Submitted by Sherry Turner
Thanks to the Montana History Foundation (MHF), their donors, and volunteers at the Heritage Museum, the final installation work on a $5,000 outdoor sign grant, awarded by MHF last spring, has been completed. The MHF is a 501(c)3 charitable foundation, based in Helena, that raises money and provides funding for history and preservation projects across Montana. The MHF seeks to preserve the legacy of Montana’s past and with an eye on the future, the Foundation’s central goal is to generate public support to save the rich cultural heritage and historic resources of Montana.
When MHF chose to award the grant to the Heritage Museum, most of the paper, glass, and wood outdoor signage at the Museum had severely deteriorated or no longer existed. This grant enabled the Museum volunteers to historically research, order, and install 111 new small outdoor historical artifact or building signs and three large historical interpretative signs that are weather-resistant, white and black aluminum bonded, and will last for many years to come. Each new small sign names the historical artifact or building and describes how it was used; some also contain the year it was used. Each new large interpretative sign for the areas of agriculture, lumber, and mining contains related historical photographs, descriptions of events, and a descriptive timeline for the Libby area. Special thanks to Baumbach Signs of Kalispell who donated 20 small signs; and our local partners Montana Machine and Fabrication, ACE, and Big Sky Lumber who discounted the purchase of repairs and supplies. Fastsigns of Whitefish who created 91 small signs, and Signs Now of Kalispell who created the three large interpretive signs were the low bidders that made the grant money go further.
Mark your calendars for the Museum’s “41st Opening Day Celebration” which will be held on Saturday, June 1. This will be an excellent time to visit the Museum, view the new outdoor signage, enjoy the activities, and have lunch in the Cookhouse.
One of the three large historical interpretative signs funded by the MHF grant. Photo courtesy of Sherry Turner