Accomplishments Old Trail Museum achieved during the 2017 season.
The Old Trail Museum began our 2017 season on May 27th. We surpassed our 2016 season with 3,414 people passing through our doors. Of that total 1,487 were from out of state, 1,525 were from in state, 126 from Choteau, 107 from Canada, and 169 were from out of country with 21 different countries enjoying our museum.
Twelve student groups from all over the state and 10 large tour groups mainly with Ready Bus Lines out of Minnesota toured the museum.
The annual Wild Game Feed held at the new convention center at the Stage Stop Inn was very well attended and was so much fun. This is OTM's major fundraiser to keep our museum open. With the support of our wonderful community, businesses and individuals and even lots of donations from outside our community, our silent auction and live auction raised an outstanding amount. Once again we thank all those attended and contributed.
Lots of thanks to many people for donating their time and products to the museum: Sharon Haug for donating so many of the flowers for our grounds; Mike Birnel for the help he does in winterizing in the fall and getting all water turned back on in the Spring; Alf Wiseman for replacing the boardwalk in front of the Metis Cabin; Nathan Russell for donating the new curbing on the grounds; Bob Pearson for getting a security system in place for the complex, motion lights installed behind the buildings and for replacing the overhang on the School House roof; all the board members for stepping up to get the museum ready for the season and for helping to put everything away for winter. What a great board we have. Dave Wedum, thank you for all you do at the museum and for all the laughs. We appreciate you very much. Also a huge thank you to Morris Construction, Cam Morris, the City crew and Mike Birnel for all their work to fix a water problem on the grounds. What an outstanding job they did.
SOKA PIIWA Foundation once again made a generous donation to pay for the maintenance position and maintenance expenses at the museum. The Boe Brothers Foundation also gave a generous donation for helping the maintain the museum. We thank them both very much.
We put on four wonderful Wednesday evening programs that were all so entertaining. Thanks to Nancy Thornton, Rich Clough, Bill and Maggie Luthin, Gary Betcher, Dave Shea and for everyone who helped Julie Ameline put on the program on the Circle 8 Ranch.
Dave amd ViVi Shea, Dave Hartman and Anne Dellwo once again led two interpretive tours of the Old North Trail and other archeological sites. These tours are very well attended and are thoroughly enjoyed by all participants. Dave and ViVi Shea also did some individual tours. Watch for dates and times for coming tours in 2018.
OTM once again sponsored a Dutch Oven Gathering at the Threshing Bee with Jesse and Rose Crawford, Don Brookins, Sheyenne and Becky Asby and Kent Mitchell as cooks. We had a wonderful turnout and were able to give the Teton Antique Steam and Gas Association half of the proceeds.
Summer Day Camp was not held this past summer due to so many conflicts. We hope to have it for the 2018 season.
Our Flea Market on Labor Day had nine vendors this year. We had a great turnout for this event.
We want to extend a huge thank you to all the volunteers who helped to keep the museum open during the 2017 season, especially Laurie Jorden and Linda Watson for volunteering to work one day a week each as curators. Also a big thank you goes to Mark Krause who spent many hours at the museum again this summer getting our accession records updated. This was all volunteer work and we can't thank him enough for all the work he did. He completed this overwhelming task in August.
Connie Hirsch's Carriage House was a busy place also. She was very happy with the outcome.
The Ice Cream Parlor was again run by Dawn Sullivan. We are happy to have her on board. She reported that the Ice Cream Parlor did a great business. She will be back for the 2018 season.
We were very excited to win the Parade of Lights best float award at the Choteau Chamber of Commerce Christmas Stroll. We had so much fun getting our float decorated. We have to give Steve Taormina and Bob Pearson a big hand for being such good sports to dress up like bears.
A great big thank you to Dave Wedum for all he does for the museum. Our grounds look wonderful due to Dave.