The H. Earl Clack Museum Board Monday discussed several items to address in the next year, including one that appears to be resolved: replacing the elderly computer used in the museum.
Board Chair Judi Dritshulas said it appears a donation to replace the computer, with which museum manager John Bruington has said he has been having problems, likely will be made in February.
She added that Martin Holt donated some time to make sure the files on the computer — records dating back to the 1960s entered into the computer — were backed up in case something happened to the system before it is replaced.
Other priorities include finding permanent storage for items owned by the museum that are not on display. The board has been mandated by the county government to clean out space in the Hill County Courthouse Annex now being used for storage.
Dritshulas said finding a space has to be a top priority.
“I keep thinking that just out of the blue something is going to come up, somebody is going to come up and say we have this beautiful building (you can use), ” she said, but that something has to be found soon.
She suggested reforming the joint museum and museum foundation board planning committee to focus on finding storage space.
Another priority should be focusing on creating some educational events to be sponsored by the museum, such as lectures or educational events targeting children.
The board also discussed helping the Rudyard museums sponsor the annual Dinosaur Trail meeting this spring.
Montana Dinosaur Trail includes 15 facilities in 12 communities in Montana, including the Rudyard Depot Museum, the Clack Museum, the Blaine County Museum in Chinook, and the Phillips County Museum and the Great Plains Dinosaur Museum and Field Station, both in Malta.
People can purchase a Dinosaur Trail Passport Book and receive a gold seal of completion for the book, a certificate and a Dinosaur Trail T-shirt once the book is stamped at all locations.
Dritshulas said the Rudyard Depot Museum is hosting the meeting, but its staff members asked that the board of the Clack Museum help with the event.
The board also discussed the highly successful Dinosaur Christmas event held at the Clack Museum — Bruington said he counted 147 people who actually came into the museum, with most events held outside in the Holiday Village Mall common area — and possible future events modeled after it.
The board members also agreed to delay discussion of the text for a self-guided walking tour of the museum, of which Bruington had just relayed to them the fifth draft. Bruington and the board agreed that deciding the format for presenting the information could wait until the board members have more time to review the information.
At the end of the meeting, the group went to the museum itself to look at a piece of Havre history and to discuss using it in a display at the museum.
Bruington said Steven and Nancy Cassell had sent to the museum a pair of chairs that had been in the Montana European Hotel and Grill. The opera house, owned by Havre businessman, philanthropist and reputed bootlegger and racketeer C. W. “Shorty” Young, was erected in the 1890s in the spot now housing the Havre Town Square.
The chairs were sent in courtesy of former Havreites Harold and Evaughn Barrett of Midland, Texas, Bruington said.