Lewistown receives $3,000 grant from History Foundation

Twenty-nine projects and organizations that preserve Montana’s history are collectively $117,000 richer – including the Lewistown Historic Resources Commission – and the money comes from a grant program most people don’t even know exists. 

Wednesday, the Montana History Foundation announced the recipients of this year’s statewide grants. Since 2012, the MHF has awarded annual grants to projects and organizations that work to preserve and protect the historic legacy of Montana. This year, the Foundation gave away the largest amount ever at $117,180.

“Our grant recipients are new and unique every year,” MHF President and CEO Charlene Porsild said. “We are so proud to support projects from Libby to Ekalaka and all points in between this year ranging from interpretive signage of outdoor exhibits to curation of dinosaur fossils to restoration work on a log cabin or an historic hotel.”

The money will be disbursed to projects in 20 counties across the state ranging in value from $750 to $5,000. Big Horn, Carter, Golden Valley, Lake and Meagher Counties will receive MHF grant funding for the first time.

One standout 2017 recipient is Fort Shaw through the Sun River Valley Historical Society. Fort Shaw is one of the only remaining original adobe forts in Montana. SRVHS is in the process of emergency repairs to stabilize and preserve an original adobe wall in the historic Commissioned Officers Quarters at Fort Shaw, built in 1867. The wall was weakened in the 1940s when a utility company installed a gas line. That caused the wall to sag a foot lower than the floor, which made several rooms unsafe and closed to the public. When this restoration is complete, this section of the building will be opened up to the public for tours.

“It is our mission to support projects small and large,” Porsild said. “And this year’s winners really reflect the quality of preservation work being accomplished across the state.”

Private sources support the awards through gifts, grants, and other contributions. As statewide knowledge of the program increases, the MHF hopes to spread even more wealth to preservation projects next year. 

Please see below for a list of funded grant projects near your community. For additional information about specific projects, please contact MHF Programs Director Gena Ashmore.


Historic buildings and structures:

• Lewistown Historic Resources Commission, Lewistown, Fergus County – $3,000

Lewistown cemeteries, mausoleum & gravestone preservation

• Belt Theater Company, Belt, Cascade County – $5000

Replace the rear pedestrian bridge to Butte St. in the 1916 Knights of Pythias Building (Belt Theater Building). Serves as a second floor fire escape.

• C.M. Russell Museum, Great Falls, Cascade County – $5,000

Charles M. Russell House Conservation Project

• North Central Montana Retired Educators Association, Great Falls, Cascade County – $5,000

Zion School paint and restoration project

• Sun River Valley Historical Society, Fort Shaw, Cascade County – $5,000

Adobe Wall repair


Collections and artifacts:

• Upper Musselshell Museum, Harlowton, Wheatland – $1080

Military clothing protection and photo media supplies

• Montana State University Library, White Sulfur Springs, Meagher County – $5,000

“The History of Weather in Doig Country: Tying Regional Interviews to Place-based Literature”



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