Central Idaho Historical Museum

Central Idaho Historical Museum (Central Idaho Interpretive Museum)

McCall, Valley County

  • Grant: 1993, 1996, 2009, 2010, 2012, , 2017, 2019, 2021 (replacing the metal roof of the Carpenter Shop), 2022 (reproduce historic light fixtures)

Location: 1001 State Street, McCall, Idaho 83638

The Central Idaho Historical Museum occupies a five-acre site that consists of log structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (C.C.C.) in 1937 for the Southern Idaho Timber Protective Association (SITPA). All eight buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Warden’s House was built to house the Fire Warden’s family and SITPA operations, as well as provide lodging for various dignitaries from the Governor to the Land Board. The Fire Warden’s House is an example of American Rustic Architecture combined with a Scandinavian influence due to the three Finnish craftsmen who directed the buildings’ construction. The Finnish craftsman techniques include dovetail corners, hand-peeled varnished log interior walls, hand-fitted door casings and trim, and hand-made furnishings. The fireplaces are made from slate (obtained near Riggins) and Chert (obtained near Donnelly). Logs for the House, Bunkhouse and Pump House came from timber stands around Payette Lake. Many of the original hand-made furnishings remain from the original Oregon Trail chairs to the 1938 Jacquard Loom bedspreads.

The Carpenter Shop was used by the SITPA organization for the maintenance of the site and in support of their offsite forestry work. The building was not insulated but had a wood stove to enable year-round use. The shop was constructed using wood framing with paned windows, double-planked flooring, board-and- batten siding, and a wood shake roof. A metal roof was installed some years later over the top of the original roof material – we are guessing 40 to 50 years ago. This is an ongoing extension of the restoration of the Carpenter Shop that began in 2019, which has given the Shop a new life as a multi-use events space in one of the most scenic parts of Idaho.

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