A new era has begun for preserving Clearwater Country history!

A new era has begun for preserving the history and heritage of Clearwater Country as the frame and trusses go up for the new Clearwater Historical Museum off Bartlett above Orofino Elementary School.

Clearwater Country is a place where history lives around almost every corner from the Nez Perce Tribe sites to downtown buildings that have stood for a hundred years and the Clearwater Historical Society is working to construct a place where more of that history can be preserved and shared.

For years, people have visited the museum on College Avenue in Orofino and checked out the displays, photos, artifacts and information, but the space has grown too small to share many of the artifacts and items that have been donated and preserved. Some are in the basement and others in storage at other locations. The new museum offers more space, both inside and out.

Everyone can be a part of the effort to build the new 3,000 square foot museum with the space and outdoor display area to highlight the history and heritage of this area. The immediate goal is to get the structure of the museum enclosed and weatherproof for the winter. To reach that goal, another $20,000 in donations is needed. Donations can be made on the web site at: http://www.clearwatermuseum.org/fundraising.html, to their account at Lewis-Clark Credit Union or by sending a check to Goffinet and Clack, Chartered, P.O. Box 629, Orofino, ID 83544.

At a kick-off this spring, Janet Montambo issued a challenge to individuals to match her $100 donation and Lonnie Simpson of Debco challenged businesses to match their company’s $5,000 pledge. There have been many large and small donations to move the project along to this point.

There have also been cost savings since the trees growing on the site have been cut and milled on site for materials and Dale Cox donated trees from his property for the posts to hold the covered porch.

Clearwater Historical Society President Nick Albers said a dollar value cannot be put on the time and expertise of local contractor Rick Burnham of Riverview Construction who has been coordinating the project. The Precision Construction crew has also moved the work along with their skill and expertise.

They are also asking for help collecting historical photos of Clearwater County and particularly at this time photos of the area around the new museum. Many people may not know that at one time there was a cement plant on the upper field behind OES and the cement building that is against the hill was a part of it. The building will be part of the historic blacksmith shop display with the new museum.

Become a part of preserving the history and heritage of Clearwater Country, <a href="http://www.clearwatermuseum.org/fundraising.html">donate today</a>.

 New Clearwater Historical Museum building trusses going up

New Clearwater Historical Museum building is going up

Placing beams for the covered porch area of New Clearwater Historical Museum

Monthly meetings of the Clearwater Historical Society will resume in October following their annual Ice Cream Social during the Clearwater County Fair and Orofino Lumberjack Days.

The Clearwater Historical Museum is currently closed for inventory. It will reopen May 2.

For further information about the museum and society, please see their web site at: http://www.clearwatermuseum.org or their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/clearwaterhistoricalmuseum/.

Rebekahs, Maize Daniels, Jean White and Bernice Pullen will speak at the Clearwater Historical Society meeting Tuesday, Feb. 14, about the IOOF Building’s history and restoration plans

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Avista Auditorium, 1051 Michigan Ave. in Orofino.

The women will speak about the history of the Odd Fellows Building, some of the businesses that have been housed there and plans for the building’s restoration.

Refreshments will be served. The community is invited and encouraged to attend.

IOOF Building in about 1905

IOOF Building in 2009

One of the businesses that was in the building. (Photos courtesy of Clearwater Historical Museum)

Terri Hudson to discuss family, cultural heritage with Clearwater Historical Society

Terri Hudson, who grew up in the Ahsahka Band of Nez Perce, will be the speaker at the Clearwater Historical Society meeting Tuesday, Jan. 10, and the community is invited.

Hudson will discuss family heritage and culture. Her mother, Carmelita ‘Carmen’ Keller, was an elder speaker for the Nez Perce language classes at the Te Wee Puu Center, until her passing.

This is the first presentation of 2017 and will be held in the Avista Auditorium, 1051 Michigan Ave. at 7 p.m. Refreshments will be served.


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