Collections

The Museum of North Idaho has been collecting and interpreting objects that represent the lives of The Coeur d’Alene Region for more than fifty years. The collections relate to or represent the Coeur d’Alene Region from the ice age flood to the present, and include about 8,000 artifacts, 36,300 photographs, and archives and library of about 7,000 items.

Clothing & Jewelry

The fashions in our collection reflect all aspects of the changing life in the Coeur d’Alene Region, including, class, politics, work and recreation.

Guns & Weapons

Our collection of weapons has experiences for firearm aficionados as well as hunting and fishing enthusiasts.

Books

The Museum has a large repository of historic books, manuscripts, ephemera, and printed materials on local history in North Idaho. Our collection includes:

Books, manuscripts and printed materials on local history, city directories, school annuals, phone books, and a state census index for 1910.

Abstracts and indexes of marriage records, school censuses, teacher certificates, cemetery listings, homestead patents, probate records etc. for Kootenai County.

Oral Histories

MNI’s collection includes oral history tapes about labor history in the lumbering industry.

Tools & Equipment

The fertile lower Coeur d’Alene River Valley was settled with farmers who supplied agricultural products to the developing area. MNI’s collection includes: agricultural equipment and tools.

Hydroplanes, Steamboats & Wood Watercraft

Boats are an integral part of Lake Coeur d’Alene history. From Native American cedar dugout canoes to large steamboats, and later the Diamond Cup Races, MNI’s collection reflects use of the lake for necessity, industry, and recreation; spanning hundreds of years.

Coeur d’Alene Tribal Culture

Schitsu’umsh (Schee-Chu-Umsh) translated “the ones that were found here” a Sahlish speaking people, once occupied over four million acres in northern Idaho, Montana and eastern Washington. Artifacts give a glimpse into the life of the Coeur d’Alene Indians through beadwork, tools, maps, stories and life lessons.

Military

From Fort Sherman to area training stations for World Wars, a military presence close to area lakes is a strong part of the history of the Coeur d’Alene Region. Our collection honors those who have served through the memorabilia in our collection.

Nostalgic Signs

Be it for Advertising or entertainment, the signs in our collection capture a culture and ambiance of specific moments of our area’s history.

Lumber Brands

The North Idaho Hoo Hoo Club, an organization of loggers, lumbermen and foresters, established The Museum of North Idaho with an intent focused on all the history of the Coeur d’Alene Region (Kootenai, Benewah and part of Shoshone counties).They provided a collection that captures Coeur d’Alene’s lumbering past.

Railroads

Transportation around the lakes and through the Region was vital to the area’s industry. MNI’s collection reflects the significant history of life on the steel rails for those who built, rode, and worked the tracks.