Press Release: May 2, 2009
Bair Family Museum Opens May 1st
Teepee Raising Ceremony Friday May 8, 2009
THE PERFECT MONTANA DAY TRIP!
Bair Family Museum Open in May Wednesday through Sunday
The grass is green and the trees are budding and the
Bair Family Museum in Martinsdale opened May 1st for the season!
Everyone is invited to walk the grounds, bring a picnic lunch, tour the house, enjoy
learning about the Bair Family and area history in the Visitor’s Center, and check
out all the new items in the gift shop. Visitors may also want to plan on attending
some of the exciting events scheduled for the summer, starting with a celebration
of Crow culture on May 8th. The award-winning Plenty Coups High School
Chapter of FFA students will present a Teepee Raising and Crow cultural awareness
event on the grounds of the historic Bair family home. Activities start at 11 am
on Friday, May 8, 2009.
Under the guidance of Laura Moore, agriculture teacher
with Plenty Coups High School and advisor to the Plenty Coups Chapter of FFA, Plenty
Coups students involved in the FFA have won state and national awards promoting
Indian culture associated with agriculture.
The museum is honored to have this opportunity to continue
the Bair family’s long-standing support of Crow culture and history. After coming
to Montana in 1883 as a conductor on the Northern Pacific Railroad, Charles M. Bair
became one of the most successful sheep ranchers in the world. He ranched for many
years on the Crow Reservation and Chief Plenty Coups was a close friend. Among the
Native American artifacts on display in the museum’s Pine Room is a small beaded
vest given to Alberta Bair when she was about six years old by Chief Plenty Coups.
Chief Plenty Coups also presented Alberta a most unusual
gift, one that is returning for display in the Pine Room after a long absence: a
miniature teepee or lodge that is believed to have been made in the late 19th
century for a young Cheyenne girl. It is a small model of a lodge of the Cheyenne’s
sacred Quilling Society, and one of the most unique artifacts in the Bair family’s
eclectic collection. The museum’s Director and Curator Elizabeth Guheen states that
“the return of Alberta’s teepee for display in the family home during the week of
this year’s annual Crow Teepee Raising ceremony is an exciting event for the staff
and for the citizens of Martinsdale. Together, the teepee and the vest Chief Plenty
Coups gave Alberta Bair represent not only the heart of the collection. For many
they represent the family’s legacy and their amazing generosity towards the state
The Plenty Coups FFA Chapter Teepee raising starts
at 11 a.m. and is open to the public. Tours of the Bair Family Museum are available
for $5 with discounts for seniors and children. Traditional Indian tacos and beverages
will be available at the Martinsdale community center following the ceremony.
The Bair Family Museum is located on Highway 12 between
Harlowton and White Sulphur Springs and is open May 1 through September 30 from
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The last museum tour of the day is scheduled for 4 p.m. In May
and most of September the museum is open Wednesday through Sundays and closed Monday
and Tuesday. From Memorial Day May 25th through Labor Day September 7th
the museum is open seven days a week. For further information call 406.572.3314
or visit the website at www.bairfamilyhome.org.
19th c, Cheyenne, 45 x 17 in.