Happenings at O’Fallon Historical Museum

O’Fallon Historical Museum

By Melissa Rost,

Curator, O’Fallon

Historical Museum

The O’Fallon Historical Museum was a busy place last week, as hundreds of community members gathered to take in presentations in the Museum of the Rockies’ Starlab. This portable, inflatable planetarium, sixteen feet in diameter, was sponsored by Fallon County’s museum and came courtesy of the Carter County Museum in Ekalaka. CCM Director Sabre Moore has taken on the task of initiating the Starlab for their sister museum in Bozeman and will later train MOR staff as to the ins and outs of this state of the art digital resource. Baker was the second location to partake in this offering following an initial run-through in Ekalaka. Moore presented to students and showed half hour planetarium movies to the public over the course of two days. Oooohs and aaaaahs could be heard repeatedly as students from Baker and Plevna public schools, as well as homeschooled groups, were immersed in stories about everything from constellations to orders of magnitude. Also a big hit was the presentation to the public of “Back to the Moon for Good,” narrated by actor Tim Allen and enjoyed by community members ranging from infants to senior citizens. High school science teacher Linda Rost was quoted as saying, “This exhibit was great for all ages! Students were very engaged and learned the content in a novel way. Many had never been to a planetarium before, and we don’t have easy access to them in rural Montana.” Student Hunter Mashak stated, “The show was really interesting and informational. It taught us a lot about distances in the Universe and it was a really cool visualization. This is a really cool way to teach kids.” High school senior Devon Solberg said, “I think it’s super cool that they brought such a high tech exhibit to a small town.” In all, 311 students and 108 members of the public in Fallon County enjoyed multiple presentations, which Moore and staff will continue to put on throughout Eastern Montana over the summer.

Entering Baker from any direction, one may notice a new addition to the landscape. Accompanying signs placed by the O’Fallon Historical Society welcoming visitors and residents alike to our local museum, one may now find majestic aluminum animals placed on pedestals to strategically draw attention to the signage. These statues – two bison, a horse and a steer – were purchased by Mike and Anna Griffith and donated to the Historical Society for this purpose. Griffith Excavating and Rost Construction took on the task of erecting the sculptures over the weekend.

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