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


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.


Montana Film Festival Roadshow Rolls Back into Town with Wildlife

Friday, January 11, 7pm

We had so much fun hosting the Montana Film Festival the last two years that we have been waiting for a chance to make it three in a row. Well, the wait is finally over! On Friday, January 11th, at 7pm, we will be showing the acclaimed drama Wildlife, set and Great Falls and filmed in Livingston.

14-year-old Joe is the only child of Jeanette and Jerry—a housewife and a golf pro—in a small town in 1960s Montana. Nearby, an uncontrolled forest fire rages close to the Canadian border, and when Jerry loses his job—and his sense of purpose—he decides to join the cause of fighting the fire, leaving his wife and son to fend for themselves. Suddenly forced into the role of an adult, Joe witnesses his mother’s struggle as she tries to keep her head above water.

Actor Paul Dano makes an impressive debut as a filmmaker and—along with co-writer Zoe Kazan—elegantly adapts Richard Ford’s novel of the same name. Carey Mulligan delivers one of her finest performances as a complex woman whose self-determination and self-involvement disrupts the values and expectations of the 1960s nuclear family. With precise details and textures of its specific time and place, Wildlife commits to the viewpoint of a teenage boy observing the gradual dissolution of his parents’ marriage.

As of this writing, this will be your only chance to see this film in Kalispell! If that wasn’t enough, Executive Director of the Montana Institute for the Arts Travis Bruyer, who was involved in the production of Wildlife, will be introducing the film. Tickets are $10, and will only be available at the Museum at Central School. This is a one time only event, and if history is any indication, it will be well-attended, so get here early! Buying tickets in advance at the Museum is also encouraged. Proceeds from ticket sales are split equally between the Montana Film Festival and the Northwest Montana Historical Society. As always, beer, wine, and pop will be available to purchase.


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).


  History Book Club

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2:00pm – Black Elk Speaks
John Neihardt

Black Elk Speaks, the story of the Oglala Lakota visionary and healer Nicholas Black Elk (1863–1950) and his people during momentous twilight years of the nineteenth century, offers readers much more than a precious glimpse of a vanished time and is a classic that crosses multiple genres. Whether appreciated as the poignant tale of a Lakota life, as a history of a Native nation, or as an enduring spiritual testament, Black Elk Speaks is unforgettable.


  Historic Film Club

Free Admission! Free Popcorn!
Wednesday, January 22nd, 7:00pm – Groundhog Day (1993)

Bill Murray plays cold – fronted weatherman Phil Connors in this hilarious cult classic from director and frequent Murray collaborator Harold Ramis. In the film, Phil dreads his occupational annual pilgrimage to a small Pennsylvania town to cover Groundhog Day, feeling it is beneath him. So it is perhaps ironic that Phil gets stuck in an endless time loop, re-living February 2nd in Punxsutawney over and over again, with no idea how to make it stop. The only silver lining is that the repetition gives Phil plenty of time to win the heart of his producer Rita (Andie MacDowell).



Click Here for Winter 2018 Newsletter