Local logs grace new shop
By MARTIN J. KIDSTON - Independent Record -
|The Montana Historical Society opened its new gift shop on Thursday,
sporting a roomy interior that blends the warmth of a ski-lodge with the
charm of a pioneer cabin.
Months in the making, the $21,000 remodel incorporates hand-hewn logs and mossy granite stones pried from the frozen earth in the dead of winter.
"Hauling the logs was the fun part," said Todd Saarinen, museum preparator. "I did that with a snowmobile and a log arch on skis I used behind my sled. The hard part was hewing the logs. I had a short time to do this and, of course, a budget."
Eliza Wiley IR photo editor - Pam Brazil, left, and Phil Collver thumb through one of the book displays in the newly remodeled and expanded Historical Socitey Museum gift shop. The new shop is twice as large as the old one, with a more rustic design, hand hewn beams and a mossy granite fireplace.
|Saarinen cut beetle-killed, lodgepole pines on
his property. The remodel,
he said, incorporated nearly 40 logs and six tons of stone, requiring 11
trips to the museum.
"I just wanted a small fireplace, the kind you can pick up and move," said
Sherry Jonckheere, the gift shop manager who oversaw the remodel. "I
walked in one day and there were boulders all over the floor."
The 1,000-square-foot room, which once served as the end of the Montana
Homeland exhibit, sat empty for a while. The original gift shop filled the
adjacent room, but at less than 500 square feet, it was overcrowded and
difficult to navigate.