Living History Day at the Museum!

Living History Day at the Yellowstone Gateway Museum is Saturday, June 2, from 10 AM to 5 PM. Throughout the day, artisans demonstrate primitive arts: flint knapping, blacksmithing, painting, Dutch-oven cooking and more on the museum grounds. Teachers give lessons in the one-room schoolhouse and docents give museum tours for groups on demand. New this year: Native American traditional games are offered, which everyone is encouraged to play. All are welcome to attend this free event, which includes museum admission. Burgers and hot dog plates are available for purchase.985

Local flint knappers Ray Alt and George Bryce demonstrate the art of breaking rock and making projectile points. An extensive museum exhibit also showcases their work.

Blacksmiths Martin Hildreth and Andy Olds demonstrate and interpret the traditional art of blacksmithing using the original forge in the museum’s Vink Blacksmith Shop. Peter “Jack” Vink, Jr. used this shop for refitting wagon wheels, welding, and blacksmithing from 1903 until his death in 1949.

Michael Keator, a longtime Dutch-oven cook who cooked for backcountry wilderness pack trips for several years, demonstrates the art of cooking a full meal. His menu changes every year and won’t disappoint; samples are available in the afternoon.  922

Artist K Potter gives a painting demonstration. Potter owns her own gallery in downtown Livingston, teaches step-by-step paint classes and art fundamental classes.

IMG_7299Traditional Native American game instruction is led by Trudy Patton, a Yellowstone National Park Education Ranger with the curriculum-based, residential Expedition Yellowstone program, STEAM teacher workshops, and school field trip programs, and Karen Reinhart, museum registrar and former interpretive park ranger at Yellowstone. Patton and Reinhart were recently certified in International Traditional Games Society Level 1 training at Mammoth, Wyoming, which included the making of game pieces. Ren Freeman, Eastern Shoshone, who has extensive and cultural knowledge of the games, plans to assist in the afternoon.

East Side School teacher Kim Fink and retired teacher Shannon Burke don period dress and teach lessons in the One-Room Schoolhouse, helping visitors glimpse whatlearning was like in the good old days. Roping experts will likely be on hand to help visitors try roping a steer’s head. Other volunteers may demonstrate other skills.

Director Paul Shea and volunteer docent, Susan Sewell, will give free 30-minute “blitz” tours of the museum for groups IMG_7280963on demand. They will be happy to take you through all or part of the museum (or you can explore on your own). In addition, there are numerous family activities in the museum.

Visitors can preview new exhibits this year (some are in the process of installation): Gardiner: Through the Lens of Time, Pull Up a Chair: Tales from the Seats of History, and Agriculture of Park County.

For more information, please contact Paul Shea or Karen Reinhart, Yellowstone Gateway Museum, 222-4184. Visit our website,, or find us on Facebook where we’ll post event updates.