The museum, once the social center of Blackfoot, was built in 1905 by John G. and May Brown. He brought his family from Tennessee, complete with servants, chauffeur and Chinese cook to live in the mansion.
The home was built of lava rock from the basement to the second floor, with the upper floor being of painted lumber, with four Greek columns supporting the gingerbread-railed balcony that roofs the front porch. With its fifteen rooms, glasswalled sunroom, and promenade balcony overlooking the big front room, this grand home soon became the social center of Blackfoot.
The Browns owned and operated a fine furniture store located on Bridge Street and the Brown & Hart Mercantile on Main Street. After the death of Mr. Brown, Mrs. Brown returned to Tennessee, having sold the home in 1927 to Stewart Hoover Post 23 of American Legion. It was remodeled for their use as a Legion Post until Bingham County bought it in 1974 to be used as a museum.
At this time, the building was renovated, relics arranged and it was opened to the public. In 1977 restoration began to restore the home as it was originally built. From the rock-walled basement to the restored bedrooms upstairs, along passage ways lined with old pictures and rare artifacts, this museum is set up as a beautiful Southern mansion and reflects life in Blackfoot at the turn of the century. The museum is for the benefit of the people of this county, and to aid in the perpetuation and display of pioneer histories and relics. It is non-political and non-sectarian.
It is open three days a week: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 1 pm to 4:30 pm, from the 2nd week in May through the 2nd week in September. For special tours call 785-0397 or 782-0750.
Located at 190 North Shilling Avenue – Blackfoot, ID 83221