Pend Oreille County Museum402 S Washington Ave, Newport, WA 99156
About Us: For thousands of years, the Kalispel Indians fished, hunted, and gathered along the Pend Oreille River. David Thomspon explored along the river in 1809. Fur traders and missionaries came next. Then came prospectors looking for gold. Homesteaders followed hoping to make farms. People traveled by horseback. Towns were started. Then steamboats carried people and goods up and down the river. Railroads came next. The larger trees were cut down and sold to sawmills for timber. Towns built churches, stores and schools. There were floods that covered the tops of buildings and large forest fires. Dams were built on the river. Power plants made electricity for the towns. The Pend Oreille County Museum is operated and maintained by the Pend Oreille County Historical Society, Inc. an all volunteer, privately funded, nonprofit organization. The museum complex consists of the historic I. & W. N. Depot building built in 1908 which houses the gift shop and displays on the first and second floors. The adjoining Stuart B. Bradley Memorial Building, built with private funds, was dedicated in 1994. The upstairs houses various displays including a military display, the research department, and library. Downstairs is the meeting room, storage, office, and dark room. Also on the grounds are three log cabins, all of which were taken apart at their original locations, logs numbered, and then reconstructed on the museum grounds. They are the Claire Howe Schoolhouse, the Settler's Cabin, and the Hunter's Cabin. The Society also has a replica of a fire lookout constructed using Forest Service blueprints. The equipment shed has numerous displays of tools, farm machinery, a washing machine display, and a logging camp bunkhouse replica. The main exhibit in our railroad display is a Burlington Northern metal caboose. Large farm machinery is located on the grounds. The museum grounds are adjacent to Centennial Plaza where The Big Wheel, a Reynolds Corliss Engine, can be seen from the street. The engine was built in 1909 and ceased operation in 1964. It had powered the various mills that operated in the same location over the years. The Diamond Lumber Corporation donated the wheel to the City of Newport in 1964 and the City recently donated it to the Historical Society. The Society also maintains the two story log Lindsey House on the County Fairgrounds at Cusick, Washington. The House was dismantled and moved from Skookum Creek and re-erected on the Fairgrounds. It is fully furnished and is open for visitors during Pioneer Weekend in July and the Pend Oreille County Fair in late summer.