News

Wild Game Feed ~ 2021

Our annual fundraiser, the Wild Game Feed, will be held on Saturday, March 20, 2021 at the Event Center at the Stage Stop Inn in Choteau.  We will have a potluck dinner but please note that it is not limited to wild game,  Lots of people bring non-wild dishes.  We will have silent auction and a live auction and 50/50 drawing.  Please check our website and the Choteau Acantha closer to the event for further information.  A huge thank you to Jim an Barb Bouma for hosting the feed.  Looking forward to seeing everyone again to make this an outstanding event.  COVID-19 may play a role as far as this event happening, stay tuned

Montana History Foundation Award  OLD NEWS but still interesting

In 2018 Candi Zion applied for a grant through the Montana History Foundation in an effort to record Oral stories of the area, then document important places and pursue a historical designation on the north and south forks of the Teton River Canyon west of Choteau. Candi said the goal is to capture histories of people such as dude ranchers Chuck and Sharon Blixrud, and people related to the Metis families who lived in cabins up the two forks during the early part of the 20th century, people related to historical-period  (1960's and earlier) recreational cabins as well as people related to writers A.B. Guthrie Jr., Joseph Howard and Richard Hugo.  Old Trail Museum has been the sponsor of this effort.  In May of 2018 Old Trail Museum received a grant from the Montana History Foundation in the amount of $5,000.00.  We had to have a 25 percent match and through the generous donations from the area we were able to achieve this.  Candi has completed the first phase of this project by interviewing up to 10 individuals whom have been handpicked for their knowledge of the area.  The next phase will be to apply for a second grant which Candi has completed and sent to the Montana History Foundation.  This grant, if received, will be to document the Metis cemetery that is in close proximity to the old Circle 8 Ranch, which is now owned by the Natures Conservancy., and to delve into the history of the Teton River Bridge which was built by German convicts during the war.  Candi will also work on getting these two properties nominated to the National Register.  This is an exciting project to make sure the history of the Teton Canyon is not lost.  If you are interested in helping this cause you can make a tax deductible contribution to the Old Trail Museum at 823 N. Main, Choteau, Mt. 59422.  Make sure you specify that your contribution is for the Teton Canyon History Project.

 

 Wednesday evening programs will continue

Check the website and Choteau Acantha for dates and times.  If anyone has good ideas for a program please contact Julie Ameline at 899-6000.

Completed  Projects in 2020

For many years we have had a serious sewer problem at the museum.  Thanks to Dave Zion for donating his equipment and many jhours of labor and Cam Morris we now have a new sewer system. Also a big thank you to K & S Hydroseed for donating grass seed and Clayton Ketcham, Jean and Gary Dale and Steve Taormina for all the time and work they spent leveling out the ground and helping to reseed the grass.

Another big project we completed was the restoration of the Metis Cabin.  In December 2019 OTM applied for a grant to restore this cabin.  In April 2020 OTM was awarded a grant to re-chink the cabin. OTM hired Robert McCarthy to do the chinking.  The museum had to match part of this grant with either dollars or in-kind labor.  As with any project you can run into unforeseen problems and we did.  Windows were in bad shape letting water into the cabin and also bugs, holes were found in the building, part of the outside eaves were rotten and had to be replaced  All the board members and Bob Pearson worked together to correct all these problems.  After everything was fixed Bob and Dawn Pearson and Julie Ameline re-stained the entire cabin.  The board members moved everything back into the cabin.  This project will preserve our historic cabin for many years. What a beautiful cabin and such an improvement to our complex

Hours of Operation:
Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day • Seven days a week • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Closed July 4th)

 

We will keep you informed if COVID-19 will cause the Old Trail Museum to shorten days or hours

News

                                           Lookimg back on the 2020 season of the Old Trail Museum

The Old Trail Museum had a challenging 2020 season.  Due to COVID-19 the board and manager held off opening the museum until July 7th.  We contacted the Health Dept. to determine if we could feasibly open.  With their guidelines and help we were able to put together a plan and implement it so we could open.  OTM was only open Tuesday through Saturday and our cabins were not open at all as sanitizing them after each visitor was not possible.  With the shorter season and no out of country or Canadian visitors we were still able to open for those from in country and many from Great Falls.  Many of the comments from the area were "we needed a little day trip and we are so glad you are open".

 With 3733 visitors for the 2019 season versus 935 visitors in 2020 our count was way down.  We had 542 out of state visitors, 372 in state and 21 from Choteau.

Many fundraising events had to canceled for 2020.  Such as our Wild Game Feed, which is our biggest fundraiser each year, Wednesday evening programs, Old North Trail Tours, Dutch Oven Gathering at the Threshing Bee, and our Flea Market.

We were able to do one Wednesday evening program which was music night with Rich Clough, Marca Gibson, Gary Betcher and Doug Haberman.  What a wonderful evening with approx. 50 people attending in our backyard.

We were able to replace our ageing sewer line with the help of Dave Zion, Cam Morris, Clayton Ketcham, Jean and Gary Dale and Steve Taormina.

Another great thing that happened was the restoration of the Metis cabin through a grant from the Montana History Foundation.

SOKA PIIWA Foundation made a very generous donation to pay for the maintenance of the grounds and other maintenance expenses at the museum.  Boe Brothers Foundation also gave a generous donation for helping to maintain the museum.  We sincerely thank then both.

Brook Durocher had the Ice Cream Parlor again and it was a busy place.  With all the craziness this year it was nice to have the Parlor open for visitors and locals.

 OTM wants to thank so many people for donating their time and products to the museum, Steve Howard Plumbing, Mike Birnel and the entire crew, Sharon Haug, Cam Morris, Bob Pearson, Sherwin Smith and the entire board.  A big thank you to Dave Zion for the time he spent getting a float ready for the 4th of July parade only to have the parade canceled.

Connie Hirsch's Carriage House was not open for the 2020 season.

 

 

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