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Havre reception to honor Brumleys for humanities award

The H. Earl Clack Museum Board Monday set a reception in February for John and Anna Brumley in honor of their receiving a governor's humanity award. The reception will allow people who cannot attend the ceremony in Helena Thursday, Feb. 21, to congratulate the couple.

Gov. Steve Bullock will present the award to the Brumleys for their work on the Wahkpa Chu'gn Buffalo Jump archaeological site just outside of Havre.

Board member Raela Hulett, who nominated the Brumleys, said at Monday's monthly meeting that she found great support for their nomination.

"Getting people to write those letters was the easiest thing I've ever done in my life. All I had to do was say it was for John and Anna …, " Hulett said. "Everybody did it because it was John and Anna. You are deserving. "

Anna Brumley thanked the board for its support in their work at the archaeological site.

"We wouldn't be where we are without all of you, " she said.

The Hill County Commission in 1965 created the board to oversee operations of the Clack Museum and the Wahkpa Chu'gn excavations.

John Brumley discovered the site while looking for it and hunting rabbits in the Milk River Badlands in 1961 while he was a child. He then brought it to the attention of the newly formed amateur Milk River Archaeological Society.

He went on to earn his degree in archaeology, and returned to Havre from Alberta with his wife in 1992, taking a position as curator of archaeology for the Clack Museum. Anna Brumley has managed the operation of the site since then, while he continued archaeological work.

The Brumleys have spearheaded major improvements in the site, including the construction of new houses for the displays and the erection last year of an interpretive center.

The site is fairly unique in that the displays house actual excavations of the site, with the artificacts in the excavations where they were discovered.

Bullock will present the award to the Brumleys at a ceremony at 3 p. m. Thursday, Feb. 21, at the governor's mansion in Helena. He also will give awards, presented in conjunction with Humanities Montana, to professor and chair of Native American Studies at Montana State University Bozeman Walter Fleming; archaeologist Larry Lahren; MSU history professor Mary Murphy; teacher and former Rocky Mountain College President Lawrence Small; and Carroll College history professor Robert Swartout.

A banquet will follow the ceremony. People can call Humanities Montana at 406-243-6022 or email [email protected] for reservations or further information.

The board agreed to schedule the Havre reception for Saturday, Feb. 23, with Board Chair Judi Dritshulas saying she tentatively had reserved a space at the Great Northern Best Western Inn for the event.

Anna Brumley also gave her annual report Monday for the site's 2012 season, which she said was quite successful.

Last year, 2,328 people toured the site, with another 615 people visiting the new interpretive center. Brumley said 785 students from 19 schools and 33 classes toured the site, and the operation was able to pay most of its bills from the fees charged people touring Wahkpa Chu'gn.

"We did make money, " Brumley said.

She said the site's income paid most of its expenses, including $12,000 in wages and $833 in other expenses.

Brumley said the site received a budget of $3,090 from the county for the 2012-13 fiscal year

"We've already spent $2,551.97, so we've only got $538 till the end of June, " she added.

Along with the paid tour guides, 19 volunteers donated 629 ½ hours at Wahkpa Chu'gn, she said, adding, "which I thought was amazing. "


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