NEZPERCE MUSEUM & HISTORICAL SOCIETY
The Nezperce Historical Society was formed to preserve and promote the history of the Nezperce Prairie through artifacts, photographs, family histories, memorabilia and Lewis County Records; to educate the youth of today, to commemorate the pioneers of yesterday and to honor the members of this community. To do that they are collecting, documenting, conserving and making accessible to the public information, artifacts and education programs which interpret Nezperce’s cultural past, present and future.
The Nezperce Museum building was built by the Masonic Lodge in 1954. It served the Masons for many years. In 1991, it was sold to the City of Nezperce and turned over to the Nezperce Centennial Committee, which opened it to the public in 1995. It was used as a designated Visitor Center to house antiques donated or loaned to be put on display for public view.
In 2009, a group of ladies took on the challenge to organize, arrange and label the many archival items. The group was incorporated in 2010 and are the custodians and caretakers of the renamed Nezperce Museum.
Many improvements have been made to the building and surrounding area. A French drain tile has been installed, lower level windows removed to stop leaks and the outside was recently painted. Outdoor exhibits have been added – a blacksmith shop (complete with tools of the trade), outdoor privy and soon, the old jail house will be moved in and added to the outdoor exhibits. With the aid of a computer and programs, the group is now able to keep track of all donations and/or loans to the Museum. Inside, new displays are being put together, a genealogy center, kitchen area, general store area and many other areas. More improvements are scheduled as soon as monies allow.
The Museum currently isn’t open any set days other than during Prairie Day (second Saturday in July) and Lewis County Fair (last weekend in September). Dates of both of these events will be posted on the City of Nezperce web site. The Museum is closed during the winter months.
Appointments to view the Museum can be made by calling Rhonda Schmidt at City Hall, Monday through Thursday, at 208-937-1021 or Sue Justesen at 208-680-8745.
If you would like to make a donation to the Nezperce Museum, it can be mailed to: Nezperce Historical Society, PO Box 117, Nezperce, ID 83543.
The Museum is seeking new members. Contact Rhonda or Sue if interested.