KTVH.com

Big Sky Chronicles: Historic cemeteries in Montana

HELENA – The Montana History Foundation recently announced it is receiving a grant from the National Park Service: one of 12 grants given nationwide and the only one in Montana.

The $25,000 grant will be used for a three-day workshop next spring on preserving Montana cemeteries through education and technology.

The Montana History Foundation President and CEO Charlene Porsild said they expect to bring up to 50 people from across Montana to the Helena area for the workshop. It will include experts on various types of technology that can aid in grave identification and location, along with traditional methods like archival research.

Porsild said there are hundreds of historic cemeteries across Montana that can benefit from the workshop.

“Our community histories are caught up in those burials, whether they stayed in the same place or moved, whether the marker is still there or not,” said Porsild.  “So that’s part of what we want to help people recover is the history of who’s in those cemeteries, whose family’s connections are in those cemeteries and how to draw those out and to preserve them for future generations.”

Porsild said the workshop will be recorded and eventually placed on their website to help continue education efforts for those who are unable to attend in person.