now more common to simply discard and replace. Human beings have certainly adopted a mass-produced lifestyle, but not without the cost of a do-it-yourself mentality, an entrepreneurial spirit, a reliance on community partnerships, and a willingness to adapt. So please join us on this journey as we explore the roots of some of the most common items we use in our day-to-day lives. And as our society continues to grow, even some of the modern objects we carry with us at this very moment may eventually be bound for the halls of a museum such as this one.
“James R. Bakke: True Montana Artist”
October 11th through September 2018
James R. Bakke: True Montana Artist**” contains over seventy five photographic images from the longtime-Flathead artist, some of which are being publicly displayed for the first time. Curated by Kalispell master photographer Bret Bouda, this exhibition portrays numerous subjects in the Flathead’s past, from farm life to industry to Glacier National Park, highlighting just how much the region has changed in a relatively short amount of time.
Better known as a painter, James Bakke was also a gifted photographer, capturing important moments in twentieth century history and breathtaking natural beauty. Although it can easily stand on its own, Bakke initially used his photography as a model for his paintwork, and we are very pleased to have some of his paintings on loan from the Stumptown Historical Society for this exhibition. We are excited to have the opportunity to show Bakke’s photography and paintings side by side, illuminating the artistic process and Bakke’s mastery of his craft.
Historic Film Club
All are welcome–FREE!
Tuesday, April 24th, 7pm – Twelve Angry Men (1957)
In this seminal courtroom drama, things are initially looking very bad for the accused: only one person (Henry Fonda) in the 12 person jury panel believes in the defendant’s innocence. However, as the jury deliberates, each member of the panel begins to poke holes in the case, and one by one each considers changing their initial opinion, some quicker and less confrontational than others. Twelve Angry Men is a master class in filmmaking minimalism: 93 minutes of the 96 minute runtime is filmed in a single set; only two characters are named, and only in the final scene of the film; and the entire filming budget was around $3,000,000 in 2018 dollars.
Film screenings are free, with free popcorn! Wine, beer, pop & water available for sale. Donations welcome to defer cost of program.
History Book Club
Thursday, May 10, 6:30pm
Nothing Like It In the World
Eminent historian Stephan Ambrose, the author of Citizen Soldiers and Undaunted Courage, chronicles the race to finish the transcontinental railroad in the 1860s and the exploits, sacrifices, triumphs, and tragedies of the individuals who made it happen. Drawing on primary sources, Ambrose celebrates the railroad’s unsung heroes – the men who actually did the backbreaking work.