Seeley Swan Pathfinder
February 25, 1999
by Addrien Marx
The Barn Again - Born Again. Little things always seem to mark the new beginnings, like when the skilled workers hung the heavy metal hinges in their original holes and the big rough-cut timber doors swung shut once again. I reflected back, just a few years - when the last horse marked the final exit from the stabled floor, did the cowpoke realize the momentous close of this colorful chapter when the latch was hooked? This aura of the imagination and the romanticism of a time past is inherent in the historic old barn that will lend this museum and visitor center a unique place in our state's cultural tourism offerings.
But new as the buzz word, "cultural tourism" is, the barn continues to reflect a sense of community that has not changed. This truly has become an old fashioned "barn raising!" As in times past, it is the cooperative effort of individuals and the community support that has allowed the barn to be 'born again.' At the risk and pure terror of leaving anybody out, I will offer a few volunteers and contributors which can be added to the lists of those already published in this space. Martin Drilling has cut labor amounts in drilling a well that went deep. Arield Wasem of Lakeview Electric and Mike Mosley of Advance Urethane Systems have supplied materials at cost and labor cost reductions. The carpenters of Lake Country Builders, Tim Tanberg, Bill O'Brien and Sean Ellinghouse, have graciously volunteered two weeks of work. Dan Wurster of Chelos Computers has donated a keyboard and is upgrading a computer donated by the Montana Heritage Foundation and Library of Congress. Without the very GENEROUS help of these professionals, the barn would not have reached this point of reality. Our most sincere thanks and appreciation to these people and all the others who have donated time and/or materials.
Cindy Torok, Billie Sytsma and I recently attended a Collections Care Class given by L.J. Richards, Senior Curator at the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula. Robert Green, Condon, has accepted the position as Treasurer for the Historical Society, and the Historical Society Board - Cindy Torok, Geri Netherton, Rod Kvamme, Butch Townsend, Billie Sytsma and myself are formulating speaker and workshop meetings, newsletters, and committees to conduct the business of the museum. These will be in public notice shortly. The Board of Trustees for the Seeley Lake Historical Museum and Visitors Center - Ed Bezanson, Gary Miller, Bruce Johnson, Zoe Mohesky and myself are working on further grant moneys which will be needed to finish (including a handicapped elevator) before the building can be open to the public.
Anyone having a question, idea, or wants to offer help may contact any member of the two boards listed above. Although over half done, the final steps of completion will require both volunteers and further funds. Consider this point a lunch break - one in which new avenues to completion will be pursued. The barn raising will start up again and your assistance will most likely be needed. Watch this column for further details on particular needs and plans.
The little things always seem to mark the new beginnings. Perhaps the doors swinging shut did put a latch on an era in history. Today, the doors swinging shut on the barn are now only warming the activity inside. Lots more needs to be done - hope you can be a part of it. The barn again - born again.