Libby’s Heritage Museum opens for season June 1

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The Heritage Museum’s opening day celebration in Libby kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 1.

Follow the pupils in the yard when the school bell rings. They will lead you to the schoolroom where you can step back in time to 1901 and view or take part in a Living History experience.

In the Beebe Room at 10:30 a.m., Zoe Ann Stoltz from the Montana Historical Society will present “Was that a fly or a raisin in my cake? Camp Cook Challenges.” There was only one job more challenging than being a turn-of-the-century lumberjack — that was cooking for the lumbermen. Imagine feeding a hungry crowd without refrigeration, as well as on management’s tight budget. Camp cooks faced crazy challenges in attempts to replace the thousands of calories used by loggers.

The reference historian for the Montana Historical Society for more than a decade, Stoltz grew up in eastern Montana, and raised three daughters in Libby. Her current projects include introducing students to research, as well as the MHS Cookbook Collection and Montana Foodways.

In the Swamp Creek Dance Hall at 11 a.m., the Libby Spinning Squares will be square-dancing for your entertainment.

“Mining Heritage” will be presented by Mike Cohan in the Beebe Room at 11:45 a.m. Using his extensive collection of mining artifacts, you’ll learn about the specialized skills and back-breaking labor that went into extracting precious minerals from the earth. Handle some of the tools and equipment used in the process.

The Kootenai Valley Quilt Guild is displaying its beautiful quilts in the Tower Gallery through June 14. Beginning June 15, local artists will display their artwork. A new exhibit will showcase memorabilia from Libby High School. From the Terriers to the Loggers, several decades are represented.

Although two of the Museum’s four Model T Fords are undergoing some engine work, all will be on display. In the yard there will also be crosscut saw and blacksmith demonstrations. Try your hand at gold panning and keep what you find.

The Kootenai Muzzleloader camp will also be set up in the yard. Look inside the Shay shed to see the progress on the locomotive.

The Heritage Museum will be open through Sept. 14. Hours are Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is by donation. The Heritage Museum is run completely by volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, call the museum at 406-293-7521.

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