The Seeley Lake Historical Society received a $5,000 grant from the Montana History Foundation in 2019 for help in reconstructing the 100-year-old Maloney cabin. The owner of the cabin offered it to the society, saving it from demolition.
According to the Seeley Lake Historical Society, the Maloney Cabin is well rooted in the community’s history. It was originally located along Seeley Creek, east of Highway 83, in the Maloney complex. It is believed that the site was the main commercial district of Seeley Lake in the 1920s & 1930s. The Maloneys rented several cabins and operated a small store, offering what was then a precious commodity: gasoline.
Several years ago, the Maloney cabin was moved from its original location on Seeley Creek to property on Morrell Creek Drive. Wishing to dispose of the property, but not see it demolished, the owner offered to let the Seeley Lake Historical Society relocate the cabin to the museum property for preservation. Salvaged logs, doors, windows and other materials were moved to the museum grounds in the summer of 2018 by Rich Hill of RAH Contracting, an experienced log house builder.
The process of reassembling the Maloney cabin reconstruction project took place in the summer of 2019, with volunteers aiding Rich Hill and his employee. Replacement materials were sourced with the intention of maintaining the integrity of old wood where the original material had deteriorated. A temporary weatherproof roof will be put on until spring of 2020, when the new shakes will be made.
And there is even more work planned down the road. Future plans include adding a front porch that will both recreate the original look of the cabin and protect the walkway during the winter. There are also plans to add an outhouse, a necessity in Seeley Lake back in the ‘20s.
Reconstructing the cabin not only preserves one of the remaining pieces of old Seeley Lake history, but offers the Seeley Lake Historical Society a place to display many of the items in their household collection. As a living museum, the Maloney cabin will offer visitors insight into life in Seeley Lake in the 1920’s and 30’s. The Historical Society also plans to offer educational opportunities for area schools, allowing for an added authentic experience beyond questions and answers.