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By Bob Difley

Colville, a mining and logging town of only 4420 residents, is second only in population to Spokane in northeastern Washington. There just arenít a whole lot of people up in this neck of the woods. But worth a stop is the Keller house complex, a restored house, museum, and cluster of old outbuildings a meticulously cared for representative of life in the early 1900s.

The docent who led our tour has lived here all his life. "The Keller house was built in 1910 by a Mr. Young for his wife," he explained. "Young was an attorney, quite well-to-do, and owned a horse-drawn sleigh business, a real estate firm, and an insurance company. Mrs. Young came from Ohio and was a schoolteacher, and a good deal younger than Young. He died 5 years later of a heart attack and his young wife (no pun intended) married Mr. Keller, proprietor of Keller's hardware."

The Keller House Foundation was fortunate to obtain much of the original furniture and fixtures, as the Kellers lived here all their lives, had no children and took excellent care of their furnishings. Their home is a step back in time, restored with meticulous detail to give the visitor a feel for the genteel life of the early 1900's. Wallpaper, dishes, even linens all add to the period decor.

The grounds include various buildings, including the carriage house that was built along with the original house. A trappers cabin, lookout tower, and some farm machinery were imported from around the county.

The adjacent museum has a broad collection of Indian artifacts as well as pioneer memorabilia, much of it donated by local history lovers.

You can find the Keller House at 700 N. Wynne St., Colville. Tours are available from 10AM to 4PM Wednesday through Sunday, May to September. Free admission.