Current Exhibits

Feature Exhibit

Young Man in a Hurry

Before Washington became a full-fledged state of the union, it was a territory with much land unexplored by settlers. 

Isaac Ingalls Stevens, newly appointed as governor of the territory, came west in 1853 from Minnesota with a survey team to plot the transcontinental railroad system.

isaac stevens exhibit

His first stopping place in the territory was right here in Spokane Valley. When you visit the Museum, you learn more about Stevens’ impact on our region’s history and how Antoine Plante contributed to the governor’s exploration.

Isaac Stevens
Our exhibit features an authentic artifact, Stevens’ writing desk on loan from a private collection, and replica items, including his ledger and a coat given to him by the Nez Perce Indians.

Traveling Exhibit

We have a historical fascination with space. Our traveling exhibit, on loan from the Smithsonian Institute takes a peek into the early explorers of the next frontier.

Smithsonian space exhibit
Thought-provoking images — captured by high-tech satellites constantly circling the globe — invite contemplation of conditions and events that are nearly impossible to document on the planet’s surface.

Visit the Museum and fly alongside NASA satellites, watch video from the Mars Curiosity rover and check out images from the Hubble Telescope.

Life in Spokane Valley

Our long-term exhibits give you a picture of life in Spokane Valley, from its early days before settlement and the Gold Rush to more current events. We endeavor to present a narrative history with authentic, historical artifacts, photographs and storyboards. Personal objects donated by friends of the Museum and eyewitness testimonies highlight the stories of life in the early days of Spokane Valley.

Under One Sky, 1800-1890

The Spokane Valley is the ancestral homeland of several Indian tribes,
including the Spokanes and the Coeur d’Alenes.
Pow wows were held in the Valley along the Spokane River, bringing
together the Palouse, Nez Perce and other tribes for annual games,
trading and storytelling. The exhibit features stories of the fur traders,
the missionary priests, Antoine Plante, the Mullan Road and a
200-year-old Nez Perce canoe.

Farming in the Valley

Orchard farming was the chief economic driver in Spokane Valley’s
early years. Without water, however, none of it was possible.
Our farming exhibit highlights the Corbin Irrigration Head Gate
at Post Falls, Idaho. In 1907, the system was composed of 54 miles
of ditch, flume and canals carrying water to apple orchards and truck
farms in Spokane Valley. 

prcjard far,omg

Felts Field

The spotlight shone on Spokane Valley in 1927 when Major
Jack Fancher lobbied air race officials to bring the first stage
of the first Transcontinental Air Derby to Felts Field.

First known as Parkwater Airfield or, more simply, Spokane
Air Port, Felts Field had just been dedicated to the memory of
Spokane Valley resident and aviator Lt. Buell Felts, who died
near the airfield when his plane crashed in May 1927.

Months later in September, 24 planes left Roosevelt Field
in New York, tackling a gruelling 2,357-mile course to Spokane
Valley. Only 16 completed the leg and landed at Felts Field.

Felts Field Spokane Valley

Communications Corner

Technology and transportation are vital to the growth of any urban
center. At one point, there were as many as 11 railroad tracks
cutting through the Spokane Valley. The trains carried passengers
and freight, especially locally grown fruit and other agricultural
products destined for eastern states. Technology developed our
ability to communicate with the world and the Museum has a replica
telephone switchboard for you to investigate.

telecommunications history

Electrifying the Modern Woman

Women in early Spokane Valley days held the family together by keeping
a strong household. The Museum has a room dedicated to their lives
as homemakers and the early technology that helped them. We have a
collection of artifacts such as clothes irons, lamps, kitchenware, toasters
and appliances. We have a special wall dedicated to women central to
Spokane Valley history:

  • May Arkright Hutton, the first woman in Washington State to sit on a
    jury and register to vote in the country
  • Matilda Greenfield Johnson Stegner Narup, who ran the Trent post
  • Stella Schafer Torrey, who operated the Spokane Valley Maternity Home

women history