Historic preservation grants available from heritage area group

Grants will be available in 2023 for historic preservation projects through the Partner Project Fund of the Big Sky Country National Heritage Area.

The heritage area serves residents of Cascade County and a portion of Chouteau County, including Fort Benton, working on projects of historic, cultural, preservation, or recreational nature, according to the group.

The group plans to award five grants of up to $1,000 each in 2023 to qualifying projects.

Details on how to apply are on the group’s website or Facebook page.

Last year, the heritage area distributed nearly $5,000 in grants of up to $1,000 each to assist the following projects:

  • helped volunteers in the town of Neihart build and install a replica fire tower and install its historic fire bell
  • financed a brochure describing the elegant stained-glass windows in St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Fort Benton
  • financed renovations to the historic Mandan keelboat located along the levee walking trail in Fort Benton
  • financed training for a young man learning to be a powwow announcer at the 2022 Little Shell Powwow
  • sponsored the first Native American artists who created a beautiful mural of the Native American Powwow princess during the 2022 ArtFest in downtown Great Falls.

Also in 2022-23, Big Sky Country National Heritage Area provided a $10,000 donation for an architectural and engineering study of the Boston and Montana Barn, an aging historic structure that is the last of the Boston and Montana Consolidated Copper and Silver Mining Company.

Historic preservation group looking at options to save Boston and Montana Barn in Black Eagle

Big Sky Country National Heritage Area entered into an agreement with the City of Great Falls to transfer these funds, which were from private donors, according to the group.