The nonprofit Northwest Montana Historical Society operates the Northwest Montana History Museum for the benefit of the Flathead Valley community.

More than 60 volunteers, including a heavily engaged board of directors, assist one full-time and four part-time staff members to keep the museum operating.

Our Mission

The Northwest Montana Historical Society is dedicated to the cultural and educational enrichment of the community through the acquisition, preservation, and display of material related to local history, and to the involvement of the public through research, community events, and volunteer opportunities.

Central School Building right after construction.
Central School Building right after construction.
Northwest Montana History Museum
The Northwest Montana History Museum is housed in Kalispell's oldest public building, the 1894 Central School.

Our History

The building that houses our museum is a sturdy brick and stone structure, one of the few remaining examples of classic Richardsonian Romanesque architecture, with most of its original hardwood floors, wainscoting, and tin-plate ceilings still in place.

The building was boarded up and threatened with demolition in 1991, but the city of Kalispell renovated the structure at a cost of $2.4 million, and since late 1999 has leased it to the Northwest Montana Historical Society for exhibits, performances, and community meetings.

The Northwest Montana History Museum is the premier facility for exhibits, artifacts, and events focused on regional history.

Our Board

Since the beginning, the Northwest Montana Historical Society (like the Flathead Historical Society before it) has been led and governed by a team of dedicated community volunteers.

Past presidents of the the Northwest Montana Historical Society include Delores Swanburg (1996-1998), Cliff Collins (1999), Sue Dailey (2000-2002), Joann Schadewitz (2003-2005), Robert O’Neil (2006-2009), and Richard Siderius (2010-2012).

Board of Directors

President: Laurie Happ
Vice President: Alex Berry
Secretary: Jim Atkinson
Treasurer: Margaret LeKander

Senior Advisory Directors

Betty Jo Malone
Rick Riley
Bob O'Neil
Linda Robbin

Board Officers

Arne Boveng
Bob Brown
Bill Dakin
Donna Danz
Elaine Graber
Sally Hash Savage
Jim Hollensteiner
A.J. King
Bob Lopp
Jane Renfrow

President Emeritus

Richard Siderius

Our Staff

Margaret E. Davis

Executive Director

Margaret E. Davis comes to the museum with decades of experience in journalism, home renovation and construction, and traditional bookbinding. With a deep appreciation for the Treasure State, artifacts, and archives, she has delved into working where history lives.

Donna Buckalew

Museum Support

Donna Buckalew made her way to the Flathead two years ago and is enjoying getting to know the people and places of her Montana adventure.

Bruce Mollberg


Bruce Mollberg grew up in Great Falls and West Glacier and has called Kalispell home for some decades since. He started helping at the museum in November 2022.

Elle Eberts-Robocker

Museum Support

Starting first as a volunteer in the museum's acquisitions department, Elle Eberts-Robocker joined the staff in spring 2023.