The Historical Museum at St. Gertrude has a special collection of Nez Perce artifacts, an extensive geology exhibit, a medical collection, extensive displays on the Chinese in Idaho, and a pioneer life collection. There is an exhibit about the history of the Monastery of St. Gertrude, which you might expect. You would not expect the Rhoades Emmanuel Gallery, which features the lifetime collection of Winifred Rhoades, a renowned silent film organist whose interest include European and Asian artifacts. Yes, you’ll see Ming Dynasty vases right there on the Camas Prairie.
The museum is home to the collections of well-known Idaho County personalities Polly Bemis, Frances Wisner, and Sylvan “Buckskin Bill” Hart.
It is a collection that rivals any other in the state, and something that would have made Sister M. Alfreda Elsensohn famous on its own. But she wasn’t satisfied teaching only students. She became an important Idaho historian, writing books such as Pioneer Days in Idaho County, Idaho Chinese Lore, and Polly Bemis. With her writing and teaching, Sister M. Alfreda Elsensohn became one of Idaho’s most important historians.
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