News & Events

SPECIAL HOURS UPDATE: The Heritage Museum will be open for an "extended season" in September on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10am to 5pm through October 1, 2016.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016: Official Opening of

Museum exhibit “The Story of Libby Vermiculite and

Asbestos with Personal Perspectives”

For several years, visitors to The Heritage Museum have been

requesting information about the history of the vermiculite mine

and asbestos contamination. The museum’s exhibit committee

knew that telling the story through an exhibit would be a difficult

task.

It had to incorporate factual information not skewed by our own  views on the subject and it had to be respectful of the victims  and their families. History isn’t always pretty, but this is part of  Libby’s history.       It was decided to design the exhibit around the personal  perspectives of many who were involved in one way or another.  A grant was received through the Center for Asbestos-Related  Disease to conduct interviews to convey the personal stories of  those affected by the asbestos in the vermiculite, and to cover  part of the exhibit’s expenses. Some of those interviews can be  found in the interactive portion of the exhibit. Visitors may watch  and listen to the videoed interviews of their choice. A variety of  interviewees were selected, such as former workers at W.R.  Grace, victims of asbestos-related disease, physicians, long-  time residents and more.   Additional grants from Humanities Montana and the Lincoln  County Community Foundation covered such costs as interview  transcription, software development, video editing, touch-screen  computers, headphones, photo reproduction, interpretive  signage and construction materials.  The exhibit has been open to the public since June 4, 2016,  opening day of the season. However, a few additions made  since then complete the display. The public is invited to  attend the official opening of the exhibit on Wednesday,  Sept. 14 at 7:00 PM in The Heritage Museum, 34067 US  Highway 2, Libby.

Opening Day - Saturday, June 4, 2016

Opening Day at The Heritage Museum is an eagerly anticipated annual event. This year, the Museum will host the celebration on Saturday, June 4th, from 10:00AM-5:00PM.  As always, the entire family will find something of interest in the presentations and demonstrations both inside and outside throughout the day. There will be learning experiences such as gold panning and ham radio operations, food and fun for all. Smokey Bear will be visiting from 11:00 to 1:00, and there will be face painting, so be sure to bring the kids! At 10:30 AM, Dr. Pat Neils will present “Dunn Creek Nell: The Life and Legend of Libby’s very own Wild West Woman.”  Is it true that Dunn Creek Nell came from a family of fortune and was well educated? Is it true that she forced conductors to stop the commuter train for her at gun point? Is it true that she had 14 husbands, killed some of them, and buried them behind her cabin up Dunn Creek?  Based on many hours of research and interviews, Neils will explore, and try to unravel the facts and fiction that have surrounded this enigmatic, and seemingly cantankerous and contrary character.  Everett Nelson will present “The History of the J. Neils Boarding Houses and Mill Row” at 11:30 AM. In addition to his experience living on Mill Row, Mr. Nelson will tell about the Rayome family as managers of the boarding houses. There will be music and dancing In the Swamp Creek Community Hall during the day. 10:00 to 11:00AM enjoy the music of Lee Tonner, Mike Powell, Carol Cady, Patty Leonard and Tim Harcourt. From 11:00 to 12:00, the Spinning Squares will be kicking up their heels square dancing for your entertainment. The noon hour will feature For God and Country. 1:00-2:00PM Libby High School jazz group, Back in 5. 2:00PM Pasture Pickin’ Enjoy lunch in the historic Sylvanite cookhouse. Jeff Gruber will be grilling burgers, onions and hot dogs and there will be various home baked desserts available. At 1:00 PM, Carlene Erlandson will present the History of Quilts. Using quilts from her own collection as well as a few from the Museum, she will share her knowledge of quilt patterns and fabrics from the late 1880’s to more current times. The Museum’s four Model T Fords will be out and about throughout the day. For $10, you’ll have the opportunity to dress in vintage accessories and have your photo taken in a Model T. A raffle will be held that day to benefit the Model T Fund. The prize is a large framed photo of Upper Flower Creek by Kaya Hardgrove. Tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5. Between 10:00AM and 2:00PM, stop by the Shay shed to visit with volunteers who have been working on the locomotive. They’ll bring you up to date on the progress and share plans for the future. After receiving requests for many years, the Museum will open a new exhibit on the history of the W.R. Grace vermiculite mine and subsequent asbestos contamination. The highlight of the exhibit will be personal perspectives of a variety of people sharing their experiences through video- taped interviews. Clips of these interviews can be selected for viewing on touch-screen computers. Some of these people worked for W.R. Grace; some have asbestos-related disease or had family members who were affected. Others are the physicians who diagnosed and treated the illnesses. Still others just live and work here and have their own viewpoint. This exhibit was made possible through grants from Humanities Montana, the Center for Asbestos Related Disease, the Lincoln County Community Foundation and private donations. Beginning opening day and continuing through the month of June, the Kootenai Valley Quilt Guild will display their beautiful quilts in the Tower Gallery. The gallery will house a changing exhibit throughout the summer with artwork from the Libby Fine Arts Group in July and photographs in August. The Heritage Museum will be open through August 31st, Monday-Saturday, 10:00-5:00 and Sunday, 1:00-5:00PM. The Heritage Museum will be open for an "extended season" in September on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10am to 5pm through October 1, 2016.  Admission is by donation. The Heritage Museum is run completely by volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, please call the Museum at 406-293-7521.  For more information, contact The Heritage Museum PO Box 628 Libby, MT 59923
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The Heritage Museum, 34067 US Hwy 2, PO Box 628, Libby, MT 59923, 406-293-7521 libbyheritagemuseum.org, E-mail: heritagemuseum@frontier.com, We are a 501(c)3 organization. ©2016

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