Tuesday will be the last day to take in local history at the H. Earl Clack Memorial Museum for more than a month, as the museum begins its move across the Holiday Village Mall.
The museum’s current location, near Big R on the west side of the mall, will close its doors on Wednesday to begin the move to the new location, on the opposite end of the mall, near Sears. The museum hopes to reopen by April 17.
“The move to the new location will place the museum much closer to its sister site, the Wahkpa Chu’gn Buffalo Jump and combined efforts between the two sites will hopefully increase tourism for the whole area, ” a press release from museum Manager John Bruington said.
Bruington added this morning that the two historical sites already share a “close relationship” and are working now to have school tours split, with two groups switching between the museum and the buffalo jump, which will soon be just down the hallway.
“The new site requires some major renovations which have already begun, so the next month will be spent preparing the new museum and packing up the old one, ” the release said.
Bruington elaborated that much of the museum’s furnishings will be stored in the old Sam Goody store while they work on putting up dry wall, carpeting, lighting and a new ceiling in the new space.
The space is slightly smaller over all, Bruington said, but it is less split up than the current space and will allow the layout to remain largely the same.
The timing of the opening next month could coincide nicely with the addition of a new featured display, Stygi, a cast of a stygimoloch dinosaur skull that the museum won in a competition among Montana Dinosaur Trail sites.
Bruington also said the new floor plan, currently being redesigned, will also place more emphasis on regional Native American history.