Page 21 - MFM MAY 2014
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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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