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Heritage Museum Opening Day on Saturday

by Benjamin Kibbey Western News
| May 28, 2019 4:00 AM

Opening Day at the Heritage Museum in Libby is Saturday, and volunteers will be on hand with a variety of displays and interactive activities for all ages.

According to a museum press release, activities will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday. “As always, the entire family will find something of interest in the presentations and demonstrations both inside and outside.”

At 10 a.m. and again at 11:15 a.m., the school bell will ring in the yard outside the museum, summoning pupils. Attendees can follow them inside an “step back in time to 1901 and view or take part in a living history experience.”

At 10:30 a.m. in the museum’s Beebe Room, Zoe Ann Stoltz from the Montana Historical Society will present “Was that a fly or a raisin in my cake? Camp Cook Challenges,” according to the release.

“There was only one job more challenging than being a turn of the century lumberjack — that was cooking for the lumbermen!” the release reads. “Imagine feeding a hungry crowd without refrigeration, as well as on management’s tight budget. Camp cooks faced crazy challenges in attempts to replace the thousands of calories used by loggers. Feel free to bring a copy of your favorite Lumber Camp recipe!”

As Reference Historian for the Montana Historical Society, Zoe Ann’s career combines her two passions, the people and history of Montana. After growing up in eastern Montana, and raising three daughters in Libby, Zoe Ann pursued her dream of becoming a Public Historian. To this end, she graduated from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, and earned her Master’s in History from the University of Montana. She has been the MHS Reference Historian for over a decade. Her current projects include introducing students to the thrills of research, as well study of the MHS Cook Book Collection and Montana Foodways.

There will be square dancing at 11 a.m. in the Swamp Creek Dance Hall, where the Libby Spinning Squares will put on a performance.

At 11:45 a.m., Mike Cohan will present on mining heritage in the Beebe Room, according to the release. “Using his extensive collection of mining artifacts, you’ll learn about the specialized skills and back-breaking labor that went into extracting precious minerals from the earth. You will be invited to handle some of the tools and equipment used in the process.”

And in the Tower Gallery — accessed from inside the museum — quilts will be on display from the Kootenai Valley Quilt Guild. The quilts will be on display through Friday, June 14.

Beginning Saturday, June 15, local artists will display their artwork in the Tower Gallery, according to the release. The new exhibit this year showcases memorabilia from Libby High School. From the Terriers to the Loggers, several decades are represented.

Although two of the Museum’s four Model T Fords are undergoing some engine work, all will be on display, according to the release. In the yard there will also be crosscut saw and blacksmith demonstrations.

Attendees can also give gold panning a try, and they will be able to keep what they find.

The Kootenai Muzzleloader camp will be set up in the yard, according to the release. “They are always happy to show their handmade crafts and answer your questions.”

Attendees are also encouraged to check out the the Shay shed to see the progress on the locomotive.

The Heritage Museum’s regular hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The museum will be open through Saturday, Sept. 14.

Admission is by donation, and the Heritage Museum is run completely by volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, please call the Museum at 293-7521.