August 19, 1999
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
Seeley Lake, Montana
by Addrien Marx
The Trustees of the Plum Creek Foundation have approved a grant request for the Seeley Lake Historical Museum and Visitor's Center in the amount of $7,500. Grant moneys will be used in the restoration and completion of the historic Double Arrow Barn. Frank Netherton, Superintendent, gave his full support to the application process. According to Zoe Mohesky, Missoula County Rural Planner and board member on the project, the funds are a much needed boost in the quest for money needed to complete the project. "We are so close - visually - to completion, but the money needed to really do the work - it is a formidable amount. This grant is much appreciated and we thank Frank Netherton and Plum Creek for supporting this project."
Plum Creek has been an integral part of the development of the Seeley-Swan as early as the first land grants that were given to the Northern Pacific in 1864. Since that time, timber has been the main source of employment in the valley. Today, Plum Creek is a major landowner in the valley and its history and the valley's development seem parallel in evolution of land use. Ed Lamb, Plum Creek Forester, has already been doing background work in the history of Plum Creek in the Seeley-Swan and plans to assist in a museum interpretive display. "It is important to Plum Creek to preserve and educate people on its history. Timber is the major industry in this valley and its development must be recorded and preserved," stated Lamb.
The Seeley Lake Historical Museum and Visitor's Center will have the opportunity to educate residents and visitors to the valley's history as well as its resources and recreational opportunities. "Low impact use is another focus for the facility," states Bruce Johnson, another board member with the barn. "We realize that the beauty and the value that this valley holds is involved with land use. Most people want to enjoy the land, but all need to know how to do that with little or no impact. Future generations need us to protect it now."
The Plum Creek Grant brings the total amount raised by grants to over $110,000. With the support of volunteers and local contributions, the barn restoration is continuing. Additional grants are being pursued as the Seeley Lake Historical Museum and Visitor's Center board of directors continue to raise funds for its completion.