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Thanks

The Eureka Montana Quilt Show was a lovely success.  And so many generous people bought raffle tickets to support the Historical Village.  Of course there were numerous volunteers helping that day to staff the museum, sell tickets and let people know about our raffle items. Lots of efforts made to keep the grounds and the buildings at the Historical Village looking great and maintaining our valley’s history.

ML and Bev museum

A few more busy weeks in summer before the season ends. On August 21, Shakespeare in the Parks will perform Othello at the Historical Village.  And the next afternoon, August 22, all the museum docents and Village quilters gather for their annual picnic. Labor Day is the last weekend that the Historical Village museum is open. Then everything in the buildings will be covered over for winter and the quilters begin to meet again every Friday from 10:00 – 3:00 in the old school house.

Just in case you missed purchasing a quilt during the quilt show (can you ever have enough?), we still have a few beautiful ones for sale.  Cathryn Schroeder pieced a log cabin quilt in shades of rust and apricot that was then hand quilted by the Tobacco Valley Board of History quilters.  And Vivian Vanleishout pieced a beauty in shades of pale green and lilac that was also hand quilted (queen size).  Both quilts are available at the Historical Village.

Congratulations to Laura Persson who won the raffle for the Victorian era quilt!

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First Saturday in August

The first Saturday in August is always lovely in Eureka as hundreds of quilts grace downtown including the Historical Village and Memorial Park.  Quilts are hung on buildings on both sides of the main street as well as on every possible surface (and then some) at the Historical Village.  Over six hundred quilts will be on display this year.

Besides making sure the Historical Village grounds are in tip-top shape for this Saturday’s event, the Village volunteers will also work to have the museum open and to sell raffle tickets.  There is the annual quilt raffle for one of the lovely quilts we made last winter. The drawing for that will be on August 26th at the Lold quiltincoln County Fair although raffle tickets can be purchased at the museum anytime between now and the fair.  A very special quilt made from small pieces of silk back in the early 1900s will be raffled this Saturday.  The Victorian era quilt will be on display at the Village museum all day Saturday and the winning ticket drawn at 4:00pm. Take time on Saturday to stop by the Historical Village museum (Fewkes Store) to see both the Victorian quilt and our other raffle quilt.  All proceeds from both raffles go to maintain the Historical Village.

And very special thanks to the Eureka Montana Quilt Show Foundation for their generous gift which helped to cover the expense for renovating the old caboose.  Donations from Town Pump and the Tobacco Valley Community Foundation were also received this summer and greatly appreciated.  As always, summer is a challenging time with grounds maintenance as well as repairs to roofs and out buildings at the Historical Village.  Donations from community members and local businesses and organizations help the Tobacco Valley Board of History continue to provide a pleasant setting for the public and archives of our valley’s history.

It takes a Village…

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.  IMG_2672

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.

 

Summer starts

These are dates you surely should remember. The Eureka Montana Quilt Show is August 4th this year.  As always this event decorates the entire town with beautiful quilts up and down main street but the Historical Village is really where the action happens.  Vendors, a display of mini quilts, quilts on all the buildings and the museum open with its own selection of quilt sales offer a lot to chose from.  IMG_2219

Shakespeare in the Parks comes to the Historical Village on August 21 with “Othello.”  The play starts at 6:00pm and box dinners go on sale at 5:00pm.  This event is always a lovely way to spend the evening so bring a blanket or a chair and get ready for some awesome theater.  As always, the play is free to the public.  Sunburst Community Service Foundation brings in Shakespeare in the Parks annually with help from Lincoln Electric Coop, Interbel, donations from the community and box dinner sales that evening.

Both fantastic events that are available to anyone to enjoy.  Both take place on the Historical Village grounds which are a delight in the summer with the soft grass and shady trees.  As always volunteers strive to keep everything well maintained for locals as well as out of town visitors to enjoy.  The Great IMG_2620Northern caboose just had major renovation.  The museum is getting some roof repairs.  The playground equipment and latrines are in fine working order. And Bev has lined out docents who have the Village buildings open everyday until early September from 1:00 – 5:00pm.

It just doesn’t get much better does it?  Life in the Tobacco Valley is pretty sweet this time of year so take a morning or afternoon or evening to wander through the Historical Village grounds.  Or come for one of the awesome events that will take place.  Hope to see you there.

 

 

The wonders

This quilting season is nearly over. Only a few more weeks and the old school house will be transformed into part of the museum.  Tourists will reminisce about the small wooden desks, the old maps showing countries that no longer exist.  Children visiting will pull hard on the rope to ring the school bell high up in the belfry.  Volunteer docents will open the historical buildings everyday from Memorial Day through Labor Day.  The quilters will take a break from their Friday routine.  Some will continue to sew at home. Others will put their energy into gardening.  And of course with summer in Montana, IMG_2571there are always plenty of out of town guests.

Although there is a symmetry to the quilting that happens every Friday from September til May, there are also changes.  Renata had the awesome idea to display quilts in the old church over Rendezvous weekend.  We received many compliments and one of the quilts sold.  A few new people to town have become great volunteers to help with displays in the museum and to help keep the grounds neat.  Bev is taking over scheduling docents for the museum. No easy feat to have a schedule that includes having someone knowledgeable to work there every single day of summer.  Dianne and a few others are putting together a mass mailing – the first time we have done anything like this.  We know we need to find more support for keeping the buildings in good shape, for having volunteers help with projects, for paying bills.

Often we roll our eyes – how many times do we need to explain that Lincoln County owns the land under the Historical Village, but the buildings, grounds and upkeep are managed by the Tobacco Valley Board of History? Since the 1970s, a stalwart group of volunteers have kept this lovely area of Eureka in tact.  Items are carefully archived. Old photos filed. Questions answered when someone stops by to ask about the early days.

As you attend Shakespeare in the Park or the Eureka Montana Quilt Show this summer (both events held at the Historical Village), appreciate the grounds, this lovely public space that is so valuable to our community.  Consider some small way you might help us maintain it.

 

Picking up speed

Yes, the snow is nearly melted in our valley.  There are still patches under trees and on the north side of the old school house but otherwise we see bare ground, mud puddles and a few spring flowers pushing through.  The women are hard at it trying to get the current quilts finished by the end of April.  That is when things shift for us into the next season.

On April 28, it is Rendezvous in Eureka which mean vendors fill the Historical Village grounds and there is the largest parade of the year down main street.  The old school IMG_2278house will be transformed from the place we quilt all winter into a book sale.  Stop by if you are in town to pick up some great bargains. Then in May school children take their annual trip to visit the museum. We also have a rummage sale, another opportunity for bargains and to get raffle tickets for a lovely quilt we made.  And finally on May 26, the Historical Village announces the summer season.  Everyday until Labor Day, volunteer docents will open all the buildings and are available to provide information to visitors from 1:00 – 5:00pm.

So now we are trying to get the last quilts finished up.  Jana, a guest from the Czech Republic, has been joining us to learn how to quilt and to share her travel adventures with the women as they sew.  Cathryn created a pile of new baby quilts that are perfect to welcome little ones to the world. Sally made some lovely children quilts that are for sale in the museum along with our full size tied quilts and, of course, the beautiful hand quilted ones.  If you are in town for Rendezvous or just ambling through the Historical Village grounds on a sunny afternoon, stop by to learn about our valley’s history and perhaps purchase a quilt to support this remarkable space.

Thank you Eureka!

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?IMG_2226

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!