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Sister Alfreda Elsensohn Museum Award

2017 Sister Alfreda Elsensohn Award

2017 Sister Alfreda Awardee: The Owyhee County Historical Society Museum

The Owyhee County Historical Museum began in 1960 as a single display case in the Owyhee County courthouse.  In 1961 the Murphy schoolhouse was deeded to the Historical Society and became the museum space.  A few short years later in 1963 the Society built their first building next to the schoolhouse.  Over the years the museum building has undergone two expansions and includes three exhibit galleries, offices, a library, archives and community hall. The Owyhee County Museum has grown to occupy approximately half an acre with the Marsing Train Depot, a 1964 Union Pacific Caboose, a Replica Stamp mill, a saw mill, a 1926 Homestead cabin and the original Murphy schoolhouse.

The Owyhee County Historical Society has been dedicated to the preservation, interpretation, and exhibition of the past since its inception in 1960.  It has continued to grow to meet the needs of the community and collections.

"We are honored to be recognized by the Idaho State Historical Society, Idaho Heritage Trust and Idaho Humanities Council as the recipient of the Sister Alfreda Elsensohn Award." Amy Johnson, Owyhee County Historical Society

An awards ceremony will be held on Saturday, April 21, 2018, 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. The award presentation will be at 1:30 p.m. and the public is welcome to attend. Owyhee County Historical Society Museum is located at 17085 Basey Street, Murphy, Idaho. Please join us!

Sister Alfreda Elsensohn Past Awardees


Sister Alfreda Elsensohn Museum Award for Outstanding Service

The Sister Alfreda Elsensohn Museum Award for Outstanding Service was initiated in 2008.  It is a joint award given annually by the Idaho Heritage Trust, Idaho Humanities Council, and Idaho State Historical Society to recognize outstanding service by an Idaho museum, historical society, or interpretive organization/association.

The Award is named for Sister Alfreda Elsensohn, who founded the Historical Museum at St. Gertrude in Cottonwood. Sister Alfreda, one of Idaho’s outstanding historians, sought to collect, preserve, and interpret artifacts from Idaho County and the surrounding area to better educate the public.  “A museum is a bridge which links the present with the past,” she often said.  It is her vision of Idaho museums as exciting, interactive, and educational institutions that the Award seeks to recognize by honoring one outstanding Idaho museum, historical society, or interpretive organization/association.

The following criteria will be considered by the three sponsors each year in determining the awardee for that year. Additional criteria may also be considered.

  • Will have a record of outstanding professional programming.
  • Will be leaders in the field of Idaho museums, historical societies, or interpretive organizations/associations.
  • Will have a record of sharing their resources and information with community and statewide partners, thereby assisting in the development of professional level historical interpretation, displays, and preservation of Idaho's History.
  • Will demonstrate success in collaborative community work.
  • Will be able to use the funding to move to a higher level of professionalism and have experience in administering and implementing grant-funded projects and programs.

While only one Award will be given annually, over the course of several years, it is the goal of the three sponsors to have a fairly even distribution
of the award in the various geographical regions of the state.  There is no application form to complete; the three sponsors select an awardee
each year.


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