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November 01, 2011



I hope this letter finds that you have had a great 2011!  We of the Cooke City Community Council (CCCC) wish you an even better 2012.  The purpose of this letter is to update you on our activities and plans.  During the year we established a mission statement: Maintain and sustain our Community by creating projects that support the health, safety, welfare, and enjoyment of all people through educational and charitable actions.   The centerpiece of that mission has been the creation of the Community Center Building; it has now been open for one year!  The Community Center has had a positive impact on the community as over 16,000 signed-in visitors have utilized the bathrooms, visitor information desk, outside mining exhibits, and our new “Joe’s Fireside” talks.  Both visitors and local residents voice their gratitude and appreciation for the Community Center Building and tell us how eagerly they are awaiting the completion of the interior museum project that will provide a description of the history of the area.


Obviously, these accomplishments would not have been achieved without grants and donations.  In addition to this wonderful financial support (much still ongoing), many of you have come forward with quilts, cookbooks, paintings, photography, and volunteer labor which have all enhanced the image and success of the Community Center.  Thank you all for your generous support!


In addition to the projects listed below, we plan to have a website for the CCCC in place during 2012.  We view the website as an excellent way to keep you and others informed of our goals, current projects, accomplishments, financial information, contact information, and donor recognition.  This information will all be right at your fingertips!  Please let us know your email address on the donation form or send us an email with your email address so that we can keep you updated and informed.


We have had a number of folks ask about our specific needs.  Dee Smith, who has been the visionary and workhorse for the museum, provided the following “wish list” items.  Your support of any of these items will be greatly appreciated.


Wish List

Miners Cabin Project .  Take a step back into time when you enter our original miners’ cabin. Experience life as it was when our mining camp was enhanced with the dreams of gold, but daily life was harsh and primitive. Can you just hear the pick and axe ringing in the mountains? The vintage Miners’ Cabin was donated by Larry Wicker. The relocation expenses were funded from private donations. The cabin furnishings, all original to Cooke City, were donated by Randy and Mike Holland. The cabin will be open to the public during the Community Center hours. Visitors will enter the cabin via a Plexiglas hallway.  We are wishing….. For a corporate or private family donation to support the restoration of the cabin. What an excellent opportunity to honor a family member while preserving the past for the future.  Cost estimate for this restoration is $8500.



Preserve   Protect   Educate  Share


Landscape Project.  The present view to the west is the stunning silhouette of Republic Mountain. The northern and eastern landscapes require conifers that will provide.  We are wishing…... to complete the planting of the trees on the Interpretive Historical Pathway.  Would you like to donate an evergreen tree that will shade future generations?  Cost estimate per tree is $200 to $1,000 (bushes can also be included).


Cooke City Montana Museum Project.  During the winter of 2011, the major division walls, floor risers and Introduction Panel for the museum will be constructed. The following projects can then be completed as funding support allows:  basic protective railing system, description and donor credit markers, reproduction of vintage photos and murals, frames and wall mounts, plexiglas display cases, interpretive panels, custom pedestal bases, audio/video equipment and production, and security system. We are wishing …… for your generous support so that we may continue with these museum requirements. Your gift will be an everlasting present to the community and future generations.   Any donation will help with these projects.  Estimated cost $


Just for Children Project Adjacent to the “Historic Schooling” section of the museum will be a trunk filled with reproduction vintage costumes for girls and boys ages 2 thru 12. Visiting girls will be encouraged to “dress up” in a variety of  “Little House on the Prairie” dresses complete with cottage straw bonnets. The boys can choose from a variety of “Mountain Man/Trapper” regalia including fur skin caps and powder horns.  This “dreams-to-reality” project has been made possible by the talents of seamstress Marsha White. Wait until you see these adorable costumes! We are wishing…….for patrons to contribute funding in part or whole for this project. Project cost $500


John Colter/ Trapper/Trader Project.  We have obtained special permission from the John Clymer descendents to reproduce John Clymer’s painting titled “John Colter meets the Crows.”  This painting will serve as the background for this display section. We have in place other items including a period beaver top hat, beaver traps, interpretive about John Colter and his winter trek of 1807, and historical highlights of present day Colter Pass.   We are wishing……to purchase a full body taxidermy beaver…yes, we said beaver!  We have our eye on a very cute fellow chewing on his stick. Along with Mr. Beaver we are hopeful to have a professional film titled “Beavers in the Wild.” Don’t keep us wishing…will someone buy the beaver? He can come live in our museum for about $600.  


Building Construction Debt.  You could provide an update on the building loan:  how much we borrowed, for how long, how much is left, etc.  And add a comment that any gifts for the building mortgage will be used to reduce the mortgage and, thus, the amount of interest we pay.  Wishing…..


Remember all contributions stay here in our community. Contributions are totally tax deductible. We value your interest and donation.  If you would like more detail or further information in order to make a decision or have any unanswered questions of our projects, please contact us by phone, letter or email.  I want to thank you again for your wonderful support of the Community Center.






Bev Chatelain

Cooke City Community Council, President

Email: or

Phone: 406-838-2393 (summer only);   307-899-2153 (winter only)


2012 Community Council Board

Mary Dye, Vice President                                             Nellie Israel, Director

John and Carole Oldemeyer, Director                             Florence Zundel, Director

Laurie and Jay Schifferdecker, Director                         Jason Flug, Director

Betty Sommers, Director                                               Suzy Hahn and Donna Rowland, Clerks



December 27, 2010


You have made the Community Center Project a reality!  Donations from our supporters mean a great deal for the success of this project; past, present and future!  Your donations have and will continue to make a difference! The positive impact on our Community has been immediate!  The Visitor Center greeted 15,000 individuals in 5 months!  The construction started in the fall and went on all winter, even with difficult weather.  We were able to occupy the building by Memorial Day!  The much needed public restrooms receive many, many thanks from the users and most of those visitors go into the Visitors’ Center to compliment our Community on such an outstanding building!  Visitors are very appreciative of the information and services such a small community provides! 

 It was also great to see all supporters that were able to attend the dedication & ribbon cutting ceremony on August 14th, 2010.   Attendees at the Celebration were surrounded by the sense of accomplishment and pleasure related to the many ways of giving that had taken place to make this project a success!

The Conference Room has already been utilized for many meetings with very satisfied groups.  An example of how this room was used this summer was as a communication point for families and professionals in an Emergency Situation.  The meeting room, restrooms, information from staff at the center, phone & internet access was a huge benefit for this emergency situation.  Again, your support has put this conference room available to the Community.  The conference room has continued needs for specific items:  projectors, monitors, etc.  If you’re interested in making a donation for this room specifically please inform us or ask for more information about the needs for the Conference Room.

The outside-unfinished projects include finishing the landscaping, which includes historical outdoor exhibits complemented by native, natural trees, bushes, and flowers.   We are available to answer your questions on specific needs. We currently commissioned Montana metal artist, Mr. David MacMaster to create a one-of-a-kind Miner Sculpture titled “Panning the Dream”. It has been a huge addition to the building landscape and was donated by our special friends from Friends of the Beartooth All American Road Organization. 

Thanks to You and your support the building is constructed and the museum space is now a blank canvas waiting for us to tell our historical story.  You may request that your donation support a specific museum need.  Please contact us for specific costs that require funding for the Museum Projects. 

We are extremely grateful that about 95% of our display items have been donated and are original to the Cooke City area. These include the Margaret Reeb/Holland collection, Mr. Larry Wicker’s mining collection and large mining items from Gallatin National Forest, Peter Belschwender, Bob Crabtree and Jim Anderson.  Included are a vintage miner’s cabin donated by Mr. Wicker and one authentic outhouse donated by Brian Boyle.  Generous friends have donated many other smaller items

Our historic presentations are divided into three sections.

  1. The interior of the museum will present these display themes:  Introduction Panel, Historic Silver Gate, Historic Cooke City Schooling, 1930’s Filling Stations, Mining History & the New World Mining District, Development of the Cooke City Township, The Ladies of the Mountain, Historic Winter Season, John Colter & Colter Pass and the Feature Panel which will present various family histories, art works & on-loan artifacts

  2. Large mining equipment will be displayed in the landscaped area adjacent to the Community Center. This will be a landscaped walkway with interpretive panels. The center area will host a fire ring. The general public will be invited to enjoy campfire entertainment on summer weekends. It will be named “Joe’s Campfire” in honor of Joe Israel who created the campfire talks that were a Cooke City tradition for many years.

  3. Within this landscaped area will be the Miner’s Cabin furnished with original donated items from the area. The viewing will be from the exterior to interior via Plexiglas windows and doors. Our authentic outhouse will be placed in a very special arrangement! I predict it will be the favorite photo OP for our many tourists.

Several of the large mining items are now in place, and the miner’s cabin will be moved by summer of 2011.

The History Committee chaired by Diane (Dee) Smith has received outstanding artifacts, documentation and private family records that are original to Cooke City’s past citizenship and mining origin.  If you or anyone you know has any historic information or items that would relate to the above mentioned display units, please contact us at the email or phone number provided.

The Museum is created so that present and future generations will not only know the significance of the creation and development of the Colter Pass, Cooke City, Silver Gate areas, but will learn from the past and recognized the need to preserve the historical heritage which has been bestowed upon them.

Your donation whether big or small will make you feel good!  The pleasure center of the brain is activated by the act of giving.  You the Donor have a variety of options;


  1. Heart Gift Donations.  A donation at a level you are comfortable with will be used for the CCCC operations & management of Community projects, with most importantly fulfilling the needs of our first project—the Community Center Building.  Gifts may be given in memory of or in honor of a loved one.


  1. Legacy Gifts.  A long-term giving program to maintain the ongoing projects established by CCCC.  Contact us at (406-838-2495) and we will share more specific information. We have the ability to accept endowments or other Foundation gifts dedicated specifically to the Community Center, monthly, semi-annual or annually.


  1. Special Funds.  A donation can be given for a specific project, such as the Museum, Building, landscaping, equipment or an upcoming project.  Also, we have an outstanding mortgage on the building that can be donated to specifically. Our goal is to pay the mortgage office ASAP and save funds going to interest!  Contact us for more details of specific needs & costs.


CCCC continues to be active with fundraising events, grants, ongoing donation campaigns and forming specific committees to achieve tasks.  Your support is vital to the success of the CCCC now and in the future.  Confident, secure, and tax deductible donations can be made through our 501(c) 3 status.  We know you, as a donor to CCCC, are serious about money.  So are we. Its how we have been since our founding in 2001. It’s how we will always be.

Remember all contributions stay here, used for our Community projects.  Our books are always open. As a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, our emphasis is solely on our mission.

We know the value of donor recognition, and we ensure that our supporters receive proper recognition for their efforts!


Bev Chatelain, President

406-838 2393 or

Dedication & Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

New Community Center

on August 14, 2010

WELCOME EVERYONE, Thank You for being here today! 

For those of you who do not know me, I am Bev Chatelain, President of the Cooke City Community Council & a Director of our Chamber of Commerce. After many years of hard work, this community of 90 year round residents has brought the project to reality! It is with pride and pleasure to open these doors by an official ribbon cutting & celebration.

At this time, I would like to make some introductions:

As a non-incorporated town, our governing body is at the County level. It has been with the support of the County that we accomplished this project!

Introductions: Park County Commissioners,  Marty Malone- Chair , Jim Durgan & Randy Taylor. 

Locally, the  joint efforts of the Community Council & Chamber  got us where we are today!  I would  like to introduce our Community Council Board, Bev Chatelain President, Jason Flug-Vice Pres., Donna Rowland Treasurer, Directors, Betty Sommers, Nellie Israel, Florence Zundel, John & Carole Oldemeyer, Dale Dempsey & Mary Dye.  Suzy Hahn, Clerk,   Diane (Dee) Smith, History Committee Chair…

I  like to introduce the Chamber of Commerce Board, Robert Weinstein President, Lisa Ohlinger Vice President, Directors, myself, Nancy Flug, Matt Asplund,  Donna Rowland, Executive Director

Our Architect- Craig Frohlich,  Design Labs Architect

Our General Contractor, Denny Salvorson ,  DPS Construction

We would like to thank the people who helped with the champagne celebration we are having today:   The Committee who organized this event Faye Craig, Mary Blaine,  Dee Smith, Betty Sommers, Florence Zundel.  Thanks to Terri Smith at the Bearclaw Bakery for the chicken salad, Cooke City General Store for the “historical chocolates”, Northern Gardens for the flower arrangements and lastly “our local band, the Bannock Trailers”.  Our local artists who have hung art work on our bare walls with beautiful artwork for todays celebration, Mary Blaine, Dean & Madeline Bladow, Nellie Israel, Carter Gowl, John & Carole Oldemeyer.

Also, Asplund Enterprises for the finishing touches of landscape.

We would like to sincerely thank everyone (organizations and individuals)  who have been involved for the last several years  in whatever fashion big or small for their donations, volunteer time, committee work, fundraisers, general support of any kind! I do not  want to forget any one  person so I will avoid name recognition , so please know each and everyone of you that your involvement has not gone unnoticed!

“How did we do it!”  How did we start the race and cross the finish line?

The plan started with a process of getting money to  build  but then funding to operate & continue with a Community project once we have it!  Locals had a vision to keep several lots on Main Street ( that were together) by the fire hall and make all these lots Community projects. A Community meeting brought the concept of the Visitor Center, Public restrooms, Museum, conference room, office space as one phase, a 2nd phase a new fire hall, EMS/S&R Building, reception hall and  the 3rd phase a groomer building. The groomer building had already been funded from a grant and went up right away, actually being the 1st phase of the projects.  Then it started with grant writing for funds to buy out the private property on these lots where the community center is now located.   In the meantime, we would pursue the resort tax process for our long-term income to support the projects in the community!

The first grant to buy the property came through and the fundraiser donation campaigns continued! A huge successful effort from luaus, gift basket raffles, silent auctions, 3 spectacular cook books, fish fry events, Ralph Gliddens history book sales, gold panning event, quick draw artist event & auctions, direct mailings for cash donations, endowments, and a quilt raffle. 

Creativity was used with all the fundraisers. Hundreds of ATV Raffle tickets were hand sewn on a sewing machine to make the perforation marks of every ticket, After a few years of fish  being served at the fish fry, the last fish fry turned  into chicken . (mighty tasty at that), gift basket items were donated from local businesses and neighboring communities, silent auction items were all donated, artists donated time & art, and VOLUNTEERS always  helped with all the events…..You all know who you are so, thank you, thank you!

In 2006, the Resort tax had been voted on and collections began. We are averaging about 100,000 a year.  Many projects have been receiving funding every since…

In 4/2008 we finally went out to bid and the building as designed with all the components came in at about 1 million $… WHOA… said “us the Committee working on this project and WHOA, WHOA said “ THE TOWN“.. A public meeting was held and we went back to work on a building for half the price of this bid! Consulting with a local volunteer contractor we modified the building to our budget...By  June of 09 we were ready to attempt the bid again, we had also secured  funding with the county to  finance what we needed outside of the cash raised & resort tax $ allotted to this specific project..  The bids came back & with  accepting a 512,000 we were under construction By late September of continued through the winter! It happened and we were open by Memorial Day…!

Donor Recognition! Thank you , Thank you!!! We are working on but do not have yet complete the Donor Recognition Book!  We hope you all come back to check out this unique recognition to see all of the great support we have had with this project.  We will continue to collect donations to maintain, operate & progress with this building.  We appreciate every single donation big or small they all are essential for the life of this building!

We so appreciate the encouragement from every organization & individual that told us to “hang in there, you can do it”..

The museum will be fantastic with many, many artifacts specific to this area already donated!  The museum fabrication will be taking place soon with hopes to have the museum up and running next summer.  A huge thank you to Dee Smith for taking the lead, follow through, persistence, commitment, professionalism and most of all the passion & love for this area and its History! Not only will the museum be inside but we will also include history in our landscaping. We are anxious to get it all together and continue to progress!

Even though I said, I was not going to mention names there are a few people I have to mention..  A few specific people that I have worked with on a daily basis for the last few years to make this a success, we never gave up because of the support to each other..... Therefore, I would like to thank them again, and  I already do EVERYDAY!

Betty Sommers, thank you…  Donna Rowland thank you.

And Suzy Hahn!   When it came time to do the Construction we found Dale Dempsey, he took on the project manager of the construction phase..  Without Dale, I do not know how we would have made it!  He made a remarkable difference in this project, he was on site almost everyday!  Thank you Dale..

We are proud & honored to say this is a project started in the community and we crossed the finish line

Donna would like to say a few words..

Suzy would like to say a few words..

If you have not purchased your quilt raffle tickets do so because we will be drawing for a winner at the close of today’s celebration.  You need not be present to win. Thanks Marsha  White for the great quilt !

Please sign in at the guest register as you go through line for the wonderful refreshments.  Now for the ribbon cutting, County Commissioners,  Chamber rep. Donna Rowland, Architect, Gen contractor,  myself..


Ribbon Cutting!

Grand Opening Ceremony Party!!

Donate to Our Dream Community Center


Your donation will help support this Community Center.

The building is now complete and we still need your support.  Please make

a donation.  If you would like your donation to be given to a specific project,

i.e. landscaping, museum, etc. please indicate.

To donate online, click the button below or contact us at: or (406) 838-2203.

It is evident that we still have the need for a major fundraising effort. This project cannot be accomplished in a reasonable time based solely on fundraisers and grants. Your support and contributions are vital to the success of our Center now and into the future. This small community has been extremely successful in raising local matching dollars for the funding it has obtained to date. We look forward to your continued support. Confident, secure, and tax deductible donations can be made with due to our legal 501(c) 3 status. We also have the ability to accept endowments gifts dedicated specifically to the Community Center.

If you would like further information on this project or would like to discuss making a donation to this building, we would be available via phone or in person. Please feel free to contact any of the following leaders who are involved in this project almost on a daily basis:

Bev Chatelain, CCCC President:; 406-838-2393
Suzy Hahn, Administrative Assistant:; 406-838-2203
Donna Rowland, Administrative Assistant:; 406-838-2203

We are very excited that you are interested in donating to this worthwhile project.

Attached is a donation form for your convenience. Thank you for being so supportive!


Cooke City Community Council


Bev Chatelain     President
Jason Flug     Vice-President
Mary Dye     Board Member
Florence Zundel     Board Member
John Oldemeyer     Board Member
Carole Oldemeyer     Board Member
Nellie Israel     Board Member
Betty Sommers     Board Member
Dale Dempsey    

Board Member

Suzy Hahn

    Administrative Assistant
Donna Rowland     Administrative Assistant

We have many, many folks who are impossible to list for their contributions, they have also volunteerd their time to serve on committees, fundraiser,donated items for auctions, purchased items at auctions,labor, events, etc. Any event that has raised money for the Community Center from other identities has also gone to the Community Center project, such as the Chamber events/sales, etc.. We appreciate every single one of these folks but it would be impossible to name everyone and not exclude someone.. so thanks to all of their ongoing support!

Listed below are the financial contributors made directly to the CCCC for the Community Center Building & Projects with the ongoing fundraiser campaign.

Diamond (>$10,000)

Margaret Hart

Ed and Harriet Spencer

Robert Stuart

Sapphire ($5,000-9,999)

Judy Olson and Kerry Olson

Florence Zundel

Platinum ($2500-4999) 

Ross and Gloria Edwards

Garnett Cary

Davenport, Jeanne and Tom Bird

Nellie Israel

Fred Schilling

Gold ($1000-2499)

Jim and Joan Bateman

Beartooth Alliance

Flathead Electric

DW Burns Plumbing and Heating

Mike and Rita Hefron

Dr. Michael Menzel

John and Carole Oldemeyer

Jerry and Dene Tachick

Upper Yellowstone Snowmobile Club

Silver ($500-999)

Cooke City Chamber

Cooke City Motorsports

Cooke City Store

Elk Horn Lodge

Dennis and Kathrine Hagenston

Linda McDonald

Judy McNinch

NF Shopping Center

Raz Schneider

Story Distributing

William Trulock

Bronze (250-499)

A.S. Hart III

Aspen Real Estate

Big Moose Resort

Tom Bird

Colter Pass, Cooke City, Silver Gate Chamber of Commerce

Gary and Denise Everson

High Country Motel

Hunter Peak Ranch

Margaret Hruza

John and Joye Kohl

Earl McNinch

Gary and Diane Miano

Walter and Karen Pridham


Other Financial Donations made directly to the CCCC for the Community Center (<$250)

Dean and Alice Allred

David Asplund

Bachman, Donald and Cathy Cripps

Dean and Madeline Bladow

Blain Gallery

Larry and Kathy Blain

Rodney and Mary Blain

Broadwater Vending

Christopher and Heather Burdette

Richard and Carole Burnett

Ganet Burr

Kent and Shanna Clark

R. E. and Jackie Cook

Bud and Elaine Consolo

Cooke City EMS

Cooke City Exxon

Cooke City Fire Dept.

David Cooper

Fay Craig

Cummins, Ken and Peggy Wilzback

Jerry and Mary Dye

Gerald and Avis Edmonds

Richard and Alice Edwards

Bob and Pam Ellis

Carlyle and Carolene Emter

Raymond and Maureen Ford

Don and Pat Froelich

Paul and Christy Garrits

Ralph and Sue Glidden

Eugene and Lynda Goodsell

Rod Fordahl and Karen Gogswell

Robert and Mary Grebe

Group Destinations

Jason and Suzy Hahn

Marc and Alice Hansen

Howard and Clarice Hansen

Sara Hastings

Alan and Carrie Hayes

Barbara Hering

James House and Gail Palmer House

David and Robyn Hughes

Hog Roast Auction

Hayward and Baker

Susan Hedrick

Barbara Hering

High Country Motel

Lois Hinrichs

Bill and Joan Humiston

Bob Johnston

James Jones

Kay King

Thomas and Deborah Gabe

Paul and Gaye Kloster

Arlene Koeferi

Mickey and Caroline Miller

Greg and Kathy Mahnke

Doris Morgan

Yoshifumi Neff

Gregory and Diana Patterson

Jim Peaco

Ed and Chris Perry

Rasmussen Family Trust (Theodore and Marilyn)

Ron Reimann

Hazel Scott

Steve and Lisa Schluter

John and Louise Sherman

Bill and Bettty Sommers

Stop the Car Trading Post

Chuck and Ruth Sumner

Mary Vaughn

Vertical Media

Darold and Mary Vincelette

Weaver Family Trust

Rick and Marsha White

Edward and Frances Woletz

Hank and Marcia Woolman

We really appreciate your support!