The response to our membership drive has been awesome. Thanks to everyone who sent something towards supporting the Historical Village. Of course it is not too late if your form happens to be still sitting on the kitchen table/desk. Just put it in an envelope with your donation, add our address (Tobacco Valley Board of History at PO Box 1452 Eureka, MT 59917), a stamp and you are good to go.
Hopefully you have seen the Great Northern caboose in the Village. Kenny Westbrook just finished the renovation. It is so beautiful – and much more sturdy then it was before. Children are going to thoroughly enjoy climbing on it this summer. And a few lucky adults will get to sit on the caboose steps to watch Shakespeare in the Parks.
The Village quilters stopped meeting on Fridays for the summer but some of their lovely handwork will be available at the Eureka Montana Quilt Show on August 4. Of course there are other quilts available for sale at the museum gift shop all summer. If you are searching for a unique wedding gift or something special for yourself, you might consider one of the tied quilts which are the perfect combination of beautiful, warm and affordable. Yes, here in northwest Montana, one often needs a quilt on chilly summer nights.
This past Friday it snowed. A lot. And it didn’t look good. It wasn’t just the fact that most of us are tired of winter by this point, but the concern that bad roads might hamper people coming to the fundraiser in Trego on Saturday afternoon. Saturday though dawned better with a bit of sun and so our anticipation became more optimistic. But you never know do you with these community events if there will be enough people, if its possible to even make the costs of putting the thing on let alone raise funds to help support the Historical Village? On top of the weather and other unknowns, there were questions about the event itself. We hadn’t really done anything quite like this before. A concert with a band from out of the area (actually The Wardens are from Canada so out of the country!) with a potluck and community jam to follow. We had decided to do it in Trego because the hall there is so nice with great acoustics and a large kitchen, plus enough space if we did get a real turn out. But would we? Would people drive from Eureka on snowy roads to support the Historical Village and enjoy this potentially great event?
Al went out early that day to get a fire going so the hall would be warm. He also plowed the parking lot (thank you so much!). The band arrived around 1:30 to start setting up. Quilters and John Linn came a little later to hang quilts and set up tables for selling some handmade items. With the concert scheduled to begin at 4:00pm, one might hope people would start to show up at 3:30ish but it started very slow. Finally around 3:45 cars began to pull in and then more cars. We had to set up extra chairs. When people were still coming through the door at 4:00, the band decided to start a few minutes late. What a fabulous turnout! Over seventy people came to listen to great music, potluck with neighbors and then hang a bit for the jam. Some people played music, some danced, some talked with friends, some met new people, some tried new foods (Dawn’s outrageous Bhutan momos).
It isn’t only the wonderful turn out but the energy people brought to the event that made it such a great evening. Lots of laughter and hugs. We sold a quilt and a box of Mary Louise’s homemade chocolates. Some folks generously wrote checks to support the Historical Village. Others asked for information to learn more about the Tobacco Valley Board of History. And the help that made this all possible! From John climbing his 10′ ladder to hang quilts to Mike washing dishes and Mircea mopping the floor. Everyone pitched in to set up chairs and then at the end of the evening, to put chairs away. Ray got the jam circle going, Ed helped the band carry their things out to the van, Patty and Darrell took trash bags to the dumpsters. What a special evening…what a special community. Thank you, Eureka!
The Dinner on the Lake was over the top fabulous this year. If you didn’t attend, I am sorry but perhaps you can grab a ticket for next year. Cathy did a spectacular job with the food and I would be hard pressed to say which was my favorite course as they were all delicious. The setting is always lovely thanks to Rick and Lynn opening their home. Elena and Ruth provided beautiful music on violin and harp. Dawn and Niko served so graciously that everyone who attended felt cared for. Tickets were sold out for the event which meant the Tobacco Valley Board of History made much needed funds to keep the Historical Village going for another year. The weather and the bees cooperated.
Now as summer winds down, all the volunteers who help with the Historical Village including quilters, docents and the board will celebrate another successful season with a potluck on August 16. I very much enjoy this event. It doesn’t have the haute cuisine of the Dinner on the Lake nor the lovely music, but the volunteers are a special group and it is a wonderful time to join them for hamburgers and pie, to talk about the summer and to look forward to quilting starting up again in the fall.
The women who gave their time to work the Dinner on the Lake along with all the other volunteers who attend the August potluck have one thing in common. None of them are spring chickens. This is a concern as we look down the road and wonder who will continue maintaining the Historical Village, help with fundraising events, tell visitors about our valley. We know there are individuals out there who can find time for this. It might require doing a bit less social media or perhaps turning off the television, but you can give Lynda Young a call to say, “Yes I would like to help. What can I do?” Thank you.
Where does summer go? It seemed we just finished quilting in May and now we are already sliding into August. The volunteers at the museum are busy every afternoon greeting visitors and telling them about the history of this valley. Other volunteers did some work on the playground so the area under the swings and slide won’t get so muddy in the future. It is temporarily fenced off but will be available soon for all the children who enjoy playing there. Last week four of us got together in the morning to give all the buildings in the Village a good dusting and sweeping so they continue to look their best for the summer season. And of course other Historical Village fans are busy planning the annual Dinner on the Lake. The lovely fundraiser for the Tobacco Valley Board of History is always a treat for the forty people who attend. This year’s menu includes a four-course meal featuring French cuisine and wine. Imagine eating this scrumptious meal while looking out over Dickey Lake in the evening on August 13th. Tickets are already sold out but Carol does have a waiting list if you are tempted. Call her at 889-3427.
As always, I am astounded by the time and energy people give to maintaining the Historical Village. They recognize that this is not just a museum but our heritage. It contains the history of the people who settled here, the lives that created this community and those who give it their heart to continue. Perhaps you will have time this summer to stop by and amble through the buildings, or give Carol a call to attend the Dinner on the Lake, or maybe think about how you can help to make the Tobacco Valley Board of History even stronger. Thanks.
The Historical Village is open for visitors. Tourists wander through the buildings. Children play on the swings. Couples sit in the shade at picnic tables talking. Occasionally in the mornings, deer graze on the lawn. The Tobacco River has a sensible flow near by. You can hear teenagers shouting as they wade in at Riverside Park. It is summer and that is for sure. The quilters are busy doing other things at the moment so aren’t meeting on Fridays. The quilting frames are put away for the season.
We still think about the Village when we meet up by chance at the farmers market or run into each other at the museum. The list of things to do seems never ending: repair caboose roof, fix some slats on Baney House, trim some trees which have gotten out of control. There is the list which Lynda tries to parcel out to various volunteers. And there is the cost of these repairs and upkeep. So we are in the planning stage of our annual Dinner on the Lake. An utterly delicious four-course meal served with wine at the perfect location on Dickey Lake. Live classical music will accompany the meal. It really is the ideal way to spend a summer’s evening. This year’s event is August 13th. Tickets go quickly as there are only forty spaces available. Call Carol for tickets at 406-889-3427 to get yours soon. What a delightful way to support the Historical Village.