465 Keuterville Road
Cottonwood, ID 83522
$5.00 Adults
$2.00 Students (7-17)
Free (6 and under)
Lyle Wirtanen, Director
phone: 208-962-2051
Mary Cay Henry, Curator
phone: 208-962-2052
Bernice Wessels, Media Technician
phone: 208-962-2053


The museum reflects the history of North Central Idaho as well as the history of the sisters of the Monastery of St. Gertrude. Exhibits pertain to the ranching, logging, mining, farming and settlement of the region, along with a Nez Perce collection. The museum houses 70,000 artifacts with some 12,000 on display. We continue to preserve the past for the future.


Begun in 1931 by Sister Alfreda Elsensohn, the museum is one of the oldest, continuously operating museums in the Northwest. It began with a mineral collection from the U. S. National Museum, today the Smithsonian. Located over the years in three different buildings, the museum is today housed in a modern, climate-controlled facility that protects the artifacts and welcomes visitors to views the exhibits.

Artifacts Collections

  • Along with artifacts representing the original occupants of the region, the Nez Perce, the museum exhibits items relating to the settlement of the region. Some of the exhibits include weapons, ranching, logging, farming, an exquisite Asian & European galle

Research Collections

  • The museum houses a library and maintains an archives collection pertaining to the history of Idaho. A local genealogical library is also available.

Educational Programs

We conduct a regular Fall Lecture Series with free admission. Educators and students are welcomed throughout the year to view and participate in activities and workshops at the museum.


    Idaho Corporation of Benedictine Sisters


    Access: General Public, Students, Scholars, Members

    Appointment required: Yes


    A newsletter, Rediscover, is issued three times a year. A historical journal, Echoes of the Past, is printed two times a year.

    • Rediscover
    • Echoes of the Past


    Wheelchair Accessible