The Glacier County Historical Museum’s various collections will be safe, at least for a time, thanks to a $5,000 emergency grant from The Montana History Foundation. The funds will help pay to keep heat on in the museum’s various buildings. The museum’s budget was cut from $193,861 to $71,317 this fiscal year. It’s gas and electric expenses for FY 2018-29 were over $14,500. This year the Commissioners slashed that budget to $2,572 and eliminated funds for water, telephone, repairs and maintenance, as well as purchases and utility services. Wages were also cut by 50% and insurance for the buildings and contents was cut by 51%. Pictured are the textile and box storage in the Collections Care Building, and the historic 1901 P.P. Lee Mercantile building, which was a general store in Cut Bank.

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. 

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