The lilacs near the old schoolhouse are starting to bloom. The buildings at the Historical Village are ready for summer visitors. The new picnic tables (thank you to the Tobacco Valley Community Foundation) are waiting, ready for your family and friends. And the museum opens on Saturday, May 29 at 1:00pm. It will be open for the remainder of the summer, seven days a week from 1:00pm – 5:00pm. There will be volunteer docents on hand everyday to answer your questions and provide information.
The wonderful Montana PBS “Backroads of Montana” episode that features the Historical Village and our quilters is available to watch either on the MTPBS website or at this link. Thanks to Ray Ekness who did a great job capturing the spirit of the Historical Village and the efforts of the quilters. We very much appreciate being part of the “Backroads of Montana” series, and hope it will inspire new people to join us to quilt this fall.
And a reminder that besides the museum which is open daily, there are also special events happening at the Historical Village this summer. The Eureka Montana Quilt Show is scheduled for August 7th. This is a great event to enjoy throughout the entire downtown. If you want to help, show up that morning around 7:00am to help hang quilts. Or come later in the day to amble along the main street and through the Historical Village to admire hundreds of amazing quilts. For more information, visit the Eureka Montana Quilt Show site.
On Thursday, August 19th, Sunburst Arts and Education brings Montana Shakespeare in the Parks to the Historical Village for this year’s performance of “Cymbeline“. Free admission although donations are always appreciated. Box dinners will be on sale at the Historical Village starting at 5pm. The play begins at 6pm. This event is always a highlight of the summer, creating a bit of theatrical magic in our town.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 Northern 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.
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, there 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.
Yes, it has been too long. Quilts have been started and even finished since the last post. And there were some lovely ones. The women are working hard to keep up with the requests – a quilt made from t-shirts a car buff collected, a quilt started thirtysome years ago and pulled out to be finished, a quilt someone made for a person she loves very much. And now besides quilting every Friday, the women are also hard at it making items for their annual bazaar on December 2nd.
You won’t want to miss this bazaar. There are many events happening in Eureka over the first weekend in December but the bazaar at the Historical Village is by far the best. Handmade baby quilts, aprons, crocheted hats and mittens, tree ornaments, items for your kitchen and items for your bedroom (lovely pillow cases that will be immediately snatched up) are available. There are the most delicate pine needle baskets made by Cathryn and some of Mary Louise’s hand dipped chocolates for sale. There will be a raffle for a basket of treats. Thick and soft flannel quilts hand tied so quite affordable are for sale in colors that call your name.
The prices for these handmade items are definitely within anyone’s budget and besides that – all the proceeds go directly to the Historical Village. No percentage for this or that, no fees or undisclosed costs. When you purchase something at the bazaar in the old school house this Saturday, all the money from your purchase helps maintain the Historical Village. Your Village which keeps the archives and the artifacts and the memories of our valley as well as offering a wonderful place for events like Rendezvous, the Eureka MT Quilt Show and Shakespeare in the Parks. Do you need any other reason to come to the Historical Village bazaar on Saturday morning? We open at 9:00am.
We get so caught up in the flurry of summer its hard to remember to take photos of all that is happening. The schedule of special events piles up as do summer visitors. Sometimes people say there are only two seasons in Montana: winter and summer guests. And perhaps it was the severity of the past winter that makes this particular summer seem to fly by. Before it disappears entirely, there are a few dates you want to remember, exciting things happening at the Historical Village or for its support.
On August 5, the Eureka Montana Quilt Show takes place which is certainly a remarkable experience. Early morning if you are tempted to show up to help, hundreds and hundreds of quilts are hung on store fronts along the main street, in the Historical Village and in the Memorial Park. It is a day of kaleidoscopic transformation and beauty with quilts of all shapes and sizes, booths, demonstrations and art offered. And then in the late afternoon, volunteers take down the quilts (many of which have been bought by then) and the town goes back to its normal somber colors.
Again this summer, the Tobacco Valley Board of History will put on a luscious dinner for forty at a private residence on Dickey Lake. The five-course meal including wine is the perfect summer evening to enjoy wonderful food and conversation with friends while being served and listening to live music. The setting overlooks the lake so you watch the golden sun reflect off mountains and water as you finish your meal. Tickets are limited so contact us immediately if you want to order yours. The dinner occurs on August 12 starting at 6:00pm. Proceeds go towards maintenance of the Historical Village.
On August 22, Montana Shakespeare in the Parks puts on “Macbeth,” a performance free to the public and wonderful. The troupe of professional actors goes around the entire state putting on these full length plays. The Historical Village is the perfect location in the evening for this, to sit on the lawn watching the theatrical magic unfold. The play begins at 6:00pm but you might want to come early to get a good piece of lawn for your blanket or chair. Delicious box dinners made by Cafe Jax will be for sale starting at 5:00pm. A portion of the dinner sales as well as donations help cover the cost of bringing the Shakespeare troupe to Eureka.
Have a safe and enjoyable summer.
I don’t do well with summer. Anyone who knows me will tell you that. I moved to Montana because I thought the summers would be short and the winters long which is mostly true. But sometimes even a short summer is too long. The women are quilting. I do believe its the first time that they quilted in the summer. They will keep at it until they get the current quilt done. Its a lovely blue one that Cathryn pieced. We meet on Fridays at 10am but finish early afternoon before it gets too warm in the old school house.
Before it gets too warm today though I wanted to mention some summer events that are actually happening at the Historical Village or to benefit the Village. On July 8, historian Hal Stearns from Missoula will give a talk at the Village beginning at 6:30pm. This event is co-sponsored by Humanities Montana and free to the public. Another free and awesome event is this year’s play put on by Shakespeare in the Park on August 25 starting at 6pm. The talented and energetic troupe will do “Cyrano de Bergerac” in the Historical Village. Box dinners by Cafe Jax will be available to help cover expenses to bring the troupe to Eureka.
On August 8, the annual Historical Village fundraiser, “Dinner on the Lake” will be held. This is a wonderful way to spend an evening with friends having a gourmet dinner accompanied with live music on Dickey Lake – and support the maintenance of the Historical Village in Eureka. Space is limited to forty people so order your tickets soon. Call Lynda at 889-3492 for details.
It felt odd at first to have all the quilters sitting around a table rather than around a quilting frame. But I quickly adjusted when they came to my house for lunch. They settled in and were soon telling stories and cracking jokes. Sally brought a heavenly dessert that was creamy with a citrus zing and fresh strawberries. Carmen brought flowers to grace the table. We drank coffee I made so that Joan had a Friday off from supplying coffee for the entire group. Cathy brought some extra chairs so we all had a place to sit. The sun was out and most of our work was finished for the season. On May 16, we had the rummage sale. I haven’t heard yet how much we made from that but any amount helps us toward maintaining the Historical Village. And the Village is looking so lovely these days! The grass is that spring green and the trees have leafed out. Lilacs are starting to bloom. Gary is cleaning up all the buildings so that by Memorial Day weekend the museum can officially open for summer. Hundreds of visitors will pass through learning about the Tobacco Valley and seeing buildings and artifacts from our past. And the upkeep and repairs for all of this mostly come from these women who quilt all winter to raise money. So when you visit the Village this summer, stop by the museum to pick up a raffle ticket for a quilt we made and/or purchase other items that the women created: baby quilts, potholders, dish scrubbers, cards and pine needle baskets. Your support keeps the buildings painted, the lawn mowed, the roofs repaired and the electric bill paid.
And have I mentioned the events at the Village this summer? July 26th will have the New Old Time Chautauqua there giving free community workshops from 1:00 – 4:00pm. And then August 2 is the 10th Annual Eureka Montana Quilt Show! If you haven’t been yet, you should definitely put this on your calendar. August 18th is Montana Shakespeare in the Parks at 6pm with “Romeo and Juliet.” The Historical Village gives so much to the community from preserving our heritage to providing a wonderful shady lawn for summer events. Recently when Paul Magid, tour director for the New Old Time Chautauqua, came through to arrange details for the summer, we talked about community building. This place and these women as well as the other volunteers with the Board of History truly embody community.