In November we said goodbye to a North Dakota icon, White Cloud. She passed peacefully on November 14th at the Shirek Buffalo Ranch. A few of our board members have worked with White Cloud since she arrived as a calf 20 years ago. Needless to say, November was a sad month at the museum.
After such a sad loss, it is nice to report that in other areas of the museum, good things are on the horizon. Museum renovations that include constructing a theater at the museum’s entrance, as well as updating the first room of exhibit space have begun! The space has already been framed, insulated, and dry-walled. The remodeling is scheduled to be complete by next season. The museum orientation film is well underway, too. Producer Darrell Dorgan of Dakom Communications estimates that the scratch edit version will be ready by the second week in December.
Our lobby and gift shop have also been updated, so please stop in and take a peek! We would love to see you, and it just so happens that this is a great time of year to purchase some unique holiday gifts. We have added a number of new items in the store, which you can learn more about on page 5 of this newsletter. If you don’t live in town, don’t fret. We have added some pictures of our gift shop on our website, and we’re happy to ship via USPS Priority Mail flat rate boxes.
The museum has also a fabulous new exhibit, courtesy of Tom Barthel and Gail Wilkinson of Snake River Farm in Becker, Minnesota. Tom & Gail brought “Sam,” an 8-10 thousand year old full bison cow skeleton to the museum at the end of October. Tom says she was found below peat and in positions that suggested she was struggling trying to escape quicksand, which explains why he found her entire skeleton. Sam is a wonderful acquisition for the museum and we are so grateful to Tom and Gail for their generosity!
In other news, I recently had the pleasure of attending the Western Bison Association’s 18th Annual Wild West Stampede Show and Sale in Ogden, Utah. Along with program coordinator Jean Masson and Brody March, a 12-year-old Youth Representative from Star B Bison Ranch in Ramona, California, I spoke to about 170 second graders from three area schools about our national mammal, the American bison. It was a great experience, and great exposure for the museum. The kids were genuinely excited to hear about how athletic bison are, to learn a bit about their family dynamics, cultural and historical significance, and to see and touch artifacts, which included bones, teeth, and poop! In addition to our presentation, the children got to tour the auction barn and see the bison. They were also served bison hot dogs for lunch before they returned to school. The museum sent them packing with a few goodies as well.
Before I say goodbye for now, I want to remind you all that It is time once again to renew your annual memberships. Please help our membership grow by spreading the word about the wonderful things we are doing at the museum.
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