Historical Society receives $5,000 grant for Maloney Cabin Project

Posted April 11, 2019

This story originally ran in the Seeley Swan Pathfinder on April 11, 2019

HELENA – The Seeley Lake Historical Society was among 33 organizations across Montana that received grant funding from the Montana History Foundation. They were awarded a $5,000 grant for the Maloney Cabin Reconstruction Project.

 Since 2012, the Montana History Foundation (MHF) has awarded annual grants to projects and organizations that work to preserve and protect the historic legacy of Montana. This year, the Foundation reached a new record, giving away the largest amount ever at $134,451 and bringing all-time grant awards to $843,985.

“Awarding grants is the most important thing we do every year,” said MHF President/CEO Charlene Porsild. “The future of these history projects relies on grant funding, and we are delighted to impact the future of Montana’s history by offering support.”

This year, grants will support projects from Libby to Sidney and 27 other communities throughout the state. 

“We’re on a mission to support projects small and large in every county in the state,” Porsild said. “This is the first year we’ve funded a project in Judith Basin, which means we’ve helped 46 out of the 56 Montana counties.”

The Seeley Lake Historical Society has been working on the Maloney Cabin Reconstruction Project for over three years.  The cabin was originally located along Seeley Creek, east of Highway 83 in the Maloney complex. Several years ago, the cabin was moved to property on Morrell Creek Drive. Last year, the cabin was dismantled Lincoln log style and material piled behind the Seeley Lake Historical Museum and Visitor Center south of town awaiting more funding to complete the project.

In addition to the money, another stumbling block for the Historical Society has been obtaining County permission to build a historic structure that does not meet modern building codes (e.g., roof trusses). One thing they learned is that reassembling a building is a different ball game than just moving one. The building code compliance issue is nearing resolution.

The MHF grant will add to grants from the Seeley Lake Community Foundation and the Preserving Missoula County History Grant program. Ground for the cabin will be broken this spring at the Seeley Lake Museum and Visitor’s Center. The construction cost estimate includes volunteer efforts to help the contractor. Anyone interested in learning basic log construction techniques, adding their knowhow to the project, or just willing to lend a helping hand is welcome to join the endeavor.

The brand new old cabin will be furnished with items reminiscent of the homesteading and pioneer era. The Historical Society wrote in a press release, “It will be a tremendous addition to foster knowledge and understanding of history in the Seeley Lake area.”

“The review committee strongly believes that this project will showcase Seeley Lake history, engage visitors of the museum with pioneer life, and provide demonstration and exhibit space for the museum,” wrote Carissa Beckwith, Grants Manager for MHF.

For more information or to volunteer with the project please call 677-2990 or email [email protected]

Funding for the Montana History Foundation Grants Program comes from a variety of private sources, including a grant from the Fortin Foundation, a grant from the Louis L. Borick Foundation, and donations from our generous and dedicated donors.

The 2019 MHF grant winners reflect the high quality of preservation work being accomplished across the state. For a full list of grantees, please visit https://www.mthistory.org/grants.