The Stevens County Historical Society has operated continuously since 1903 when it began as the Pioneer Association. It is a private non-proﬁt with memberships available by contacting the Historical Society. Gathering and preserving the history and artifacts of Stevens County and the surrounding area is the main focus of the Society. It also makes the history and artifacts available to the public. This is done in two locations, the ﬁrst being in Colville and the second in Chewelah. The Society is also a member of The Heritage Network which is an organization of museums, a genealogical society and individuals all with the common goal of saving and promoting the history of the area.
On a little hill near the end of Wynne Street is located the Keller Heritage Center. It is named for the couple who lived in it for about 50 years and after Mr. Keller passed away it was gifted to the City of Colville. Since 1975 the Stevens County Historical Society has leased the property and kept it as a park with a cluster of historical buildings and a ﬁre lookout tower.
Among the buildings are two log cabins one used for a trapper’s cabin and the other for a A homestead cabin. There is also the ﬁrst school house in Colville, once located near the federal Q building on South Main Street. The Center also features a display of mining which was one of the mainstays of the economy for over 100 years. A blacksmith shop and a saw mill are also located on the grounds. Visitors can also ﬁnd a barn full of historic farm and related equipment.
The two main buildings are the Keller House and the museum. The house was built for Anna, the young bride of Colville businessman Harry Young, when they were married in 1910. It is a craftsman style home characteristic of the era. After the repairs made following the ﬁre in the house shortly after it was built, there have been no changes made. The Keller House is on the National Register of Historic Places with its Carriage House behind it.
The house features over a dozen pieces of Gustov Stickley fumiture that was purchased for the house when it was new. Anna’s grand nephew said that the furniture was bought by Aunt Anna when she went to a World’s Fair. Although a charming story, it is yet to be authenticated. Also original to the house is a 7 piece Bird’s Eye Maple bedroom set that the grand nephew said was in Aunt Anna” room. The House has hardwood ﬂoors throughout and a music room built to show off Anna’s musical talent.
The museum is what the Historical Society has come to call a “feel good” museum. Visitors can see displays featuring the way people lived in the past. Often they comment about themselves or \ one of their ancestors having an item like the one on display, and some can see the actual item fix which was gifted to the museum by a family member. The displays in the museum follow the development of the county beginning with the geology on through the middle of the 19th century when towns began to develop. There is also a main street full of stores with historic items. Among the store fronts are a print shop, a millinery, a doctor and dentist’s office and a general store.