By Tim Leeds
Historians gathered in Havre today to discuss the past of Montana and the Hi-Line, and to conduct business of their organizations over the weekend.
Havre is hosting the 29th annual Montana History Conference, which includes meetings of the boards of the Montana Historical Society and the Museums Association of Montana and the State Historical Records Advisory Board.
Only registered members of the conference may attend the events. Registration, which includes a late-registration fee of $150, will be held from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. today at the Heritage Center, and from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at the Montana State University-Northern Student Union Building Ballroom.
A workshop was scheduled for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today in the Heritage Center about architecture and preservation on the Hi-Line. Another on care of collections for library and archive materials was held from 9 a.m. to noon in the center, and a workshop on new ideas for teaching Montana history started at 1 p.m., running through 4 p.m.
Following a reception from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Heritage Center lobby, University of Wyoming professor and Department of Geography chair John Logan Allen will present "The Marias Adventure: Meriwether Lewis on the Hi-Line."
At 7:45 p.m., people attending the conference are invited o a light buffet in the center lobby.
At 9 p.m., Historical Society author and historian Ellen Baumler, known for her recording of Montana ghost stories, will conduct a "Ghost Walk" of downtown Havre, starting at the Heritage Center.
The conference shifts to MSU-N on Friday. Historical Society director Arnold Olsen will deliver the annual state of the society address at the SUB Ballroom from 8 to 8:45 a.m.
Concurrent sessions are set for 9 to 10:20 a.m. A discussion of research on communities of different ethnic groups in Montana will be held in Donaldson Commons, a discussion of research by university students will be at the Little Theater in Cowan Hall, and historians Alden Big Man of the Crow Tribe and Curley Bear Walker of the Blackfeet Tribe will discuss interpretation of Native American sites in the SUB Ballroom.
From 10:45 to noon, a discussion of women's lives in Montana history will be in the Little Theater, a discussion of the 125th anniversary of the Nez Perce War will be in the SUB Ballroom, and former railroaders will talk about working on the railroad in Donaldson Commons.
Following a luncheon, silent auction and awards presentations from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m. in the SUB dining hall, concurrent sessions will run from 1:45 to 3 p.m.
Research on the history of medicine in Montana will be presented in Donaldson Commons, students of tribal colleges will present research in the Little Theater, and a discussion of how historical documents and events affect contemporary events will be held in the SUB ballroom.
Authors Mary Clearman, Judy Blund, Dierdre McNamer and others will hold a session from 3:15 to 5 p.m. in the SUB Ballroom discussing the impact of Montana history on their writing.
After a no-host cocktail party with Historical Society authors available for book signings in the Duck Inn Vineyard Room from 5:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m., the conference is holding a banquet with awards and entertainment by Havre's Timely Trio from 6:45 to 9 p.m. in the Duck Inn Olympic Room.
Saturday starts with plenary sessions. From 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. in the SUB dining room Michael Hogue will discuss the journey of Cree refugees in Montana from 1885 to 1896.
From 9 to 10:30 a.m. the session will be "Jerks in Montana History." The discussion will be of people with less than sparkling records in Montana history.
A quilt registration, a new feature of the conference, will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Heritage Center. Quilters from the region are encouraged to bring their new or antique quilts to be entered in a statewide quilt registry.
Bus tours from 1 to 5 p.m. will cover the "Historic Bear Paws," Hill County and a Minuteman missile silo test site at Malmstrom Air Force Base at Great Falls.