Last week, retiring Ravalli County Museum Director Tamar Stanley helped explain a repair and improvement list at the museum building to the Ravalli County Commissioners. She also told them that this was her last visit to their offices as director, since she is retiring.

Stanley has been the director of the museum at South 3rd and Bedford for 13 years and has overseen hundreds of exhibits, public lectures and kids' activities. She told KLYQ that during those years there were 230 exhibits, 188 lectures and 288 kids modules. Along with that, the museum has continued to enlarge its collections, including such unique objects as the Grantsdale School bell, Hamilton's Montana Cafe neon sign, and, most recently, a glacial erratic boulder from the ice age's Glacial Lake Missoula.

Stanley said, "That's my hope - is that the museum will continue to be exciting, creative, expand its horizons and keep doing things that are different for the community to see."

A continuing project during her term included bringing the collections "up to museum standards," with correct details in their catalog from over 30 years of donations. She is also proud of the huge archive of written material, photos and video that are stored there. The building itself is a part of Bitterroot Valley history. It was designed by A.J. Gibson and constructed in 1900 as the Ravalli County Courthouse. The museum's Facebook page is a showcase of some of historic photos and more from the extensive repository of the valley's newspapers and private citizens photo collections.

She said, "It's really been a team effort...The team and the Board have been there every step of the way." The museum is under the direction of the Bitterroot Valley Historical Society in conjunction with Ravalli County.

Currently, the museum is temporarily closed for repairs and improvements. It's open to the public only on Saturdays, which is when the weekly kids' "Adventure Series" happens. A full opening schedule will return in the spring. And the staff is not accepting collection items at this time. If you have questions, call 363-3338.

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