Keller Heritage Center
Backstory and Context
The Fort Colville Museum, including the Bessie McDowell museum, presents the history of the area from Native Americans at the falls at Kettle Falls, Hudson Bay Company Fort Colvile fur traders, miners, and U. S. Fort Colville, to the development of agriculture, logging, and retail businesses in the Colville Valley. Frequently on display are the society’s extensive Leno Prestini paintings and terra cotta works.
The 1910 English Craftsman Keller House was one of the first homes in Colville with electricity. The house features dozens of Gustav Stickley furniture pieces purchased when the house was new. Behind the Keller House is the carriage house with transportation items on display, including a 1937 Jaguar kit car.
A beautiful garden featuring the Hixson Castles from the Addy area are enjoyed by visitors, deer, and birds.
On the hillside above the museum is the re-located Graves Mountain Fire Lookout Station. The lookout provides a commanding view of the Colville Valley.
Behind the carriage house is a display of mining equipment and two small buildings, a miner’s cabin and black powder building. Nearby is the trapper’s cabin, which gives a glimpse into the life of early Hudson Bay Company and Northwest Company fur traders.
A blacksmith shop, machinery barn, one room schoolhouse, and homestead cabin on the lower level of the grounds provide a glimpse into the life of the pioneers in the area.
Staff is at the society’s Jim McMillan Research and Reference Library on Wednesdays from 10 to 4. The reference library has an extensive collection of local maps, local histories, and historic county and local business records.