Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Boundary County Museum showcases, celebrates community

| April 25, 2024 1:00 AM

Keeping Boundary County Museum growing and moving forward is of prime consideration for the board of trustees, museum staff, and volunteers. This past year has been filled with events, partnerships, collection donations, and visitors to this museum. 

In the past year, BCHS membership saw membership grow from 146 members in 2023 to 173 members to date. 

Affiliations and donations connected to the museum include the International Selkirk Loop, the Idaho Association of Museums, the  Friends of the Restorium, “Small Towns, Big Dreams” book for silent auction.

Funding for the museum includes support from Boundary County commissioners and Glenda Poston, County Clerk; fundraising dinner/auction; 2023 Historical Calendar; “Small Towns, Big Dreams”, to date, 828 books have been moved out of the building; and the gift shop. Financial donations from individual families, the John Sater estate, Idaho State Grange, Innovia Foundation, the Schwab Charitable Foundation and memorials.

Grants — Final report: "Songs, Poems, and Stories of the Early Idaho Panhandle" 

Special events:

• Fiber Fest - Demonstrations of spinning, weaving, knitting, etc.; 68 attendees

• Idaho Day - Serving the People of Boundary County - a walking tour of federal, county, city offices and buildings - art activity and "Idaho" cookie.

• Story of Edward L. Bonner - slide show and map lesson for fourth-grade students

• School tours - Fourth grade packets containing: Faces of History, Museum bookmark, pencil, scavenger hunt

• Spring into Summer - BFHS Robotics Alpha+ team; Gary Eller, "Songs, Poems, and Stories of the Early Idaho Panhandle" - overnight accommodations provided by Northside School B & B

• "Cemetery on the Hill" Grandview Cemetery Tour - 52 attendees; admission shared with the cemetery association; porta potties provided by KG&T

• A Night for the Museum - "Movie Night " theme dinner catered by The Rusty Moose; live auction with Jeff Sater

Partnerships include GROW, Little Free Garden; potted plants provided by Marciavee Cossette, Bonners Ferry Herald, "This Week in History" and "From the Archives", Coeur d’Alene Press - Republishing “Anglin’ with Anglen”, Bonners Ferry Living Local - museum feature, Idaho State Grange Association - tour of the Museum, Bonner-Boundary Cattle Association - dinner and "History of Cattle in the Purcell Trench" program (offsite), General Services Administration - environmental assessment at Porthill, Idaho.

Temporary exhibit: "People Serving Boundary County" - 4th Grade Artwork - Spring exhibit (returned to students)

Museum building maintenance included a resealed roof drain over Portrait Hall, BF Builders; and a new furnace installed in Portrait Hall, Gerald Branscum.

Museum purchases include a scanner, computer, and monitor, designated for digitizing archival materials; a digital camera; a printer/scanner for archives room; and archival boxes for newspapers.

The museum collection includes donations in the past year from 78 donors and 658  accessions inventoried; Past Perfect Program (objects, photos, books, archival papers):  36,890; and renewal of a long-term loan from the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho - artifacts on display.

Special interest donations to the museum collection include Kootenai Tribal artifacts, Annie Patterson estate; a Detroit grain scale, Judy Swing in memory of Larry; Moyie Chapter, Order of Eastern Star: Signet, Bible, Seal, Gavel, documents and photos; and two Swift puzzle maps (1919):  manufactured by Swift Map Co., Bonners Ferry, Idaho.

The museum saw 39 volunteers with 2,726 hours volunteered. The museum welcomed 2,149.5 visitors: students, 287; Boundary County, 569/Idaho, 351.5/Out of State; and 834/Out of Country- 108. The museum also held “Free Saturdays, held June through October, sponsored by "Friends of the Museum.”

The Museum's mission is achieved through membership dues, community participation and contributions, and the generous support of Boundary County.  Appreciation goes out to all who have renewed their 2024 memberships. If you wish to renew, please contact the museum at 208-267-7720, or better yet, drop in and fill out a membership form while you visit!  

Looking Ahead to 2024, the museum is looking forward to greeting new and returning visitors and tour groups; providing historical and educational programs: Fiber Fest, History of Cattle, Gary Eller- songs from his Idaho Songs Projects, "Cemetery on the Hill" Part 2, annual dinner and auction, and having all around good fun at the museum. The museum is open Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m..

Watch the website for more updated information and events, and continue to follow the museum’s Facebook page.