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


16th Annual John White Lecture Series – Tickets now Available!

Sixteen years ago, who would have thought that our humble John White lecture series would not only still be going strong, but would be the highlight of the winter for many of our members and supporters? Over 60 presentations later, we are once again proud to kick of the new year with another wonderful slate of programs, with topics ranging from zoology to living history. Leading off this year on January 14 will be Montana Historical Society’s Ellen Baumler, who is making her second consecutive appearance in the John White series! Dr. Baumler will be presenting on The Chinese in Montana: Our Forgotten Pioneers, who at one point made up nearly 10% of the state’s population.

Next on the docket on January 28, FVCC’s own Bill Rossiter will be delivering his folk music performance Home, Home on the Ranch, which promises to be an enjoyable and authentic take on the setbacks and triumphs of Western pioneers and homesteaders. February 11 brings a visit from Glacier National Park Biologist Lisa Bate, who will be presenting her ever-popular What is a Sea Duck Doing in Glacier?, about Bate’s dedicated work in GNP and the Harlequin Duck’s success in the Montana high country as well as the struggles faced by the species.

Last but certainly not least, back by popular demand, Mary Jane Bradbury will be making her fourth consecutive appearance in the John White Series with her living history presentation Martha and Me: Reflections of Dora DuFran about the Real Life of Calamity Jane on February 25.

All programs are Sunday at 2:30. Tickets for the series or individual presentations are on sale at Your Museum. Tickets are $9 per day, or $30 for the entire Series. Members receive substantial discounts of $6 per lecture and only $20 for all four. Call 406-756-8381 for more information.


 “James R. Bakke: True Montana Artist”

October 11th through mid-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.

School Bell Gift Shop

Unique, one-of-a-kind holiday gift ideas, mostly made in Montana.  Proceeds benefit the Museum.  Largest selection of books on Montana history and culture in Northwest Montana, near 300 titles.

 Historic Film Club

 All are welcome–FREE!
Tuesday January 30, 7pm – “Downhill Racer” (1969) 

Despite his arrogance, downhill skier David Chappellet (Robert Redford) is one of the United States’ best bets for Olympic gold. Because of his natural talent, Chappal-let becomes a fan-favorite, even though his selfish nature has him clashing with those around him, including USA coach Eugene Claire (Gene Hackman). Even if Chap-pellet achieves his victory, he will find himself winning in the same manner that he lived his life – alone.


 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, January 11, 6:30 PM  – Wild Bunch Women by Michael Rutter

Explore the lives of the pistol-packing, hell-raising, high-spirited gals who traveled with Butch Cassidy’s notorious Wild Bunch gang. Wild Bunch Women tells the stories of the dynamic women who rode the outlaw trail. This is a non-fiction account of the women that not only made the Wild Bunch’s feats of derring-do possible, but also forged their own legends in the tumultuous American West.