Museum celebrates 80th year
The Historical Museum at St. Gertrude kicked off its 80th year last Friday with a sharing of memories and the opening of a special exhibit, “80 Years of History from the Prairie!”
The afternoon reception featured past and present staff of the Museum, which included Sister Bernie Ternes, Sister Bernice Wessels, Shirley Gehring, Sister Wendy Olin, Sister Joan Smith, Sister Janet Barnard, Lyle Wirtanen and Sam Couch. Together, they recounted the transformations and milestones of the Museum in its 80-year journey from a small, attic collection started by teacher and historian Sister Alfreda Elsensohn and her students to the over 60,000 artifacts the collection features today. Last year, the Museum received the state’s highest museum honor, which is also named for the Historical Museum at St. Gertrude’s foundress: the Sister Alfreda Elsensohn Award for Outstanding Service.
The Museum’s 80th year opened with a new exhibit curated by Sister Wendy Olin with assistance from Sister Bernie Ternes and Shirley Gehring. “80 Years of History from the Prairie!” features special artifacts of pioneer life on the Camas Prairie, celebrating the innovation and artistry of the early families.
The new exhibit will be open over the holiday weekend on Friday and Saturday from 9:30 to 4:30. The Museum will be open through the winter on Fridays and Saturdays only or by appointment. For more information call 208-962-2050 or visit

Past and present staff of the Historical Museum at St. Gertrude gathered to celebrate the beginning of its 80th year.

Sister Bernie Ternes recounts the transformations of the Museum.

Sister Wendy Olin curated the new exhibit, “80 Years of History from the Prairie!”

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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503 King St.
P.O. Box 157
Cottonwood, ID 83522-0157
Fax 208-962-7131
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