aerial.view.600wAbout the Bonner County History Museum

Founded in 1972, the Bonner County History Museum has been collecting and preserving the Bonner County region’s significant stories for over 40 years.

The Museum is located in view of Lake Pend Oreille in beautiful Lakeview Park. The park has many amenities including picnic areas, a playground, tennis courts, and the Native Plant Society arboretum. Adjacent to Lakeview Park is Memorial Field which has a boat launch and is home to the Festival at Sandpoint every August.

The Bonner County History Museum is a private, non-profit educational organization (I.R.S. 501 (c) 3). The museum is a membership organization, open to all.  We operate thanks to community support, membership fees, gifts, retail sales and donations, and grants from private foundations. More About Us

History in Print

Two new books are now on sale in our gift shop along with many other items that highlight Bonner County. driving.past.250w

Ask for A GLORIOUS FIELD FOR SAWMILLS and DRIVING PAST at the Bonner County Museum gift shop, Vanderford’s Books, Common Knowledge Bookstore, the Corner Bookstore, and other retailers in and around Bonner County, or call (208) 263-2344 to order a copy.

Current Exhibits

TALES FROM THE WARDROBE: A Look at Fashion in Bonner County

ERA II: 1920-1939

Clothing ranks with food and shelter as a basic human requirement for survival, yet it is so much more. What we choose to wear is a cultural expression, a mark of celebration or mourning, a signifier of gender, class, occupation, income and age. Styles evolve from season to season, reflecting wider changes in technology, taste, social values, and even world events.

Displaying items pulled directly from the Museum’s collection as well as photographs, prints, vintage advertisements, and other ephemera, this is the second part of a series of exhibits entitled Tales from the Wardrobe, which features garments, shoes, accessories, and jewelry worn by Bonner County residents from the 1880s through the 1950s.

ERA II: 1920-1939

The 1920s saw Bonner County’s population continue to grow. The logging, timber and railroad industries remained the mainstays of the local economy, and farming and ranching remained strong. World War I had shaken the entire nation, and in its wake, virtually nothing felt the same, least of all fashion. The rise of youth culture, Prohibition, women’s suffrage, and changing social standards all had their impact of 1920s fashion. Sandpoint’s First Avenue bustled with commerce as ready-to-wear clothing became widely available and increasingly affordable for the first time.

In the 1930s, however, the Roaring Twenties were hushed by the hard times of the Great Depression. The mighty Humbird Lumber Company closed its doors, along with many other businesses, leaving many unemployed. Wardrobes shrank along with the economy. Yet photographs and stories from the 1930s show Bonner County residents with the strength and spirit to survive, even to thrive.

The 1930s saw skirts lengthen and a feminine shape return after the boyish silhouette of the previous decade. Bias cuts skimmed the figure, and chic simplicity in design and decoration became the order of the day.


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