ROSALIA MUSEUM & LOCAL HISTORY
1858 BATTLE of PINE CREEK
(STEPTOE BATTLE or BATTLE of TOHOTONIMME )
N 47° 14.170 W 117° 22.231
"We are duty bound to preserve that which cannot be replaced.
We are what we are today because of those who came before us.
What we have here are precious treasures; gifts from those who preceded us.
These are a trust to be guarded, cherished, and enriched, then proudly passed on to those who come after us."
Wm. H. Shehadi, M.D.
During Battle Days 1976, the Rosalia Museum grand opening took place. The idea of this museum had been talked about for over a decade, but it wasn't until Rosalia community leaders decided to hold an annual town celebration that the plans for the museum would proceed.
This celebration would become "Battle Days" to commemorate the 1858 skirmish between the US Government military force led by Colonel Edward Steptoe and regional native tribes including the Coeur d'Alene, Palouse, and Spokanes.It was originally decided that the primary mission of the Battle Days commemoration would be to help raise funds to build a museum that would preserve our communities past. The first Battle Days was held in 1970 and raised $500. There was a strong community commitment to make sure this annual event would have continued success. Battle Days second year earned $1700 for the museum.During this time the town of Rosalia built a new fire station. This action caused a vacated space in the city hall which had previously house the fire trucks. The city council approved this space to make a home for the museum. Numerous community volunteers completed the necessary renovations and the glass display cases were purchased as leftovers from Spokane's World Exposition in 1974. Surrounding communities heeded the call to donate items that would have local historical significance.The doors opened in 1976. The museum displays items that reflect on the regional history of Rosalia, Malden, and Thornton. There you can envision the life of the homemakers, local merchants, the railroad, agriculture, and the tools and items of everyday life on the Palouse. It is the history of our community as it has evolved over the decades.In 1997 volunteers removed every item from the museum to repaint and reorganize. As time passed, the main level's floor space was over flowing and the city hall second floor, once a bustling space for community social events, was no longer utilized. In 2002, the upstairs was cleaned, painted, and carpeted so that both levels could be used to house and display the bounty of the museum.Each item on display is a representation of a life that was lived in these communities. Real people held these items in their hands to do the work they needed to do. To make a living and care for homes, children, animals, and their towns.It is with great pride that we preserve these items. We honor our hard working ancestors who did not have luxuries that we now take for granted.
The Palouse Heritage Network is a confederation of small local history organizations and museums run entirely by volunteers. Those who are interested in exploring the Palouse, its by-ways, and its history can contact these kind volunteers and they will happily show you around. That is the beauty of a small town.