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Montana Freemason                                           May 2014                                             Volume 90   Number 2

                                   Named after Chief Joseph Ninepipes, a Bitteroot Salish Chief, the museum is
                                   nestled under the protection of the Mission Mountain Range. It contains a wealth
                                   of early photos, artifacts and antiques representing more than a century of life in
                                   the Flathead Reservation, and Montana and is one of the area’s finest treasurers.

                                   The Ninepipes Museum of Early Montana was established in 1997 to discover
                                   and memorialize the history and culture of the Flathead Reservation and early
                                   Montana. It is designed for the enrichment, education and recreation of local
                                   residents and visitors.

                                   The museum is located halfway between Missoula and Kalispell near the National
                                   Bison Range and the Owl Institute. It is bordered by the Ninepipes Bird Refuge,
                                   a nationally recognized bird watching area, and fish and wildlife land on all
                                   sides. Housed in a long and concrete structure built to museum specifications
                                   and standards, the museum includes both long term and temporary exhibits that
                                   provide the viewer with articles representing the life of early people in the area.

                                   Your trip time begins with the Art of the Old West. You can get a first hand
                                   picture of how the noted artists of the different time periods found the life. You
                                   will find work by Alfred Jacob Miller, Charlie Russell, and E. S. Paxton, as well
                                   as later artists. Indian artifacts are displayed in cases. The Hall of Photographs
                                   contains pictures of men and women who helped compose this history: Native
                                   Americans, trappers, miners, loggers, cowboys, ranchers, and settlers.

                                   As you continue through the museum you will find a collection of weaponry
                                   including clubs, bows & arrows, and guns. There are spurs and saddlery, life-
                                   sized mannequins in cowboy, cowgirl and Indian dress. You will see a grizzly
                                   trap, depicting the lost art of preparing a “grizzly set”. Throughout the museum
                                   is a vast collection of Native American Beadwork.

           The center of the building contains a life-size dicorama of wild animals and an Indian camp scene that
           includes a creek, elk hide teepees, a woman scraping a buffalo hide, children playing, and a rack of drying
           meat. An old cabin, originally built by the Jocko River has been moved to the museum grounds.

           Wagons and buggies dot the front of the museum grounds. To the side of the cabin is the entry to the
           Nature Trail, a handicapped accessible area giving the opportunity to view the beauty of the valley and
           Mission Mountains. Signs along the walkway help you to identify the birds and small animals in the area.

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