The five-year exhibit remodel project at the Historical Museum includes a Fascinating Lives exhibit that features Polly Bemis.

The Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation, Inc., well known for supporting projects that strengthen Idaho’s communities, has awarded the Historical Museum at St. Gertrude a $25,000 grant that will be used to help complete a five-year exhibit remodel project that began in 2015.

“Without the support from the Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation, Inc., we would not be able to conclude this project in 2020,” said project director Mary Schmidt, who also wrote the grant proposal. “Their contribution will allow us to move forward in creating high-quality exhibits for the public.”

The grant will be used toward new lighting and video monitoring systems as well as a children’s area, illustrated map, and gallery signs. Completed exhibits so far include a history of the Monastery of St. Gertrude, a replica of Sister Alfreda Elsensohn’s attic (where the Historical Museum began), local fascinating lives, Treasures Gallery, special collections, Nez Perce past and present, and Chinese and mining.

Three remaining exhibits to be completed will focus on agriculture, the pioneer immigrants, and household life.

“The Historical Museum is an economic asset to this region and educational resource for students who visit from neighboring schools throughout the year,” said Schmidt. 

The anticipated completion date for the remodel is August 2020. Celebrations will be planned for October and November of 2020.

The mission of the Historical Museum at St. Gertrude is to preserve the rich heritage of the Monastery of St. Gertrude, Camas Prairie, Snake River, Salmon River, and surrounding areas. Learn more at