Featured Exhibits


Saturday, June 4th – Saturday, August 20th, 2022

Black and white historical photo of 6 people working in an office. There is a gear symbol with the Text The Way We Worked at the left side of the photo. The Smithsonian logo is position at the right side of the photo with the text Additional support provided by the City of Spokane Valley underneath it.

“The Way We Worked,” a Smithsonian Traveling Exhibit, highlights 150 years of American culture in the workforce. Visitors can listen to workers tell their own stories and view videos of various industries. The exhibit has many photographs, text panels, various objects, three videos, and accompanying audio.

The exhibit Includes connections and stories about local businesses that helped build and shape our community.

“The Way We Worked,” an exhibition created by the National Archives, is adapted for travel by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and made possible with the generous support of the United States Congress. Additional support is provided by The City of Spokane Valley.


Painting of a Native American with text "Great Spirit - give me the power not to criticize my enemies until I have walked a mile in his moccasins"

Under One Sky, 1800-1890

The Spokane Valley is the ancestral homeland of several Indian tribes, including the Spokane’s and the Coeur d’Alene’s.
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, and the Mullan Road.

Pineland Washington State Apples sign

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 Irrigation 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.

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.

Vintage General Eclectic aid for Modern Mother who cooks electrically

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 office

– Stella Schafer Torrey, who operated the Spokane Valley Maternity Home