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Upper Swan Valley Historical Society

Preserving and Promoting the Cultural Heritage of the Swan Valley.

Photo of Swan Peak by Steve Ellis

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.

This past summer, the Upper Swan Valley Historical Society, Inc. obtained an old trapper cabin to exhibit at the Swan Valley Museum. Built by Fred Messerer in the late 1920s, early 1930s era, the cabin originally was located in the Elbow Lake Lookout area above Lindbergh Lake.

Thanks to ALL who helped make our Frostbite Festival and Holiday Tour of Homes a success!


Stay tuned for our 2015 Events!

Christmas Trapper Tales


Hauling hay from Swan Lake Ranger Station up Swan River in 1918. USFS photo.



Gordon Creek Camp. Leonard Moore Collection.

Since time immemorial, Christmas has been the time when friends and family gather together to share gifts and good will. Most of us can’t imagine spending Christmas without the companionship of those most dear to us...