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Old Jail Museum

Thompson Falls Montana

Listing Type: Museum
City: Thompson Falls Montana
Region: Glacier Country

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Open from Mother's Day to Labor Day, the Old Jail Museum is one of the oldest buildings in continuous use in Sanders County. Originally operating as the county jail, sheriff's office and sheriff's residence, the building now continues to serve the citizens as a museum and focus for historical artifacts, images and maps.

Located on the Clark's Fork of the Columbia adjacent to the North West Company's famous 'Saleesh House', the museum honors the pioneers who explored, mapped, settled and farmed this corner of Montana. Later, the Hudsons Bay Company built a series of trade houses designated 'Flathead Post' continuing the fur trade started by the first recorded European, David Thompson.

The displays depict historic eras of Thompson Falls' early development. There are many photographs taken from original glass negatives that give the viewer a glimpse into the past of the people, places and events when Sanders County was new. Mining, logging, farming and ranching are shown in stark reality captured by the well-known photographer E.J. Frazier.

The Old Jail Museum is located just one block south of Highway 200 in the town of Thompson Falls. The town of Thompson Falls is situated in the Valley of the Clark's Fork River 100 miles North West of Missoula, Montana. With Idaho and the Schweitzer Ski Area just to the west and Highway 93, the road to Glacier National Park, just to the east it is centrally located for those travelers wishing to enjoy a scenic drive. Thompson Pass is a well-maintained highway connecting the area to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho and Spokane, Washington. Thompson Falls easily earns the name 'the Crossroads of the Northwest.'

The majestic mountains that surround this town offer hiking trails, camping and fishing. The area abounds in deer, elk and Bighorn sheep. There are facilities for motor homes and trailers, three motels, a number of restaurants, picnic grounds and playing fields. Thompson Falls is a hidden jewel that awaits only your finding it.

Directions: The Old Jail Museum is located 1 block off Highway 200 at the corner of Madison Street and Maiden Lane in downtown Thompson Falls.

Old Jail Museum
109 South Madison Street, Thompson Falls, MT 59873

  • Historic
  • Museum
  • Photography
  • Gift Shop
  • Public Restroom
  • Registered Historic Site
  • Unescorted Tour

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