Location: Junction of Hwys. 93 and 35, south of Polson. (
When you first see this museum from the road, you know there is more inside (and outside) than you can see in a few minutes of walking through. In fact, there’s so much here that visitors have named it the “Smithsonian of the West.”
Gil Mangels founded this non-profit museum in 1984 and has grown it to 26 buildings, including a one-room schoolhouse, a furnished trapper’s cabin, a sod-roofed log cabin, and a 1950 soda fountain. Most of these buildings are authentic, and a few are rebuilt to original specifications.
On the grounds of the museum you will see two Huey and two MASH helicopters, an A-7 Corsair attack bomber, a 1920 Model T Ford delivery truck, a 1910 Maytag car, a 1916 Model T Ford chain-driven dump truck, more than 30 military vehicles, over 30 vintage motorcycles, farm equipment, an authentic Flathead Lake logging towboat, an antique snowmobile, Native American artifacts, hundreds of early household appliances and children’s antique toys. Exhibits here range from the commonplace to the bizarre.
The museum is open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. A small admission fee is charged.