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Northern Kittitas County Historical Society (NKCHS)

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Cle Elum was one of the last cities in the country to use a manual telephone switchboard. In September of 1966, the Cle Elum Historical Telephone Museum was established when Pacific Northwest Bell deeded its building to the Society for a museum of telephone history. It is now the oldest complete telephone museum west of the Mississippi, with displays covering the history of telephone technology from 1901 to 1970.

In addition to the telephone displays, the museum features a collection of coal mine artifacts which were donated by local miners, and a selection of memorabilia from Cle Elum State Bank, built in 1906 by Frank Carpenter and run under his direction for over 50 years.

The Museum holds several switchboards dating back to the early 1900's, as seen on left.

This switchboard is one the operators used in Cle Elum until 1966.


Watch how the gears work when making a phone call.