The Yellowstone Gateway Museum is beginning two new community history projects. All residents of Park County and Yellowstone National Park are invited to participate. The museum welcomes submissions from all ages—from students to grandparents.
The first project, “Chronicling Covid-19,” documents the experiences of local people as they endure the threat of Covid-19 virus or the virus itself. The museum will create an archive of letters, stories, poetry, photographs, drawings, recordings, etc. that communicate residents’ experiences, observations, and opinions during this unprecedented crisis. This project was inspired by the Gallatin History Museum in Bozeman; they are creating a Community Memoir project in Gallatin County for the same purpose.
The second project, “Telling Our Stories,” collects family and business histories for the museum archives. It expands work spearheaded by past Museum Director Doris Whithorn. She and many volunteers compiled materials and published the History of Park County 1984, a large book that contains hundreds of stories of local people and businesses. But not everyone in Park County submitted a history in 1984, and, of course, many new residents have since moved to the county. To update our history, the museum is collecting family and business histories, including stories, clippings, photographs, etc. that will be added to our Park County Family History Collection, available in our Research Center when the museum reopens. They may also be published on our web site or in a future publication.
You do not have to have been born in Park County to submit your history. We are very interested in hearing from any and all residents of Park County and Yellowstone National Park, including newcomers. Our mission is to “Preserve and interpret the cultural and natural history of Park County, Montana and its relationship to Yellowstone National Park for the education of everyone.” History is not only fifty years ago but includes last week’s stories.
Like the museum’s other archival materials, these personal accounts are at the heart of the museum’s collections. They tell the stories of individuals, families, and businesses, highlighting the perseverance and character of local people, helping to paint a picture of life in and around Park County. These two projects will be very valuable to individuals, families, and other researchers who would like to learn from the past. Museum staff hopes that you will participate.
Please mail letters and other materials to Yellowstone Gateway Museum, 118 W. Chinook St., Livingston, Montana 59047. While the museum prefers handwritten letters, emails will also be accepted; please send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Yellowstone Gateway Museum is currently closed to the public during the Covid-19 virus crisis and will re-open at an appropriate time dictated by Montana’s Department of Health and the Governor’s office. Contact Karen Reinhart at email@example.com; visit the museum’s Facebook page, yellowstonegatewaymuseum, or web site, www.yellowstonegatewaymuseum.org, for more information.