Swan Valley Historical Society Museum History in the Upper Swan Valley

Though visitation season has ended for the

summer, the Swan Valley Historical Society museum opens-up to local school groups through autumn for educational field trips. The Swan Valley Museum is a valuable resource for all ages; it is a fun way for both locals and visitors to gain an appreciation for this special corner of Montana. If you have driven by this building on Highway 83 in Condon, and wondered if it’s worth a gander, it is!

With just a quick visit, one can learn a host of facts about Swan Valley history and the surrounding area. Browse the museum, and the restored homesteads of some of the first families to make a go-at living off the land in Montana’s wild frontier. The Swan Valley was well-traveled, and used by Native Americans well-before white homesteaders settled in the valley in the early 1900’s.

Historic Indian trails over mountain passes still exist, offering signs that seasonal hunting and fishing was the way-of life before roads, maps, and logging dotted the Swan Valley.

The Forest Homestead Act of 1906 inspired most of the early Swan Valley settlement that occurred between the years of 1910 and 1930. Some of the earliest built homesteads still exist today, and have been restored and moved to the museum location.

Other homesteads and trapper cabins remain in their original locations. Visiting the Swan Valley Museum reveals the unique history through preserved artifacts, maps, documents, and stories of the yesteryear.

The Swan River and her tributaries are painted on the floor or the museum, offering a sense-of-place that forms the valley corridor.

The Upper Swan Valley Historical Society is operated solely by volunteers who are passionate about their mission of “preserving and promoting the cultural heritage of the Swan Valley.”

Their enthusiasm is evident through a beautifully laid-out museum, several homestead preservation efforts, and the community events which are organized through-out summer months.

Check the May 2018 issue of the Bigfork Beagle for the Swan Valley

Museum summer calendar of events. Submit your big-fish stories We are accepting content and local stories from the Swan Valley, to be published in the Bigfork Beagle.

“Big fish” stories of an unbelievable or extraordinary nature are gratefully accepted. Please submit your quote, story pitch, or photo to katie@swanmountainoutfitters.com

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