Formerly the Ravalli County Courthouse, the Ravalli County Museum is located in Hamilton, Montana. The courthouse was built by A.J. Gibson in 1900 and saved from a wrecking ball by popular vote in 1979. More than 100 years after the building was constructed, it is still the hub of the Bitterroot Valley’s heritage, history, and civic and community activity.
The Bitter Root Valley Historical Society runs the Ravalli County Museum. Alongside the Board of Directors and a wealth of volunteers, their mission is to keep Bitterroot Valley history alive.
The museum has a total of nine exhibit galleries. Six of those galleries are unique permanent collections including a display illustrating the historic encounter between the Salish tribe and Lewis and Clark just before they crossed the Continental Divide in 1805. Additionally, the permanent collections also feature agricultural artifacts, old maps, dioramas, and murals of the landscape of Darby, Conner, Sula, and Hamilton as it looked in the 1900’s, and a natural history exhibit displaying wildlife from Western Montana and a variety of fly fishing ties dating back to the 1920’s,
Aside from the permanent and rotating exhibits, the museum also serves as host to a number of community-oriented events. The Hamilton Farmer’s Market takes place Saturday mornings through October while McIntosh Apple Day, Cider Night, an Afternoon of Cowboy Music and Poetry, and Bitter Root Day occur annually.
For more detailed information about visiting the Ravalli County Museum, about exhibits and events, or to find out how you can support one of the greatest little museums in the northwest, visit the museum’s website: www.ravallimuseum.org