Upper Swan Valley Historical Society

Calling All Crafters and Artisans

Selish-Ql'ispe Place Names Map

Next Exit History

Items below are available for purchase! See our Projects page for details.

Swan Valley Museum hours:

Open by Appointment.
Call (406) 754-2745 or (406) 754-2238
or Contact Us

The Gathering Place: Swan Valley’s Gordon Ranch


- OCT. 19th, 1 pm 

Annual Meeting & Raffle
Book Signing at the Museum
See details →

The Upper Swan Valley Historical Society (USVHS), established in 1988, is dedicated to the discovery, collection, preservation and interpretation of materials that will help establish and illustrate our local history.


The upper Swan Valley area is unique in that it still retains a plethora of evidence of its varied history. There still exist old Indian trails crisscrossing our mountains. Old trapper cabins and marten notched trees are still around on the landscape. This area was homesteaded and settled at a relatively late date, primarily from the mid-1910's and later, with many artifacts and buildings of that particular era still in existence. Early Forest Service ranger station buildings and cabins are still here. Springboard notched trees and sawmill sites from the early logging days are scattered around the valley.

Photo of Swan Peak by Steve Ellis

USVHS receives Seeley Lake Community Foundation "Change Your Pace Challenge" donation. Thanks to all who helped make this possible!

Highlights from our Aug. 5th Homestead Tour!

- DEC. 2nd, 10 am - 3 pm

Frostbite Festival Holiday Bazaar and Bake Sale
At Swan Valley School

Fox family haying in Swan Valley.
​Dee Morton photo.

Wranglers, Dudes and Homesteaders: Stories from Montana's Swan Valley Lodges
Lindbergh Lake Lodge, Holland Lake Lodge and Gordon Ranch
30 minutes

The Huck Book: Swan Valley's Berried Stories, History and Recipes

National Geographic Map Guide Destination

Photo by Suzanne Palm

Travelers can take a self-guided tour of the Swan Valley Museum, Swan River Tavern, Whalen Homestead Cabin, Smith Creek School replica and the port-able sawmill on the Swan Valley museum grounds by downloading a free Next Exit HistoryTM app to access photos, audio, video and written descriptions.

Four generations (L to R) Claude Holmes, Bud Wolff, Nessie Holmes Wolff, Oscar Holmes.

Preserving and Promoting the Cultural Heritage of the Swan Valley.


Russ Haasch on horse at Swan River Tavern when it was west of Highway in the 1950's.

The Selish-Ql'ispe Culture Committee provided a Swan Valley Place Names Map for display in the Swan Valley Museum. The map features the Pend d'Oreille Indian names of the landmarks, as well as photos and descriptions of this region. Highlights from the dedication ceremony →

Sunset Lookout on fire, October 1957.