This story originally appeared in the Cut Bank Pioneer Press.
The Montana History Foundation has awarded emergency funding of $5,000 to the Glacier County Historical Museum in Cut Bank. The museum applied for the grant in January to help maintain adequate, consistent heat to protect its collections. The funding became necessary when the museum had its funding cut by nearly 65 percent for this fiscal year.
“Our ‘History Emergencies!’ grants are designed for exactly this kind of urgent situation,” says Montana History Foundation President/CEO Charlene Porsild. “Since we are in the middle of the coldest months of the year, it is absolutely vital that the Glacier County Historical Museum maintain an appropriate temperature. We are delighted to provide this funding in support of the museum.”
The Glacier County Historical Museum opened in 1980 and is dedicated to collecting, preserving and presenting the history of Glacier County through exhibits and public programming. The museum has received donations of historic structures, photographs and archival materials for its collections from more than 2,500 people with connections to the area. Those collections are housed in three museum buildings and two historic structures that require a consistent temperature in order to protect them. The $5,000 grant will allow the museum to pay the utility bills and maintain that temperature for the next four months.
“With the funding from the Montana History Foundation, the museum can say that it is not alone,” says Glacier County Historical Museum Director Dennis Seglem. “Few in rural Montana understand the unique needs and responsibility of maintaining a museum collection and knowing that a collection can be permanently damaged without the proper environments that utilities provide.”
The Montana History Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation that raises money and provides funding for history and preservation projects across the state. The History Emergencies! Program started in 2018 as a way to restore, conserve or repair historic resources that are a direct benefit to the community and are in imminent danger. Applications are accepted at any time and award decisions are made within 3-6 weeks.