Polson Flathead Lake Museum

Polson Flathead Lake Museum

Our museum opened in 1972 with the offer from an Con-Kelly Estate in Kalispell of the Allard Stagecoach which ran from Polson to Ravalli until the early 1900’s. The offer was to donate the stagecoach to a party who would start a museum in Lake County. Our founder Fay McAlear accepted the offer. He and his family homesteaded on the reservation in 1910. Fay was in the first graduating class from Polson High School in 1916 and a lifelong business man in Polson.

Over the years homesteaders and local residents have donated many unique artifacts from those early days.  The museums holdings include the original Polson trading post which was in business until 1910, it also includes a replica of the homesteaders first home interior, buggies, a real life chuck wagon and plenty of boating memorabilia.  In addition we showcase not one, but two early 1900’s fire engines and the original Highland Steer, Rudolph who appeared in many parades through the years in northwest Montana, Canada, Washington, and Oregon.

The good news is, in 2022 and 2023 the museum replaced an old and very leaky roof and repainted the exterior. We should have a mural completed on the exterior North Wall beginning in 2025. In 2025 we also begin a new fund raising campaign for updates and improvements to the museum’s interior, including new display cases, improved lighting, and interior wall cladding to cover exposed cinder block and much more.

These improvements, along with the addition of sidewalks and parking across the front of the building. As well as sidewalks down the south side of our property on 8th Avenue. These improvements  will vastly improve the security and “curb appeal” of our site. We hope to begin work in Fall 2026.

However, we still need your help reaching our goal of $250,00o to renovate the Polson Flathead Lake Museum. Your donation is tax deductible as we are a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. It’s as easy as sending a check to the Polson Flathead Lake Museum, PO Box 206, Polson, MT 59860.

Thank you for your generous support!

Polson Flathead Lake Museum


The Museum is regularly open May 15 through September 16,
10am – 4pm Monday-Saturday and 1-4pm Sunday.

Visit our Museum and learn how the first homesteaders settled, lived, farmed and ranched on the Flathead Indian Reservation after it was opened to settlers in 1910. See Artifacts from the 1800’s and beyond, including the FLATHEAD LAKE MONSTER!

LOCATED at 708 MAIN STREET, POLSON, MT  59860

Take Advantage of our ‘2 for 1 ticket’ and tour BOTH
The Polson Flathead Lake Museum
and the Miracle of America Museum in Polson!

Our Own Trading Post

Polson Flathead Lake Museum Trading Post

What you can see at our Museum.

  • Allard Stagecoach
  • Rudolf the famous Highland Steer
  • Homesteaders home interior
  • Antique Fire Engines
  • Friendly Folks and Good times!

 

Nessie – Our Flathead Lake Monster

The Flathead Lake Monster
Nessie – Our Flathead Lake Monster,
caught in Flathead Lake 1955

Legend has it that sightings of “Nessie,” the Flathead Lake “monster,” goes back to the earliest days of human habitation in the area.

‘Monster’ sightings still occur each year as area residents and visitors spot mystery creatures on the lake surface.

Our museum is a non-profit organization,
Tax ID number #81-6017638.
All donations to the museum are tax deductible.