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John Cummings, Burley, is the winner!

Clearwater Historical Museum is the answer for Clearwater History Trivia #610, a special feature to celebrate the history and heritage of Clearwater Country. .

Join in the discovery!

Monday: A wide variety of perspectives

Tuesday: A common link

Wednesday: Two locations

Thursday: Pictures

Saturday: Needlework

Monday: Hats

Tuesday: A canoe

Wednesday: Maps

This the description that was on their website:

With an area so rich in history, even before any official records as American expanded westward, it was critical that someone be entrusted with preserving records of this history. That is the primary mission of the Clearwater Historical Society.

The society realized that with the wealth of valuable artifacts and thousands of historic photographs, a location was needed to house these items for future generations. The Clearwater Historical Society secured donations and volunteers to remodel a structure on College Avenue in Orofino. (It had been a photographer's studio and home.)

This was the original location for the Clearwater Historical Museum. It served its purpose for over 50 years. There is now a new museum, a building on Bartlett Street, which affords the museum vastly more space for exhibits.

The walls of the Clearwater Historical Museum are filled with documents and records of historic points in Clearwater River Country history. There are original manuscripts and diaries, written accounts of events during the Corps of Discovery's stop at the Nez Perce Indian village.

Visitors can see a finely preserved pack saddle that was left behind by the Lewis and Clark expedition. There are genealogies for both the pioneering men and women who began to settle the area early in the 19th century, through the tribal leaders from the original Nez Perce Indians.

The museum has one of the most detailed accounts of the logging industry in and around the Clearwater River Basin. Visible photographs of loggers and log drives bring back a fabled period in Clearwater County history.

There is space now available at the new facility for a replica building akin to what was used as a bunkhouse by the Clearwater River loggers. Logging operations were instrumental in the Clearwater River Country for over 50 years.

However, the discovery of gold at various points around the region helped trigger a new wave of pioneers in the mid-19th century. Beginning in the early 1860s, gold seekers flocked to the Clearwater River Basin in hopes of finding wealth in the river and adjacent streams.

It was the gold ventures that brought many pioneers to the Clearwater River Country. Many started a wave of homesteaders that established many of the towns that still exist today. Plats and records of land acquisitions for both gold and timber ventures are preserved at the museum.

Probably the most popular draw to the Clearwater Historical Museum is the preservation of notes, journals and artifacts from William Clark and Meriwether Lewis' stop after their expedition's arduous journey through the Bitterroot Mountains.

There are a number of important events in the history of the Clearwater River Country. However, the fact that the success of one of America's most historic journey may have been saved here is undoubtedly of interest to any American.

The museum brings to life the events that started with William Clark sending a small group from his party down the river to explore. Three young Nez Perce Indians took a message back to their tribe from the starving members of the Corps of Discovery.

The Nez Perce would befriend the weary explorers and probably saved them from starvation. Together the two peoples from different cultures unified to reinvigorate the Corps of Discovery. There are examples of the large canoes the Nez Perce helped to create.

With the help of native people who lived in the area for more than 10,000 years, a journey that would create America's Manifest Destiny was saved. The Clearwater Historical Museum preserves records of many historic events in the area.

However, none are as important as the Lewis and Clark Expedition's time along the Clearwater River. In 2016, members of the historical society realized the space within the current museum was becoming a challenge.

A New Home

As new and exciting artifacts and information were discovered, the original museum at 315 College Avenue in Orofino became cramped for space. Through the dedicated efforts of the Clearwater Historical Society, and a host of volunteers, a new facility was planned.

During the summer of 2019, the new Clearwater Historical Museum was opened at the current location at 433 Bartlett Street. It took over two years of hard work and planning to make the new location become a reality.

While there is now space for new historical arrivals, it also allows visitors the freedom to visit the Clearwater River Country's history in more detail. There is no longer a need to schedule certain exhibits for viewing because of limited space.

After nearly 50 years at the College Avenue location, the new building sits on just over an acre of land behind the Orofino Elementary School. The location is convenient to visitors, but the proximity to the school makes it even more valuable for educational purposes.

Students can walk down the sidewalk to absorb the richness of their community's history. The Clearwater Historical Museum has a vast collection of photographs and location maps for many of the old schoolhouses in the area.

The Clearwater Historical Museum has been dedicated to preserving and documenting the history of the area for over 50 years. They now have a fascinating new facility for the treasures that they are already entrusted, plus new and exciting discoveries coming in the future.

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Window on the Clearwater
P.O. Box 2444
Orofino, ID 83544
Orofino 476 0733
Fax: 208-476-4140