Accomplishments Old Trail Museum achieved during the 2016 season.
The Old Trail Museum opened our doors on May 28th to begin our 2016 season. We had a wonderful season with 3,318 people passing through our doors. Of that total, 1,657 were from out of state, 1,393 were from Montana, 109 were from out of country, 87 were from Choteau and 72 were from Canada.
Student groups from Choteau schools, Trinity Lutheran, Augusta, Blackfeet Community College staff and Great Falls schools toured the museum. Four large tour groups from Ready Bus Lines out of Minnesota also toured the complex.
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 all the donated items both for the silent auction and the live auction, we were able to raise an outstanding dollar amount. Thanks to all who attended and contributed.
We hired Joe Boroski to remove the sod on the Gleason
All the board members participated in freshening up, repairing and painting the buildings before our opening. Roger Kelly and Dave Wedum also replaced several boards on the deck behind the schoolhouse.
Once again we are so thankful to the SOKA PIIWA Foundation for their generous donations to our museum. Their donation pays for the maintenance position and also for funding to help with keeping the museum open during the summer months.
The Wednesday evening programs were a huge success the Rich Clough, Barb Larsen, Bill and Maggie Luthin, Becca Hanna and Gary Betcher giving us a fun music night. Mary Tonkovich gave an excellent presentation about Ivan Doig, Smokey and Darnell Ridesatthedoor once again gave a special program about the uses of hides, berries and all natural things in the environment
Three interpretive tours of the Old North Trail and other archeological sites each drew great groups. Anne Dellwo, Dave and V.V. Shea, and Dave Hartman guided the tours. All participants thoroughly enjoyed the history of this trail.
Our 30-year celebration was a wonderful success. G.A. Ruxtan Memorial Palaver displayed their rifles, bows and all items related to these articles. Sherwin Smith displayed his trade beads and furs, and Lyle Arps displayed and demonstrated how to tan hides. The Two Medicine Dinosaur Center from Bynum brought dinosaur fossils and discussed how to prep fossils. We had an excellent turnout of 191 visitors who signed the guest register in the museum. Refreshments were served throughout the day.
Summer Day Camp was held in July for children entering first grade through fourth grade. The kids had a wonderful time and look forward to next year's camp.
Our Flea Market on Labor Day had 12 vendors and was a fun time.
Cam Morris, Morris Construction and James helped up during the summer with sewer problems and eventually ended up donating their time and equipment to replace broken sewer lines. We can't thank them enough.
We want to extend a huge thank you to all the volunteers who helped to keep the museum open during the 2015 season, especially Laurie Jorden and Linda Watson for volunteering to work one day a week each as curators.