Bingham County Historical Museum opens after 2 years of closure due to pandemic

BLACKFOOT — The Bingham County Historical Museum has reopened after a long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In March 2020, Governor Brad Little declared a stay-at-home order due to the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases, forcing people from their workplaces and leaving many businesses suddenly vacant.

“When they (museum staff) left, they just left. Everyone assumed we were only going to be locked up for 2 weeks, and it ended up being 2 years,” the museum curator told

The museum, which is inside the John G. Brown Mansion, a restored 1905 Southern-style mansion built from local lava rock, slowly deteriorated over the hiatus, with no one able to to maintain it during the pandemic.

“I don’t think anyone anticipated what was going to happen, and when we arrived there was a lot of cleaning to be done. There is still damage that we need to repair as the roof leaked during this time,” the curator said.

For the month of May, the museum will feature a special military exhibit to honor Bingham County veterans, in addition to regular exhibits.

“Right now the exhibit is meant to commemorate all the wars and all the people who have served. All branches of the military are on display right now,” the curator said.

Regular exhibits include Native American artifacts, period clothing and furniture, musical instruments, military uniforms, a collection of dolls, and many historic photos.

The Bingham County Historical Society operates the Bingham County Historical Society Museum, located at 190 North Shilling in Blackfoot. Their hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

Veterans or active duty men and women will receive free admission for the month of May with their military ID card. Regular admission is $5. Children and seniors are $3.

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Patrick F. Williams