Grant applications are being accepted to kick off the annual process used by a Gallatin County board with a mission of helping local residents recognize and preserve the important historic sites, structures and places in the county.
Elaine Skinner Hale, grants coordinator for Historic Preservation Board of Gallatin County, said Wednesday that this year’s grant application deadline is March 30. If, however, applicants who run short of time, they may contact her by phoning 284-9046 to request a deadline extension.
Applications can be obtained at the County Courthouse, in the commissioners’ office on the third floor on online at http://gallatin.mt.gov/public_documents/gallatincomt_bcomm/Historic. Applications are accepted for small grants, defined as between $500 and $5,000.
Grants are partly financed by fund-raisers as well as appropriations from the county commission.
The 2019 recipients will be announced during a May 13 ceremony at the Gallatin History Museum on Main Street in Bozeman. The event starts at 7 p.m., and free tours of the museum will be offered at 6:30 p.m.
Examples of projects funded by grants in the past include:
• Helping the history museum preserve and duplicate historic photos, maps and blueprints by providing funds for a large format scanner
• Working with the East Gallatin Cemetery to rehabilitate and revive one of the earliest cemeteries in the county, which had been abandoned for 60 years; tasks included the use of ground-penetrating radar to discover where people were buried without tombstones or with wooden ones no longer there and then mapping the gravesites
• Helping preserve several historic schools in the county, including a current project at Upper Madison School that involves fixing windows, painting and siding repairs
• Repairs at the Tinsley House at the Museum of the Rockies, which is a nonprofit part of the museum’s operations
• Helping repair and replace windows in the Union Pacific Railroad in West Yellowstone, a “big, beautiful old building” as Skinner called it
• Funding signs at Fort Ellis to alert people that it is a historic archeological site where digging for artifacts is banned
• Working with the local gem and mineral club to help catalogue and modernize artifacts displayed in cases on the second floor of the courthouse
• Assisted by Native Americans, helping make signs at the Madison Buffalo Jump more current and relevant
Historic preservation in Gallatin County started decades ago. In the 1970s, the county commissions established the historic preservation board to oversee the efforts.