Old Library Gallery preservation ornaments go on sale during Festival Days


September 20, 2019

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Old Library Gallery owner Kathleen Shirilla, second from left, accepts a Havre/Hill County Historic Preservation Commission commemorative ornament from Historic Preservation Officer Becki Miller as commission members Keith Doll and Erica Farmer and Jillian Brough, not picture, look on.

The Havre Historic Preservation Commission presented their ninth annual pewter Christmas ornament Thursday evening to the Old Library Gallery Owner Kathleen Shirilla.

"One of the reasons we picked it is because Kathy kept it original and it has maintained its historical integrity,"  Havre/Hill County Preservation Commission Officer Becki Miller said.

  "I think it's great. I bought this building 33 years ago from the city because I thought it was important that historic buildings be preserved," Shirilla said. "I try to keep it as authentic as I got it."

"It's not necessarily on a street that you drive by everyday that you see, but I just didn't want people to forget about it and that it's a little gem in a residential area," Miller said.

Miller added that she likes it because it's original and that Shirilla has been able to use it for something else, but still keeping the integrity of the exterior of the building.

"I liked all the natural light in the building and thought it would be great for an art gallery," Shrilla said.

The library, one of 17 Montana libraries built through a grant by the Carnegie Foundation, was erected in 1914 and served as the Havre Public Library until the city and county libraries consolidated into the Havre-Hill County Library in the 1980s.

Ben Cordsen of Colorada is the artist behind making the ornament this year and all the ones in years past.

  The limited edition ornaments start selling this week and are $20 each, with 100 available. People can purchase them either at the Old Library Gallery or at the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce. Proceeds from the ornament go to preservation projects, for example, work on the chapel at Camp Kiwanis in Beaver Creek Park and putting up the historical picture that is on Holden's Hot Wheels.

"We are about to do another one on the Eagles building and hope to have that put this fall," Miller said. 

She added that the preservation commission is offering a promotional special for previously issued ornaments, $15 each. They can be purchased at the Chamber office.

Past year ornaments available are The Hill County Courthouse, St. Mark's Epsicopal Church, Donaldson Hall at Montana State University-Northern, Fort Assiniboine/ Northern Ag Research Center, Kiwanis Chapel, the Clack Elevators and the Burnham Schoolhouse. 

The Old Library Gallery is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson


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