By Tim Leeds 

Museum plans Christmas celebration, future projects


The board of the county museum in Havre is planning to spread some Christmas cheer, with an open house and Christmas music set at the H. Earl Clack Memorial Museum for Saturday.

Judi Dritshulas, chair of the museum board, said Monday during its monthly meeting that the event will run from 1 through 3:30 p. m., with the First Lutheran Church group, The Faithful Flutes, performing outside the museum's door and refreshments available inside.

She added that remaining plaques to be sold, engraved and mounted at the Wahkpa Chu'gn Buffalo Jump mural will be available at the celebration.

"I think, with the flutes and the little open house, it will be good, " Dritshulas said.

Anna Brumley, manager of Wahkpa Chu'gn, told the board that work is progressing on upgrades there. New houses for some of the displays are being erected or existing displays upgraded, and an interpretive center being built through the YouthBuild program housed at Montana State University-Northern will be erected near the entrance.

"On Friday, they poured the cement for the foundation, " Brumley said. "We were so excited. "

She said she and her husband, archaeologist John Brumley, are in the initial stages of planning for the displays in the interpretive center. She requested the board approve moving a bison skeleton from the museum to the center, and said a robe loaned to the museum by the site probably should be moved there as well.

The board unanimously approved moving the skeleton to the interpretive center.

Board member Raela Hulett, who made the motion to approve the skeleton, said the planning should begin on what should be used to take the place of the skeleton and robe.

"I totally agree, you would want those special pieces in the interpretive center, but we need something to fill those spaces, " she said.

John Bruington, manager of the museum, said a donated photograph of H. Earl and Margaret Turner Clack has been professionally framed and matted and displayed in the museum.

"It cost a little money, but I think it was worth it, given who it is, " he said, adding, "And people who have seen it say it was worth it. "

Bruington said he is continuing to research the possibility of filming a video to list local attractions, that could be shown at the attractions, including the museum, and distributed to promote the region as a tourism destination. He said a very good VHS video was produced through Montana State University-Northern in 1997, but it is very out of date.

He said he has contacted the director of development with the Montana History Foundation about the project and is looking into grant applications for funding.

Bruington said he also has contacted the Montana Public Broadcasting System about doing episodes of "Backroads of Montana" about local attractions.

He said PBS has filmed a segment that includes Havre Beneath the Streets, set to air Jan. 14.

Bruington said he suggested the program could look at attractions including the museum, Wahkpa Chu'gn, Fort Assinniboine and Havre's historic houses.

"There's just a ton of stuff here, " he said.


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