This story originally ran in the Judith Basin Press on May 2, 2019. It ran in the Lewistown News-Argus on May 8, 2019.
By Melody Montgomery
An additional $5,000 in grant funds has been awarded to Pride of the Judith, a non-profit created to preserve the twin grain elevators at the entrance to Hobson. On April 12, the Montana History Foundation announced its grant award for Pride of the Judith – Hobson Grain Elevator Salvation.
The funds from the Montana History Foundation will be used to help restore the siding and roof of the two grain elevators.
“We heard talk about the project last fall through all of the articles circulating,” said Carissa Beckwith with the Montana History Foundation.
“We were excited about the grassroots potential, along with the successful local fundraising efforts led by Gerri Campbell. She subsequently submitted a strong proposal to us,” said Beckwith.
This is the first award the Montana History Foundation has presented to a project in Judith Basin County.
“We are also excited in that it is the first project we have funded in Judith Basin County and allows us to better spread our resources statewide,” said Beckwith.
The elevators have been sealed up by Pride of the Judith members, with ancillary and/or unsafe structures removed. Siding and roof repairs remain to be completed, but will be assisted by this grant. Further, the Pride of the Judith group is continuing to work on a lease agreement with Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, which owns the land where the elevators sit.
“BNSF assured us last fall that the elevators were safe. They heard clearly from our community,” said Gerri Campbell. “I am grateful and proud of the donations, news stories and support in every form that made this possible.
“I was instructed to be patient as leasing details are worked out through their legal, leasing, and realty departments,” Campbell said. “I reached out a couple of weeks ago to check on progress and am currently awaiting their response. Once we know what that will look like, we will re-evaluate our financial needs and plan for the final fundraising push.”
Summary of major funding sources for Pride of the Judith’s work
Montana History Foundation – $5,000 grant
Central Montana Foundation – $2,500
Chokecherry Festival and What the Hay – an additional $2,500
Dale and Elaine Owens – $1,000
Triangle Communications – $1,000
Montana Ghost Town Preservation Society – $1,000
Gerri Campbell’s art quilt – purchase for $950 by Cathy Parker at the Hobson 100-Year Reunion, funds divided between the Hobson Pool and Elevators
Dirk Williams – $600
James and Martha Vogt – $500