Smithsonian highlights work history

   PRIEST RIVER — What happens when you bring the world’s largest museum and research complex to a small timber community in North Idaho?

   “The Way We Worked.”

   That’s what residents of Priest River and the surrounding areas have been treated to, to the tune of 100 visitors a day, since Sept. 10 when the traveling exhibit showed up inside the historic Beardmore Building downtown.

   An exhibition created by the National Archives, which is part of Museum on Main Street, and a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and State Humanities Councils nationwide.

   “The Way We Worked” celebrates the many ways Americans have historically ‘brought home the bacon’.  Exploring the technology and tools that individuals and communities have identified with work, regardless of race and ethnicity barriers that were often set in their way.

   The learning experience has expanded into the West Bonner County School District, which has allotted for all five schools to take tours of the traveling museum.

   The Priest Community Forest Connection also made the school field trips possible.

   Walking into the exhibit what you’ll see is vibrant and interactive displays, relevant objects of the era, work clothing, tools and breathtaking photographs to go along with eye-catching graphics.

   The exhibit is free and will only be around until Oct. 22, so make sure and stop by before it moves on to another Idaho community.

   A great time to do so will be at 1 p.m. this Saturday, Oct. 15 when Mike Reynolds of Mike Reynolds Logging will present ‘New Timber Technologies’, which has been designed to spotlight the way loggers work today with a focus on modern technology.

   The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and offers guided gallery tours each Saturday and Sunday at 12 p.m. and again at 3 p.m.  You can also reserve a tour by calling Theresa Wright at (208) 290-2328 or via e-mail:

   “The Way We Worked” is sponsored by the Priest River Museum and Timber Education Center and the Rex Theater Foundation, in cooperation with the Idaho Humanities Council.

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