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Montana Post "^ Volume 44, Number 2 '^ Summer 2006

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From the Acting Director

Richard Sims to Serve as the Society's New Director

Conferences and Celebrations Mark Summer and Fall 2006

Montana Articles Win Spur and Wrangler Awards

Nominations Sought for Gallery of Outstanding Montanans

Society Hosts Four Student Interns

Preserve America Communities Eligible for Grant Funds

History Happenings



From the Acting Director

Mark Baumler

In this, my final column, I am pleased to report on two major developments since our last e-newsletter.

First, following a wide and careful search, the Society has found its new director. He is Richard Sims
of Prescott, Arizona, presently the head of the Sharlot Hall Museum (see the related article below). Staff
had the opportunity to talk with Sims during three days of interviews at the beginning of May.

Over dinner one night, I learned firsthand of Richard's passion for western history, built upon a
breadth of experience in western heritage research, education, and interpretation. Telling evidence of his
enthusiasm for western history is revealed in the fact that he has written a regular and popular history
column for the Prescott Daily Courier for a number of years. I trust he will continue to share his
enthusiasm through this newsletter and other Society communications. I know Richard is ready and
intends to hit the ground running. He looks forward to getting to know as many of you as possible as soon
as he can. He is especially fond of Montana's towns and rural landscapes, so you can expect to see him
in your community soon!

Secondly, if you've been following the news, you already know that the due diligence and appraisal
studies for the Helena Capital Hill Mall property have been completed. In a nutshell, these studies
concluded that the 13.4-acre property is worth about $10 million and that there are no environmental
and/or structural issues that can't be addressed by a major renovation. With this information finally in
hand, it remains for the State to determine if the property is the best option for the location of a new
Society. The State will also have to weigh the relative merits of converting the present structure or
building from the ground up. The Governor's Office remains committed to addressing the need of the
Society for a new facility while remaining site-neutral. The 2005 Legislature approved $7.5 million in state
bonding as the first step for finding a new home. And the Montana History Foundation stands ready to
begin fundraising efforts once a location and design are in place. Now the Society — its Board, staff,
members, and new Director — must take the next step towards realizing a new Montana History Center by
completing the process for planning and decision-making. The result will benefit all Montanans and those
who wish to know our heritage.

It has been my pleasure to serve as the Acting Interim Director over the past seven months. My job
of taking the Society from Point A to Point B — from former director to new director — is almost complete. I
wish to thank the Society Board of Trustees for entrusting me with this role and the staff and the Friends
of the Society for working with me to make it successful. Finally, I wish to express my ongoing
appreciation to all who support the Montana Historical Society and its multi-faceted mission. It has been a
good experience for me and I like where I see us heading. Forward into the Past!

Richard Sims to Serve as the Society's New Director

The Montana Historical Society Board of Trustees has named Richard Sims as
the new director of the Montana Historical Society. Sims has been a museum
professional since 1979. He will come to the Society from the Sharlot Hall
Museum in Prescott, Arizona, where he serves as director.

A four-acre complex with several modern and historic buildings and a staff of
twenty-seven, Sharlot Hall has much in common with the Society. Both are state-
funded institutions with museum, library, archives, and preservation components.
Thus, Sims' experience there will translate directly to his new role. Among his
achievements at Sharlot Hall was the development and implementation of a $4
million capital and endowment campaign for the museum.

Before coming to Sharlot Hall, Sims served as director of the Museum of
Western Colorado for five years and as operations manager for the Museum of Northern Arizona in
Flagstaff for ten years.

A Kentucky native and U.S. Army veteran, Sims holds a bachelor's degree in anthropology from the
University of Oregon, a master's degree in English from Northern Arizona University, and a museum
management certificate from the University of Colorado.
He takes the helm of the Society in mid-July.

Conferences and Celebrations IVIark Summer and Fall 2006

In Deer lodge

June 24-26, 2006

The Society will put on a record number of multi-day events this
summer and fall.

The State Historic Preservation Office has joined with the
Montana Preservation Alliance and the Deer Lodge Preservation
Commission to present "Doin' Time in Deer Lodge," tlie 2006
Montana Preservation Worl<sliop. The June 24-26 conference
will bring preservationists from across the state for an excellent
line-up of speakers, sessions, panel discussions, and tours. To
view the full conference brochure and download your registration
form, visit .

Two education workshops in June will focus on twentieth-century Montana and place-based
education, respectively. Montana Mosaic: 20^^-Century People and Events Summer Teacher
Institute, funded by the Montana Committee for the Humanities, will take place in Helena June 26-28.
Twenty Montana history and English educators and librarians will gather with thirteen twentieth-century
Montana history scholars to investigate topics explored on Society's new DVD, Montana Mosaic: 2d^-
Century People and Events, and its companion website. The Society will distribute the NEH-funded DVD
to all Montana middle and high schools for use in fall 2006.

June 19-20 marks the Montana {Heritage Project Summer Conference on
Place-Based Learning in Butte. National experts on place-based learning
will headline the two-event, whose speakers include president of the Rural
School and Community Trust Rachel Tompkins and folklorist Guha Shankar
from the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. The
conference is open to any Montana teacher, with both university and Office
of Public Instruction renewal unit credits available. For more information and
to register, go to

or contact Marcella Sherfy, 406-444-1 759 or [email protected] .

The Montana Historical Society will once again join with the
Helena Civic Center to co-host the Twenty-eiglitli Annual Western
Rendezvous of Art, August 17-20. During the four-day event, the
Helena Civic Center will be transformed into one of the best art
galleries in the world as over fifty nationally recognized artists
display their work. A Thursday night Western style barbeque at the

Don Pretchel works on a painting at tine
2005 Quici< Draw on tine historic Sieben
Rancii. Tine Quici< Draw lias long been a
popular Rendezvous event.


is our classroom

Ei^iplar|in<] whsr* w» mrm

Montana Historical Society, a gala awards banquet, a "Quick Draw" at the Sieben Ranch, and, of course,
the art sale itself are some of this year's highlights. For more information and to register, call 406-442-
4263 or email [email protected] . To see some of the art that will be on display and photos of last year's
event, log on to .

The Society will celebrate the grand opening of its new long-term exhibit. Neither Empty Nor
Unknown, with a reception on Thursday, September 21, a full day of children's activities Friday,
September 22, and free admission to Montana's Museum on Saturday, September 23. The exhibit
focuses on life in Montana circa 1805.

Finally, September 28-30 brings the Society's Thirty -third Annual History Conference, Our Place
in tfie West: Views from tfie Yeiiowstone River Vaiiey. Thursday workshops will target topics of
interest to educators, museum professionals, and preservationists. Friday and Saturday sessions will
examine environmental issues, art. Crow culture, and more. Fun-filled tours of the Black Otter Trail,
Plenty-Coups State Park, Yellowstone Valley agricultural sites, and Pompey's Pillar National Historic
Landmark complete the experience. A conference brochure with a full list of activities and registration
information will be available online at in mid-July or by contacting 406-
444-4794 or e-mailing [email protected] .

Montana Articles Win Spur and Wrangler Awards

Two articles published in Montana The Magazine of Western History in 2005 won prestigious awards this
spring. Jeffrey Pearson's "Tragedy at Red Cloud Agency: The Surrender, Confinement, and Death of

Crazy Horse" (Summer 2005) won the coveted Wrangler
Award, presented by the National Cowboy Museum and
Western Heritage Center in Oklahoma City. The award honors
the best nonfiction magazine article on any western history
topic. This is the fifth Wrangler awarded the magazine.

Appearing in the Spring 2005 issue of Montana was Paul
Hedren's "The Contradictory Legacies of Buffalo Bill Cody's
First Scalp for Custer." The article gained the attention of
Western Writers of America, which awarded Paul Hedren a
Spur Award in the short nonfiction category. This is the fourth
article published in the magazine recognized with a Spur

Magazine staff met with Governor Brian Scfiweitzer after
articles in Montana Tine Magazine of Western l-iistory won
two national awards this spring. Tom Cook, photographer

Nominations Sought for Gallery of Outstanding Montanans

in 1981 the state established the Gallery of Outstanding Montanans in the capitol building's west wing.
The gallery pays public tribute to Montanans who have made especially significant contributions to their
chosen fields, including science, medicine, the arts, education, economics, the law, business, and politics.
Inductees to the gallery are honored on a rotating basis, with two new individuals initiated every biennium.

The Society, which oversees the process, is currently seeking nominations for future inductees.
Nominees must have been born, raised, or lived a significant period of time in Montana. No living persons
are eligible for nomination. Nominations should include the nominee's name, birth and death dates,
Montana association (place of birth, place of residence, place of work, etc.), field of endeavor, specific
contributions and achievements, any supporting documentation or additional information, name and
contact information for person submitting nomination, and date the nomination was submitted.

Return nominations to: Curator of Art, Montana Historical Society, P.O. Box 201201, Helena, MT
59620-1201, or [email protected] . Call 406-444-4711 for more information. Nominations are due
September 15, 2006. Honorees will be announced in November 2006. To learn more about this program,
and to view a list of current and past honorees, visit: .

Society Hosts Four Student Interns

The Montana Historical Society awarded its 2006 August and Mary Sobotka internship to University of
New Mexico Ph.D. history student Scott Meredith. Scott will help compile a database and annotated
bibliography of the Montana Historical Society's collections that relate to the African-American experience
in Montana. The annual summer internship is funded by the Society's August and Mary Sobotka
Education Trust Fund, established with a bequest from the Glendive-area couple in 2004.

Three other interns have also joined the Society's staff this summer. Montana State University
history major Jessie Gable will work in the archives, processing the collection of Bessie Reed, a 1950s
era representative to the state legislature. Western Michigan University senior Jonathan Watson will be
working on a number of museum projects ranging from cataloguing collections to an interactive website
for kids. Finally, Patrick Cross, a journalism major at the University of Montana, will join the publications
program to assist on a variety of marketing and editorial projects.

Preserve America Communities Eligible for Grant Funds

The State Historic Preservation Office has added one more way for communities to fund their cultural and
heritage tourism efforts: the Montana Rural Heritage Experience Preserve America sub-grants. The
deadline for applications is July 10. The sub-grants, available to Preserve America communities will range
from $3,000 to $15,000 and will require a non-federal match. The sub-grant program gives the Society
another way to help rural communities preserve their cultural and heritage resources and promote their
irreplaceable assets.

Melisa Kaiser Synness will participate in a session to discuss the Preserve America sub-grants
and other cultural and heritage tourism funding opportunities at the fourth annual preservation conference
"Doin' Time in Deer Lodge," June 24-26. Travel funds and scholarships are available for preservationists
to attend the conference. For grant guidelines and information, contact Melisa Kaiser Synness at
[email protected] .

History Happenings

The Montana Historical Society Research Center has partnered with the Montana State Library to provide
Montana residents access to a digital library of Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps on the worldwide web.
For the past several years the Missoula Preservation Office paid for the subscription; the Society and
State Library have now assumed that cost. Sanborn maps exist of over 300 Montana communities. These
maps document each structure on every street, beginning in 1884 in some towns and continuing up to the
1950s. They provide an incredible resource for looking at town growth and development. The Sanborn
maps are valuable to historians, architects, genealogists, government planners, and developers. If you
are interested in accessing these maps from your home computer, contact the Society
at [email protected] or 406-444-2681 for the username and password.

The Anaconda Company's sale of its newspapers, the Northern Pacific Railroad's 1872
Yellowstone Survey, western artist William Ranney, and dinosaur discoveries are just
some of the topics explored in the upcoming issue of Montana The Magazine of
Western History. Magazines will be available on newsstands in mid-July. To
subscribe, call 1-800-243-9900.

The Secretary of the Interior has recognized the Butte-Anaconda National Historic

Landmark for its significance to the history of labor. The enlarged landmark includes Butte and Anaconda
and the railroad connecting the sister cities. It constitutes the largest NHL in the West, covering nearly
10,000 acres with over 6,000 contributing resources. Recognition was the result of fourteen years of
determined effort on the part of Montana's historic preservation community — including the staff at SHPO,
Montana Preservation Alliance, and local preservation groups in Butte and Anaconda.

The Society awarded its annual Bradley Fellowship to Andrew Graybill, assistant professor of history at
the University of Nebraska. The fellowship will support his research into the Cypress Hills Massacre. The
massacre occurred in 1873, when a group of Montana wolf trappers crossed the border with Canada in
search of some stolen horses. Fueled by alcohol and racial prejudice, the Americans raped, murdered,
and dismembered thirty Assiniboine men and women. The episode caused an international incident; the
killers were captured, tried, and released. Professor Graybill arrives on June 13 for a four-week residency
in the Research Center and will report his findings in an article for Montana The Magazine of Western

The Montana Historical Society's State Historic Preservation Office is inviting the public to participate in
its 2006 Montana Preservation Questionnaire. The questionnaire's goal is to gather ideas and
recommendations to help the Preservation Office prioritize its resources. The questionnaire will be
available at www.mhs/ by July 1 or by calling 406-444-7715. Questionnaires
should be returned to Rolene Schliesman at [email protected] or Montana State Historic Preservation
Office, PO Box 201202, Helena, MT 59620-1202.

Volunteer Diane Myrah has completed an inventory of tlie Society's extensive map collection, which
includes 5,000 historical maps of Montana and the region. This inventory is the first step toward needed
conservation of the collection.

The Society's Interpretive Historian Ellen Baumlerwill partner with Helena's popular Tour Train Trolley
this summer to conduct two special evening tours of Helena's historic cemeteries. She will also share her
Spirit Tailings program — based on her two books — in Billings, Virginia City, Salmon Lake, and Missoula.
Other members of the Society's staff are also presenting programs across the state: Archivist Rich
Aarstad will take one of the Society's educational trunks to the Missouri Headwaters State Park to talk
about the fur trade in Montana. Research Center Director Molly Kruckenberg will discuss cookbooks and
cooking at the Meagher/Wheatland County Book Fest in White Sulphur Springs. And Research Historian
Dave Walter will take his perennial favorite, "Jerks in Montana History" to Seeley Lake and Belgrade (see
calendar for details).

Montana Historical Society Trustees President Lee Rostad of Martinsdale praised the Friends of the
Montana Historical Society for their vast contributions to state history and heritage at the spring
volunteer luncheon. The 135 volunteers worked over 8,300 hours at the Society last year, the equivalent
of more than three full-time employees. Members of the Friends gave tours, catalogued collections, and
helped with numerous other tasks. In addition to volunteering their time, the Friends also donated money
to purchase an LCD projector for the Boo Auditorium and a hi-speed tape duplicator for the Society's oral
history department. For the first time, the Friends also offered small college scholarships to two of their
members: high school seniors Tanner Mitchell and Rachel Spangler. Mitchell has volunteered at the
Society for five years. Spangler has been an active volunteer since last September, coming in at least
weekly to transcribe oral histories.

This year's Youth Heritage Festival in April again brought students from all Montana Heritage Project
schools together to present their work to each other, to the State of Montana, and to the Library of
Congress. For the second year in a row, three of the Project's outstanding scholar-writers (Jamie

Halliday, Bigfork; Shannon Flynn, Broadwater; and Lindsey Appell, Roundup) read
portions of their research papers. The event also featured Chester composer and pianist
Philip Aaberg, who premiered "Small Town, Big Heart," a composition he wrote to honor
Montana Heritage Project students and teachers. Then, in May, four Broadwater High
School students traveled with their teachers Darlene Beck and Julie Diehl to represent
the Project at the Library of Congress. More information about the Youth Heritage
Festival is available at tittp://www. montanatieritapeproject. orcj/index. ptip/fieldnotes/2006-
youtti-tieritaae-festival/ .

Broadwater High School senior Shannon Flynn
presents her work on the 2000 Toston-Maudlow fire
at the Youth Heritage Festival.

To promote the Society's tours, outreach resources, and on-line materials, the Education Office has
produced a new brochure: Discover the Past! It features the Society's educational footlockers, which
cover topics ranging from archaeology to architecture; thematic, age-appropriate tours of the Society's
exhibit galleries; tours of the Original Governor's Mansion and the Montana State Capitol; and such new
initiatives as Montana Mosaic, the NEH-funded DVD and companion website focusing on twentieth
century Montana history. For a copy of the brochure — which will be distributed at conferences across the
state — contact 406-444-4789 or [email protected] . The Society has also created a new promotional
brochure for the Original Governor's Mansion. The brochure will be distributed throughout the state. For
a copy (or for multiple copies for distribution), contact 406-444-4710 or [email protected] .

The Tliexton Rancli near Ennis, properties on the 2600 blocl< of Montana Avenue in Billings, and tlie

Babb-Peigan, Montana, Inspection Station, on US 89 near the
United States and Canada border were all listed in the National
Register of Historic Places this spring. The Montana Historical
Society's preservation office coordinates the Statewide Preservation
Review Board and shepherds National Register nominations
through an intensive nomination process. These successful listings
represent very different aspects of Montana history, illustrating the

This granary on the Thexton Ranch was one ^ide variety of sites in Montana worthy of preservation.

of several properties recently listed in the

National Register

Staff changes have come to the Research Center. Roberta Gebhardt has joined the Society as
Technical Services Librarian. She comes to the position from the State Library, where she worked as a
state documents cataloguer. Rich Aarstad, who came to work at the Society in 2001 has left his position
as the Library's Reference Historian for a new challenge in the Archives. His new title is Archivist/Oral
Historian. The Research Center hopes to fill the Reference Historian position shortly.

The Society welcomes new full-time security officer Barbara (Bobbi) Tickett and welcomes back part-
time officer Dan Stockburger. Society volunteer Rachel Spangler will work part time as a security guard
this summer before heading off to college in the fall.

The Society will celebrate American Indian Heritage Day, Friday, September 22, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
with activities for school groups and tours of the Society's newest exhibit. Neither Empty Nor Unl<nown:
Montana at ttie Time of Lewis and Clarl<. Activities will focus on Plains Indian life in 1805. Kids will learn
about animal tracking, hides, and furs, they will examine stone tool technology, throw an atlatl, make
pemmican, witness a tipi raising, make an Exploit robe, see fire-making technology, and play Indian
games of skill and intuition. A grant from the National Park Service Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail
supports this special day of activities. To bring a class to participate, call the Education Office at 406-444-
4789 for reservations.

Each spring the Friends of the Montana Historical Society, the Society's volunteer organization, select
their favorite article from the previous year's Montana Tine Magazine of Western IHistory. The winner of
the 2005 Friends' Choice Award is the Society's Interpretive Historian Ellen Baumler for her article "The
Masonic Apron of Meriwether Lewis and the Legacy of Masonry in Montana," published in the Winter
2005 issue: .


Unless otherwise noted, all of the programs are free, open to the public, at the Montana Historical
Society, 225 N. Roberts.

June 17, 12:30 p.m.: Jeannette Rankin: A Political Woman. Join Jim Lopach and Jean Luckowski,
professors at the University of Montana, for a presentation on their new book on Montana suffragist,
pacifist, and politician Jeannette Rankin.

June 22, 6:30 p.m.: Neither Empty Nor Uni^nown: Montana at the Time of Lewis and Clark. The

Society's Curator of Historic Objects, George Oberst, will give a behind-the-scenes tour of the Society's
newest exhibit in the final stages of production. See what life was like in this area we now call Montana, at
the time of Lewis and Clark.

June 25, 10:00 a.m. -4:00 p.m. Original Governor's Mansion Secret Garden

Tour. The fun begins at the Original Governor's Mansion, 304 North Ewing Street,
Helena. Participants will enjoy a self-guided tour of the Mansion, a garden
marketplace, an antique car show, musical entertainment, and ticket holders will be
provided maps to see six spectacular private gardens throughout Helena. Lunch by
Benny's Bistro will be available at the Mansion. Tickets are $10 for adults in
advance; $12 at the Mansion on tour day. For more information, call 406-444-4710.


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