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


Book Signing and Presentation with Local Author John Fraley

Thursday, November 15th, 7pm

Author John Fraley will give a behind-the-scenes look at the making of his latest book, Rangers, Trappers, and Trailblazers: Early Adventures in Montana’s Bob Marshall Wilderness and Glacier National Park on Thursday, November 15 at 7 p.m. at the Museum at Central School in Kalispell.

The presentation will go into detail on a love-triangle and shoot out, and cover the full story of the Nyack train crash disaster and the restless souls that remain.

North Fork lore-masters Larry Wilson and Lee Downes as well as Middle Fork Pioneer John Schurr will be on hand. Larry will play some cylinder records on an old, shot-up player from one of the North Fork stories.

This will be a fundraiser for the museum and the author will be available early to sign books.


BZN Film Festival Rodeo at The Museum features American Indian Documentary Mankiller 

Wednesday, November 14th, 7pm

This is the story of an American hero. One who stands tall amongst the likes of Robert Kennedy, Harriet Tubman and Martin Luther King, Jr. Someone who humbly defied the odds and overcame insurmountable obstacles to fight injustice and gave a voice to the voiceless. And yet few people know her name. This is the story of an American legend, Wilma Mankiller, who overcame rampant sexism and personal challenges to emerge as the Cherokee Nation’s first woman Principal Chief in 1985.

This very special showing is free and open to the public. In addition to the feature film Mankiller, the BZN Rodeo will also include and be showing three award-winning shorts. The mission of the BZN Film Festival is highlight films that make positive impacts on audiences. The Festival spotlights women filmmakers, directors, actors and producers who understand that film is a powerful medium to convey their dreams and passions—and who are ready to take the helm, pioneering projects to change current statistics and elevate women’s visions and voices.



Christmas Trolley Tours of Kalispell’s Historic East Side!

Monday through Wednesday, December 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, and 19, 5:00pm

The “Can’t Miss” event of the holiday season! The Museum at Central School is partnering with the Montana Trolley Company to offer interpretive trolley tours of Kalispell’s east side neighborhood. A museum representative will be aboard to provide historic interpretation and context as you cruse past some of Kalispell’s oldest dwellings. Because the homes will be appropriately decked out in lights and tinsel for the season, this program will prove to be as informative as it is beautiful. New for this season, each group will be treated to a tour of the grand and elegant Keith House on Fifth Avenue East. Each trolley tour only seats 25 people, so space is limited!

Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for children under 12 and are available only at the Museum at Central School. The trolley will depart the museum at 5:30, but we invite and ask all passengers to arrive early for refreshments and to check out the Christmas decorations at the Museum. Refreshments are also allowed in the trolley itself. The trolley is heated, but we recommend dressing for cold weather.


Two New Exhibitions at the Museum at Central School

October 26th through Spring

For the next half year or so, Your Museum will be home to a brand new exhibition from talented local artist Crystal Johnson. The exhibition, entitled Glacier Going Back: A Retrospective of People in the Park, is being shown for the first time at the Museum at Central School and offers something for everyone, utilizing multiple mediums to frame a time and place of local and national significance.
Of all her interests as an artist, Crystal most enjoys painting from life, and with Glacier Going Back incorporated that skill into depicting a life long past, but a life still incredibly important in the cultural history of the Park. Primarily painting from historic photos as references, the artist’s work blends the historic importance of the subjects with the colors, textures, and styles that only a gifted painter can achieve. Crystal’s motivation with this exhibit was to introduce the photographs and the stories behind them to a brand new audience and in a brand new light: it is clear from the images at right, as well as all 16 featured in the exhibit, that she has succeeded.

But wait, there’s more! At the very same time as Glacier Going Back, Your Museum is proud to debut Toy Stories: Toys of the Past and Other Fun Objects from the Collection of the Northwest Montana Historical Society. Just in time for the Christmas season, this exhibit features all manner of fun and games from over the decades, making even the biggest curmudgeon among us feel like a kid on Christmas morning. Everyone will have the chance to check out toys from the past and hopefully have some fun as well at the exhibit’s hands-on table (don’t worry, no age limits on the hands-on table).


 Historic Film Club

 All are welcome–FREE!
Tuesday, November 27, 7pm – Grumpy Old Men (1993)

Retirees John and Max (Lemmon and Matthau) are lifelong friends and rivals, either arguing seemingly just to pass the time, or else trying to one-up each other in their favorite hobby – ice fishing. This dynamic gets pushed into overdrive with the arrival in town of Ariel Truax (Ann-Margret), a beautiful (and single) college professor. As both men vie for her attention, they are forced to answer difficult questions about their families, their personal history, and the nature of their friendship.

The film’s writer and native Minnesotan Mark Steven Johnson based the characters partially on his own grandfather, with both Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau in mind for the two leading roles. Once Jack Lemmon joined the project, he had to convince Walter Matthau to accept the role of “Max” for the pair’s sixth feature film collaboration, as Matthau originally disliked the screenplay. Director Donald Petrie suggested Sophia Loren to play “Ariel”, and although Ann-Margret was ultimately cast in the role, Loren later joined the principal cast for the 1995 sequel, Grumpier Old Men.


  History Book Club

New day and time, same place and great literary conversations!
Wednesday, December 5, 2:00pm – News of the World
Paulette Jiles

In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa tribe back to her people. This exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction from author Paulette Jiles explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.


Quilting Club and Classes

The Museum at Central School is once again pleased to see the annual return of our quilting club! The club is free and open to the public. Beginning on Wednesday, September 5th, the club will meet every other Wednesday through November from 1 to 4 pm at Your Museum.
Anybody interested can attend any or all weeks at no charge. Participants can be complete beginners or experienced quilters looking to learn tips and new skills for projects, or looking for fellowship with fellow quilters. Fabric swatches and some tools are provided, although participants should feel free to bring scissors, straight pins, and anything else they would like to use.
The club and workshop is led by local quilter and Museum volunteer Betty Jo Malone. Any questions can be directed to Betty Jo at 406-755-6323.


Click Here for Fall 2018 Newsletter