PLACES: Tobacco Valley Historical Village

By Beacon Staff

Established in 1971 when the Fewkes general store, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church and the train depot were relocated from the old town of Rexford before it was flooded by Lake Koocanusa, the Tobacco Valley Historical Village is home to the historic county library, Iowa Flats one-room school house, a hand hewn log home complete with furnishings, a Great Northern caboose and a fire tower from Mount Roberts. All of the buildings and artifacts are from the Tobacco Valley area and date back to the 1880s and 1920s.

While walking the wooden floors of the historic buildings, browsing the fully furnished artifacts common to the area in that time, one gets a sense of how early settlers lived. What once were common tools are now relics. One can almost see the students sitting at school desks, dipping pens in inkwells or picture gritty hands wrapped around logging tools and paper flying from early printing presses.

Community is an important part of the village to this day as a popular trailhead for miles of riverwalk, a place to picnic and swing on sunnier days and a theatrical spot for Shakespeare in the Park.

Currently, the Fewkes general store serves as the Historical Village Museum. Among the large collection of archival materials there is an extensive catalog of written and photographic resources. The Village is open Memorial Day through Labor Day.

How to get there: From Kalispell, take U.S. Highway 93 north to Eureka. The village is on the west side of the highway as you enter downtown Eureka.