H. Earl Clack Memorial Museum open by appointment

Packing underway to move items to new location


Last updated 2/15/2022 at 11:36am

Havre Daiy News/Patrick Johnston

H. Earl Clack Memorial Museum Manager Emily Mayer, from left, museum board member Judi Dritshulas, board Chair Lela Patera, member Kathy Shrauger, treasurer Val Hickman, H. Earl Margaret Turner Clack Memorial Museum Foundation President Elaine Morse and museum board Vice Chair David Sagesser, not pictured, work Monday during a meeting of the H. Earl Clack Memorial Museum Board.

The H. Earl Clack Memorial Museum Board discussed Monday evening the status of the museum's current location in the Holiday Village Mall, which is open only by appointment as its contents are gradually packed up to be moved to their new location in the former Griggs Printing Building on the 10 Block of Fifth Avenue.

The museum has been closed to walk-in customers in recent weeks partially because its front door has been badly stuck and now only opens partially, a problem that has been around for some time but has now become impossible to deal with on a day-to-day basis, Museum Manager Emily Mayer said at last month's meeting.

This has been a problem at the museum for some time, she said, but there were always ways to get it open with some effort, but now the normal methods have stopped working. At Monday's meeting, she said the door has since been examined and it looks like the cause of the issue is the floor heaving during the winter.

The board has been discussing how to go about dealing with the door and what their agreement with the mall requires in terms of repairs. Regardless, the issue has made entry to the museum a difficulty and those who want to see it now have to make appointments with Mayer by calling 406-265-4000.

Another issue Mayer brought up is the broken heating system at the museum, space in the mall which she said is slowing down her progress getting everything packed up, something she hopes will change as the weather gets nicer.

Board members said the heating system is being worked on, but because it's so old parts for it are hard to come by.

Mayer also discussed staffing at the meeting, and requested that the board start advertising for summer help as soon as possible, before college students set their plans for the break.

H. Earl and Margaret Turner Clack Memorial Museum Foundation Board President Elaine Morse also gave an update on the progress being made getting the new location of the museum ready.

Morse said the flooring in the building is done, and carpets have been installed in the entryway and the bottom of the stairwell and both are looking very nice.

She said the bathrooms' walls have been put up, textured and painted, and the doors have been installed as well.

The ceiling still needs to be painted, she said, along with a few rooms, and there is still some electrical work to be done, but the lead paint and asbestos abatement is finally complete, and the company doing it has promised to finish painting the garage doorframe as well.

Morse also said one of the building's furnaces had to be replaced after it was found to be unfixable and electric exit signs have been installed.

She said inspectors from the city did a preliminary visit recently to get a feel for what was going on at the building, ask questions and provide suggestions, and everything the proposed was being worked on so the building looks good in that respect.

She said the volunteers helping put all of this together have been great and she thanked them for their ongoing work.

The board also briefly discussed a request by Anna Brumley to put up a small memorial to her late husband, John Brumley, at the Wahkpa Chu'gn Buffalo Jump, which board chair Lela Patera said shouldn't be an issue.

In 1961, while still a youth, John Brumley became intrigued by the newly formed Milk River Archaeological Society, and decided to prove himself to the group by finding the bison kill site.

He found artifacts at the site during a dual hunt - for rabbits and for the site - and brought them to the society.

He went on to study archaeology and pursued that endeavor in Canada before returning to Havre 20 years ago and taking over the site as curator of archaeology for the H. Earl Clack Museum, which oversees Wahkpa Chu'gn. Anna Brumley managed the buffalo jump.

The board also briefly discussed the possibility of expanding the number of board members by two.

Board member Kathy Shrauger said the board is doing a good job in its current state, but with so many of its members tied up with work as often as they are, having more help may be a good idea.

The next meeting of the board will be March 14.


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