The Lemhi Historical Society and Museum is involved in two key projects to restore and preserve local historical sites. The Gilmore Mercantile and the building which when renovated will house the Fred and Thelma Ramey Salmon Grange Museum.

The Lemhi County Historical Society and Museum purchased the Gilmore Mercantile and the storage building behind it with the help of the Idaho Heritage Trust, the Lemhi County Historic Preservation Committee, and private donors. The Museum’s goal is to stabilize and restore the Mercantile, in turn encouraging the appreciation and preservation of local historical sites.

In 2008, The Idaho Heritage Trust awarded a second grant to aid in the stabilization process of the Gilmore, allowing us to continue our efforts. If you too are interested in contributing to help preserve our history here in Lemhi County, you may send donations directly to the Lemhi County Historical Society or use Pay Pal specifying “the Gilmore Project.” Any donation you make is tax deductible.

On August 2, 2008, six interpretive panels were installed near the Gilmore Mercantile: two panels tell the story of the mining in the Gilmore area, two panels tell the story of the community of Gilmore, and two panels explain the history of the Gilmore and Pittsburgh. The Lemhi County Historical Society, the Museum, and local residents, provided photos and history.

The project was made possible through a Challenge Cost Share Grant to the Lemhi County Historical Society from the Bureau of Land Management. This cooperative project has been in place for three years and resulted in a traveling interpretive exhibit on Gilmore and the G & P, a permanent exhibit in the Lemhi County Museum, and the interpretive panels now at Gilmore. Antonia Hedrick of the Bureau of Land Management provided the interpretive panels design, and the program initiated through the assistance of Linda Clark, formerly with the Salmon Field Office, and Gloria Jakovac.

The Salmon Grange
The Salmon Grange has a long history of community use. The building served as a soup kitchen, a center for community programs, the office of the local newspaper The Herald, and is now part of the Lemhi County Historical Museum.

In 2007, the building faced uncertainty with the disbanding of inactive granges by the Idaho State Grange Association. Rather than selling the Salmon Grange to a private individual or company, the state Grange officials, in keeping with the organization’s purpose, offered the building to the Lemhi County Historical Society so it could remain in community service. Bart and Patricia Templeman made the acquisition possible with a generous donation made in memory of Patricia’s parents, Fred and Thelma Ramey. The Board of Directors purchased the Grange with a portion of their donation on behalf of the Lemhi Historical Society.

Idaho Power and the Salmon Rotary Club contributed to the preservation of the building by putting in new windows, doors, and replacing the roof. Long-range plans for the building include a new ceiling and a new paint job. Once renovations are complete the “Fred and Thelma Ramey Salmon Grange Museum” will be used for special exhibits and for the expansion of the photo department.

If you would like to contribute to this project by means of labor, materials, and or monetary donations, contact the Museum directly or simply make a donation through PayPal. All donations are tax deductible.