Historic preservation projects honored

The Great Falls-Cascade County Historic Preservation Advisory Commission honored four projects and people on May 25 for their annual awards program.

This year’s winners were:

  • Burnette Batista was raised in Fort Shaw and has developed a passion for its history and that of the whole Sun River Valley. She was elected president of the Sun River Valley Historical Society in 2005, and since then has led the group in an extensive restoration of the Fort as well as raising awareness of the incredible story of the Valley.
  • Maintaining Giant Springs State Park through years of wear is a big job, but thanks to Park Manager Alex Sholes and craftsman Dustin Iverson, the retaining wall surrounding the Spring has been restored to its former glory.
  • Bob Milford has led the J.C. Adams Stone Barn Co. in a monumental effort to restore and rehabilitate the Barn since 2017, when the nonprofit took over the building from the Dracut Junction Stone Barn Co. J.C. Adams was one of the earliest European settlers on the Sun River, and he began building the impressive barn in 1882.
  • The First United Methodist Church and craftsman Bryan Robinson have rehabilitated the church’s northern entrance along 2nd Ave. N. with a beautiful new Gothic arched double door, which is an excellent in-kind replacement for the failing original and is compatible with the building’s elegant Gothic-revival architecture.

The Preservation Awards Reception is held annually as part of National Historic Preservation Month. The national theme for 2023 is “People Saving Places,” and the reception recognizes “the people who have put in the work of saving our special places in Cascade County,” according to HPAC.