RUPERT — The Minidoka County Historical Museum is the only historical museum in the Magic Valley that’s open year-round.
It holds an impressive expanse of artifacts from the area, including American Indian tools, a 1906 railroad depot, World War II military memorabilia and 111 years of soon-to-be-digitized local newspapers. The site also houses the county seat’s original jail cell.
The Minidoka County Historical Society, launched in 1970, is governed by a seven-member board of directors.
A Union Pacific caboose and rail cars sit near Rupert’s 1906 railroad depot, which was moved to the museum site in 1985. The town was named after a man named Rupert who hooked the mailbag from the train as it went by.
“So people ‘went to Rupert’ to get their mail,” said historical society treasurer Gary Schorzman. “If he missed it, everyone was mad.”
3 can’t-miss items
At the museum, be sure to look for these:
An 1898 wire fencer — the Kitselman Duplex Automatic Ball Bearing Woven Wire Fence Machine — that weaves wire into a fence on site. A three-man crew could construct a mile of fencing across hilly terrain in five days.
An extensive collection of Ice Age mammal fossils found near Acequia.
A massive firearms collection donated by resident Wayne Birch.
Where: 99 E. Baseline Road, Rupert.
When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Saturdays.
1 of 81
Thursday, June 29, 2017, at the Hagerman Valley Historical Museum in Hagerman.
Artifacts from the Minidoka Relocation Camp are on display Tuesday, June 13, 2017, at the Jerome County Historical Museum in Jerome.
Rob Ellis talks about farming equipment and how it was used to bring crops to the arid high desert Tuesday, June 13, 2017, at the Jerome County Historical Museum in Jerome.
Artifacts on Thursday, June 15, 2017, at the Twin Falls County Historical Museum in Twin Falls.
Wednesday, June 28, 2017, at the Lincoln County Historical Museum in Shoshone.
A 1945 wedding dress, made from a nylon parachute, sits on display Wednesday, June 28, 2017, at the Lincoln County Historical Museum in Shoshone. The dress was made by Ada Marie Paoli after her fiance, Melvin Pope, sent the parachute home during World War II.
Catherine Daily, vice president of Hagerman Valley Historical Society, talks about unique artifacts at the Hagerman museum June 29.
Treasurer Leroy Jazwick talks about Archie ‘Teton’ Teater paintings June 29 at the Hagerman Valley Historical Museum.
Above:The interpretive center at Rock Creek Station and Stricker Homesite, July 3 near Hansen. Below: The general store used to have a saloon attached.
Lucy Stricker's bedroom set is seen during a tour of the Stricker mansion July 3 near Hansen. Lucy dragged her bedset out of her burning cabin in 1900.
Curator Melissa Alley gives a tour July 7 of the firearm display donated by Wayne Birch at Minidoka County Historical Museum.
Old fire extinguishers, filled with caustic soda, sit on display Friday, July 7, 2017, at the Minidoka County Historical Museum in Rupert.
Curator Melissa Alley peers inside Rupert’s first jail cell, built in 1906, on July 7 at the Minidoka County Historical Museum.
Robert Fehlman, co-chairman of the Oakley Valley Historical Association's board, examines a recently submitted donation to the museum on June 6 in Oakley.
An early border marker designating Nevada to the west, Utah to the east and Idaho to the north leans inside the Oakley museum’s entrance.
A mural honors Oakley resident Lena Belle Leonard Davis Price, mother of pilot Noel Davis who died in April 1927, in an attempt to fly solo from New York to Paris. Charles Lindberg dropped a bouquet of roses over Price's house later that year.
At the Oakley museum, a suitcase used by Mormon missionaries.
Mormon crickets are displayed June 6 at the Oakley Valley Historical Museum in Oakley.
A "crazy quilt" sown by Marion resident Esther Frost from patches of clothing is seen June 6 at the Oakley Valley Historical Museum.
A 1906 crazy quilt sown by Marion resident Esther Frost hangs near Frost’s portrait June 6 at Oakley Valley Historical Museum.
Hand-sewn booties, June 22 at the Gooding County Historical Museum.
A toothpick holder and creamer souvenir set depicting the new Burley High School in 1915 is seen June 8 at the Cassia County Historical Museum in Burley. The three-story building, then the Burley Junior High School, burned to the ground in 1973.
A Winchester Repeating Arms Co. brand is seen on an 1880s rifle at the Gooding County Historical Museum in Gooding.
A Belgian flintlock pistol from the 1800s sits on display Friday, July 7, 2017, at the Minidoka County Historical Museum in Rupert. The museum has a large firearm display donated by Wayne Birch.
A Kitselman Duplex Automatic Ball Bearing Woven Wire Fence Machine at the Rupert museum.
At the Rupert museum, a pocket watch presented to Samuel W. Osgood in 1789 by Benjamin Franklin after Osgood was appointed the first U.S. postmaster general by President George Washington. Osgood was the great-great-great-great-grandfather of Samuel Osgood Jr. of Rupert.
Curator Melissa Alley looks at a steam-engine tractor Friday, July 7, 2017, at the Minidoka County Historical Museum in Rupert. The tractor, donated in the 1970s, was the first item donated to the museum.
The Minidoka County Historical Museum sits open Friday, July 7, 2017, in Rupert.
Curator Melissa Alley gives a tour of a schoolroom display Friday, July 7, 2017, at the Minidoka County Historical Museum in Rupert.
A copy of a newspaper page from 1886 talking about a new hotel on Shoshone Falls is seen during a tour of the Stricker Ranch Monday, July 3, 2017, near Hansen.
Judy Robinson, treasurer of Friends of Stricker Inc., describes Lucy Stricker's traveling trunk during a tour of the Stricker mansion July 3 near Hansen.
A photo of Lucy Stricker hangs in the house during a tour of the Stricker mansion Monday, July 3, 2017, near Hansen.
A wood-burning stove is displayed during a tour of the Stricker mansion July 3 near Hansen.
A ‘jockey box’ from a freight wagon at Stricker Ranch.