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


Two New Exhibitions at the Museum at Central School – Opening October 26, 5:00pm

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.
The opening reception for this wonderful exhibit will be on Friday, October 26th from 5 to 7 pm at Your Museum. The evening is free and open to the public, museum galleries will be open, refreshments will be served, and a cash bar will be available. This is a unique and exciting exhibition, aesthetically presenting history in an artistic style, and neither the exhibit nor the opening reception are to be missed, so mark your calendar!
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). This exhibit will be up well through the holidays, but with the Atari hooked up and ready to go, October 26 figures to be an exciting day for the Museum in more ways than one. Hope to see you there!

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.

 Historic Film Club

 All are welcome–FREE!
Tuesday, October 30, 7pm – The Hanging Tree (1959)

The casual viewer would have to look long and hard for a movie containing more “western” tropes than does The Hanging Tree – a jilted lover, shootings, stagecoach robberies, the gold rush, a town riot, and yes, the titular oak. Released in 1959, the film stars Gary Cooper, Maria Schell, Karl Malden, and George C. Scott. Although Cooper was undoubtedly the star of the film, Malden and Scott (who made his film debut in The Hanging Tree) would combine their efforts eleven years later in the Academy Award winning war film Patton.


  History Book Club

New day and time, same place and great literary conversations!
Wednesday, November 7, 2:00pm – Astoria: Astor and Jefferson’s Lost Pacific Empire
Peter Stark

In the tradition of The Lost City of Z , Astoria is the thrilling, true-adventure tale of the 1810 Astor Expedition, an epic, now forgotten, three-year journey to forge an American empire on the Pacific Coast. Peter Stark offers a harrowing saga in which a band of explorers battled nature, starvation, and madness to establish the first American settlement in the Pacific Northwest and opened up what would become the Oregon trail, permanently altering the nation’s landscape and its global standing.

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