The H. Earl Clack Museum Board toured its museum during its monthly meeting Monday, discussing a draft of a brochure that people could use during a self-guided tour of the museum.
Museum Manager John Bruington, who has been drafting the text for the brochure, urged the board members to make as many suggestions and give as much input as possible.
“We want to make sure we get it right, ” he said.
Board Chair Judi Dritshulas read the latest draft of the brochure as the board members toured the museum.
The draft starts with a description of the creation of the museum and the support of H. Earl and Margaret Turner Clack in preserving the heritage and history of the region. Dritshulas read in the draft about Havre residents who helped in the creation of the museum and donations by the family of the Clacks, longtime Havre business owners and entrepreneurs. The brochure also describes how the museum board also works to maintain, operate and support the Wahkpa Chu’gn Buffalo Jump north of the Holiday Village Mall.
The descriptions of exhibits begins with the paleontology exhibits near the entrance of the museum, now located near the east side of the mall and not far from the Wahkpa Chu’gn interpretive center.
The brochure describes the exhibits in the museum, moving in a counter-clockwise direction. The next exhibits described are the Indian Wars displays, with the diorama of Nez Perce Chief Joseph about to surrender to the U. S. Cavalry at the end of the Battle of the Bear Paws, moving on to the displays of Fort Assinniboine, which was commissioned one year later.
The brochure then moves through the next displays, including of the homesteading and ranching period, the displays of Havre businesses and establishments and to the military displays that include uniforms and memorabilia of Hi-Line service members from World War I, World War II and the Korean Conflict.
The board members continued to make suggestions to alter the items in the brochure, suggesting displays that should be mentioned or changes to the text including adding more about the railroad influence in the area and more about the Wahkpa Chu’gn bison kill site, throughout the tour and when the meeting reconvened in the Clack Memorial Museum Foundation office for its regular business.
Dritshulas also said she wants the board to take its time in preparing the brochure.
“It’s not like we’re in a race here, ” she said.
The meeting also included a report on the annual meeting of the foundation, held Aug. 28 and once again featuring local dramatist Martin Holt, who performed as Teddy Roosevelt in David Simmon’s one-man play “Badlands Adventure. ”
Elaine Morse, chair of the foundation, said the annual meeting, which also is a fundraiser and membership drive for Friends of the Museum, went well and Holt’s performance was well-received. Some 40-45 people attended the meeting, she said.
Anna Brumley, manager of Wahkpa Chu’gn, said the season went well at that site.
The season saw 2,328 people tour the site, with another 615 people visiting the new interpretive center without touring the site itself, Brumley said.
“I have another tour scheduled this Thursday, weather permitting, ” she said, adding that the total so far includes 785 school children.
Dritshulas also opened discussion on having a major “cleaning party” at the museum, to be done in addition to the regular cleaning Bruington does including vacuuming, dusting and cleaning display cases. The board reached a consensus that the work would be best done after the holiday season, and was tentatively scheduled for early January.