Stevens County Historical Society
The Stevens County Historical Society has operated since 1903 when it began as the Stevens County Pioneer Association. Today it is a private non-proﬁt with a mission to gather and preserve the history and artifacts of Stevens County and areas of Eastern Washington that were once part of the county.
On a little hill near the end of Wynne Street is located the 7-acre Keller Heritage Center. It is named for the couple who lived there for about 50 years. Mr. Keller gifted the house, carriage house, and grounds to the City of Colville for use as a park. 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.
The Keller House and the museum are the two prominent buildings of the Keller Heritage Park. Successful Colville business man John Henry (Harry) Young met Anna Helberg at her parent’s home in Spokane. They married in 1907. The builders completed the craftsman-style home in 1910. In 1911, there was a fire in the upstairs area. The Youngs were away, but local citizens saw the smoke and quickly fought the blaze. After the repairs, the owners made no further changes. Harry Young died in 1914 and Anna married Louis Keller, owner of a local hardware company. The Keller House and Carriage House are on the National Register of Historic Places.
The heritage park began with the first Colville schoolhouse. Before his passing in 1966, Louis Keller agreed to relocate the first schoolhouse in Colville, a log building, to the grounds. Citizens moved it from near the federal building on South Main Street. .
Near the carriage house is a mining display and the Blackjack Cabin. Mining was a mainstay of the mineral-rich county’s economy for over 100 years. Beyond it is a trapper’s cabin, showcasing the fur trade another critical part of the county’s early fortunes. Down the slop is a homestead cabin. Near it is a blacksmith exhibit and a sawmill display. A large building is full of historic farming and related equipment.
The museum displays trace the county’s development. beginning with the geology which helped form the falls at Kettle Falls, on through the middle of the 19th century when towns began to develop. There is also a main street full of stores with historical items. Among the storefronts are a print shop, a millinery shop, a library display, a doctor’s and dentist’s office, a general store, and a barbershop. Just added is an extensive collection of Smokey Bear items.
Visitors can wander around the museum with or without a tour guide to see how people lived in the past. However, tours to the Keller House and Graves Mountain Lookout require a tour guide. If you believe your ancestors may have material in the museum, please call 509-684-5968 to ask the curator to see if the items are currently on display. We do change out the exhibits to keep each visit fresh.
The Stevens County Historical Society is restoring the Historic Colville Indian Agency in Chewelah. John A. Simms owned the this building and used it to perform his duties as Colville Agency Special Indian Agent from 1873 to 1883.
700 North Wynne St.
Colville, Washington 99114
1pm – 4pm daily
May 1 to September 30