9th May 2015

Boundary County Museum opens their summer season
with special presentation

Originally published – NewsBF.com – May 13, 2015

The Boundary County Museum kicked off their summer season (and their summer hours) with a big event last Saturday, May 9. Special presentations were made throughout the day.

The museum had several informational activities, including working with a metal lathe, presented by Jim Hubbell, fly tying by Tom Emond, and textiles, with Joan Myers operating a spinning wheel, Deb Ackley on a loom, and Kathy Koenek demonstrating tatting.

Those who stopped by the museum could also jump right into “hands-on” art projects, or learn about blacksmithing. The movie The Fish Between the Falls was shown. This movie, much of which was filmed right her in Boundary County, is about efforts to re-establish sturgeon populations in the Kootenai River.

Also on the agenda: free lunch for all who attended.

Museum staff gave a special photo presentation on the history of Boundary County, beginning with the Kootenai Tribe as the original settlers in the area. As fortune hunters streamed through North Idaho following the discovery of gold in Canada in 1863, Kootenai County, which covered all of the panhandle of Idaho, was formed in 1864.

Among those traveling to Canada to seek their fortunes was Edward L. Bonner and some of his associates. However, as Mr. Bonner passed through what is today Boundary County, he immediately recognized the need, and the business opportunity, for a ferry to help the fortune hunters cross the Kootenai River.

He set up a ferry boat and trading post at the Kootenai River, and over time a village developed, which eventually became known as Bonners Ferry.

The Museum’s history presentation, given by Susan Kemmis and Howard Kent, went on to cover much of the early history of our area, including the establishment of the town of Ockonook (which is Porthill today), Bonners Ferry’s first post office, riverboats plying the Kootenai River, area railroads, logging, and attempts at mining in the area. They also reviewed the periodic floods to the area.

In 1907, a new county was divided away from Kootenai County. This new county was Bonner County, and included what is today both Bonner and Boundary Counties. In 1915, the new Boundary County was created, that being 100 years ago, and the reason our county is celebrating its centennial year now in 2015.

The museum staff also made a presentation on some of the history and culture of the Kootenai Tribe.

Now, with the museum’s summer hours, one can visit on Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. All are invited to stop in and learn more about Boundary County’s heritage.

See many more great NewsBF photos with the article – HERE


Museum opens with special presentation

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