Living History Day, Celebrating the Museum’s 40th Anniversary!

Livingston: Living History Day at the Yellowstone Gateway Museum celebrates the museum’s 40th year on Saturday, June 3, from 10 AM to 5 PM. Shane Doyle, a member of the Crow Tribe, will conduct the opening ceremony. Throughout the day, artisans demonstrate flint knapping, blacksmithing, painting, quilting, Dutch-oven cooking, and more. All are welcome to attend this free event, which includes museum admission and a special quilt show. Docents give free museum tours for groups on demand.

Master flint knapper Ray Alt  working on a projectile point.

Master flint knapper Ray Alt working on a projectile point.

Communication Exhibit

Communication Exhibit

Jem Blueher and Andy Olds firing up the restored forge in the Blacksmith Shop.

Jem Blueher and Andy Olds firing up the restored forge in the Blacksmith Shop.

After the opening ceremony, Shane Doyle will give a short program about area tribal history. He grew up in Crow Agency, Montana. Doyle has worked as an education and cultural consultant, and as a tribal liaison in response to the recent DNA analysis of a young boy found in 1968 who was buried 12,600 years ago near present-day Wilsall, Montana.  

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 Jem Blueher, Andy Olds, and Martin Hildreth 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. Blueher is also the owner of Anvil Wagon Works.

Beginning mid-day Michael Keator, a longtime Dutch-oven cook who cooked for backcountry wilderness pack trips for several years, will demonstrate the art of cooking a full meal. His menu includes eggs, biscuits and gravy, lasagna, bread, and dessert. Samples will likely be available later in the afternoon.  

Audrey Dodge and Dean Gilbert will show people how to douse or locate water, using metal rods to find water on the museum grounds.

Firefighters from Livingston Fire Rescue will stop by during the day, showing off their state-of-the-art equipment.

K Potter will give a painting demonstration from 3 – 5 PM. Potter owns her own gallery in downtown Livingston, teaches step-by-step paint classes and art fundamental classes.

The museum is rounding up roping experts who will help anyone who’d like to try roping a steer’s head.

Visitors can enjoy historic vehicles, including fire trucks, in the back courtyard. East Side School teacher Kim Fink will don period dress and be on hand during the day in the One-Room Schoolhouse, helping visitors glimpse what learning was like in the good old days.

The free event also includes admission to the museum. A special one-day Quilt Show showcasing the museum’s collection will be on display in the Pioneer Room. Local quilters from the Peace by Piece Quilt Guild will be on hand and also demonstrate their handiwork.

Director Paul Shea and volunteer docents, Susan Sewell and Sabine MacInnes, will give free interpretive tours of the museum for groups on demand. They will be happy to take you through all or part of the museum or you can explore on your own. There are numerous family activities in the museum.

New exhibits this year include “Communication: A Changing Conversation,” a collaboration with Park High School students enrolled in Shift Empowerment’s Community 360 class last fall. The exhibit interprets the progression of communication technology.

Visitors can also preview the “People of Yellowstone,” an exhibit of photographs published in the book of the same title by Steve Horan and writer Ruth W. Crocker. The exhibit features beautiful black and white portraits of people who have a deep connection to Yellowstone National Park. The exhibit opening, also part of the museum’s 40th anniversary, is slated for Friday, June 9, from 5:30-7:30, with the free program beginning at 6. There is a book signing afterward and refreshments are provided.

For more information, please contact Paul Shea or Karen Reinhart, Yellowstone Gateway Museum, 222-4184.