The funding foundation for the H. Earl Clack Museum announced this morning that it purchased a downtown landmark into which it will gradually move its displays, now housed in the Holiday Village Mall west of Havre.
“Jim and Bonita Griggs agreed to sell their building located at the north end of 5th Avenue in Havre to the Clack Museum Foundation,” said a press release sent late this morning to the Havre Daily News. “Griggs Printing and Publishing will continue to operate in their current business space as usual, while the foundation begins the extensive remodeling and renovation of the other building spaces to serve as the future repository of the Clack Museum artifacts.”
The museum board has been looking for a permanent location for the museum for nearly a decade.
After moving it from its long-time location at the Great Northern Fairgrounds into the former U.S. courthouse and post office in the late 1990s, funding to maintain that location fell through.
The board then moved the museum to the Holiday Village Mall, where in 2012 it was moved from a spot on the west end of the mall to its current location on the east end.
The board has looked for a location to build a new building to house the museum, but that search had been put on hold for the last few years.
The release said the new space will provide storage for the museum’s collections as well as the opportunity to develop new displays.
“The Griggs building will provide (more than) 20,000 square feet for the Clack Museum to develop into a world-class museum facility,” the press release said. “We anticipate developing the space to include some of our larger exhibits, such as wagons and surreys.”
The release said that as part of the long-term planning for the future of the Hill County museum, the foundation identified the need for a much larger space to serve as storage for the museum’s extensive collections.
“Over the years, our collections have necessarily been stored in various locations, but our future vision includes being able to consolidate our items and having the option of developing and exhibiting a wider variety of displays,” the release said.
“We look forward to our partnership with Jim and Bonita Griggs in the museum’s future development and thank them for their generosity in allowing us to improve this landmark building into a tourist attraction to serve as a home for our Hi-Line history,” it concludes.