Travelers can take a self-guided tour of the Swan Valley Museum, Swan River Tavern, Whalen Homestead Cabin, Smith Creek School replica and the portable sawmill on the Swan Valley museum grounds by downloading a free Next Exit HistoryTM app to access photos, audio, video and written descriptions. The self-guided tour is funded by a Preserve Missoula County History grant from the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula.


Tour of Swan Valley Schools
Aug 4
- 12 Noon to 3PM, Self-guided tour in the Swan Valley
- 3PM to 5PM, Storytelling & Open Mic at Swan Valley Museum

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 →

Joe Lawrence Bull Trout. Early 1940s, Spring Creek. Lawrence Collection.

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

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

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

Mary Lou Krause Willhelm.
​Marion Holmes Collection.

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

Preserving and Promoting the Cultural Heritage of the Swan Valley.

Swan Valley Museum hours:

FRIDAY, SATURDAY, and SUNDAY - 12 Noon to 4 PM or by appointment. Call (406) 754-2745 or (406) 754-2238 or Contact Us


Upper Swan Valley Historical Society

Your donation to the Upper Swan Valley Historical Society will be matched up to 100% by the Seeley Lake Community Foundation. Your support helps us maintain the Swan Valley Museum, create exhibits, protect historic resources, and offer educational programs.  

Visit our Support page for more information. Donate now through August 3rd. We are grateful!

Selish-Ql'ispe Place Names Map

Alice Brunson taking photo of Jacquelyn Maloney at Smith Flats School, 1932. Brunson Collection.

National Geographic Map Guide Destination

Russ Haasch with tame fawn at Laird's Lodge, August 1928.
​Haasch-Neyman Collection.

Next Exit History

Snow White puppet show at Smith Flats School, 1932.
​Brunson Collection.

Open Book Club
July 21, 7 PM

At Swan Valley Museum

1959 Swan Valley School graduates. L to R: Robert Van Gieson; Nettie Lanegan; Robert Woodhouse; Karen Wilhelm; Donald Wilson. Van Gieson Collection.

The Gathering Place: Swan Valley’s Gordon Ranch

Change Your Pace Challenge
Matching Funds Opportunity