Seeley Swan to Welcome

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Forest Service awards $48,650
to local museum, visitor center

Restoration involves many unexpected problems. Here, Forest Service Architect Ken Duce, Ed Bezanson, Larry Marx, Bruce Johnson, Jeff Ellis and Dave Spafford brainstorm on the most effective means of moving the 60' floor beams to a new location.

by Addrien Marx
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
June 11, 1998

The Seeley Lake Mistorical Museum and Visitors Center received the largest award in a very competitive Rural Community Assistance Grant process. According to William W. Boettcher, Cooperative Forestry and Forest Health Protection, "The National Forests submitted 91 proposals for communities, counties and tribes to develop community action plans or to implement projects." The Seeley Lake project was the top award - with only 17 of the 91 projects receiving final approval.

"This grant makes it possible to maintain the historical integrity during the reconstruction of the Double Arrow Barn," stated Bruce Johnson, Resource Assistant. Johnson, Ed Bezanson and Addrien Marx wrote the grant knowing that its approval was necessary to complete the shell of the barn before next winter. "This was a critical component in the next phase of the barn. Now we can reconstruct the roof with as much historical accuracy as funds allow." Historical restoration of the barn was a goal of the Museum and Visitor Center board from the beginning, and the grant approval will allow the roof system to replicate the original curved trusses and be engineered for public use with today's engineering standards.

"This is just so exciting," commented Ed Bexanson, "to think that this project has been able to gather such strong support. In terms of reaching our visitors, promoting our natural resources and businesses alike will have a very positive impact on our valley. Then to be able to preserve, interpret and share our local heritage...we are indeed fortunate."

Cindy Torok, President of the Seeley Lake Historical Society and future curator of the museum added, "Each step toward the completion of this building is a real boost to all our endeavors. Soon, Mary Lynn Jones will kick off a membership drive and we will be able to gather, preserve, and catalog those items that will be placed in our museum. It is an incredible amount of work, but so far there is so much enthusiasm - we just want to get started!"

The Rural Community Assistance Grant coupled with the Tourism Infrastructure Investment Program (TIIP) will provide funds needed for the barn to be enclosed by late fall. Additional funds are being pursued to complete utilities, security, accessibility ramps, and the finish of the interior of both floors.

Seeley Swan to Welcome

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