On February 8th, the Bonners Ferry Rotary Club held its regular meeting at the Boundary County Museum's Community Events Center at the south end of the museum complex. The purpose of the visit was to learn about the Museum, its operation and its mission and also to have lunch. 

Gini Woodward presented a brief history of the museum, reviewing the business aspects of its evolution -- the composition of the 9-member board, the funds necessary to operate the museum and the staff required to oversee its operation. She also provided an overview of how the museum happened to end up possessing 50+ painted portraits of Boundary County history (these portraits were formerly displayed at the old Safeway).

Financial support for the museum comes from grants, membership dues, and public donations of cash, materials, equipment and volunteer time. The Boundary County Historical Society is a 501 (c) 3 organization meaning that donations to the museum are tax deductible.  She mentioned that the museum is now at a crossroads "trying to define what it wants to be when it grows up!"

Woodward also reviewed the curator's function -- performing research on collections and then being able to recite the history of some very interesting people who have lived here before us. Sue Kemmis, the museum's curator, inventories a growing collection of artifacts, writings and photographs in an attempt to preserve Boundary County history.  Membership was also mentioned as a key ingredient at the museum in order to handle the expanding number of displays and exhibits and the new reference library.  She also referenced the work of the museum in preparing outreach to the Boundary County schools. One example is the work required to prepare students and their families regarding the Smithsonian Journey Stories Exhibit at the museum from May 28 - July 10, 2011.   

The annual historical tours of the local area, and especially Bonners Ferry, that are conducted by Howard Kent and others were cited as a great example of the excitement that can be generated from history through the auspices of the Boundary County Historical Society and Boundary County Museum.  

For further information, stop in for a tour of the Museum during its winter hours on Friday or Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM  or seven days a week during the summer. If you are interested in joining the museum as a member or volunteering your time, contact Gini or Sue Kemmis at 267-7720.