Executive Board of Directors
Gil Mangels, President
Cathleen Wilde, VP
Mel Adams, VP
Nancy Pray, secretary
Joanne Mangels, Treasurer
Gracia Normandeau Jones
Advisory Board of Directors
Are you interested?
A Non-Profit 501(c) (3) Corporation • 81-0437386
36094 Memory Lane Polson, MT 59860 406-883-6804
June-July-August 2011 QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER
48 States and
come in spite of rains
Spring has come a little late this year. With so
much rain and cold weather, visitors ask if we are
going to relaunch the Paul Bunyan - however we
have had no flooding here. Our prayers go out to folks
in other parts of the country who have experienced
floods, tornados, fires and the various infirmities of
life. The museum has done well in spite of the
depressing weather and depressed general economy.
Canadian currency is presently near par with the US
dollar and that means more Canadian visitors are
visiting. So far in 2011 we have had visitors from 48
states, 18 International countries and seven Canadian
Several schools and daycares have
visited this spring. According to one
teacher, her students voted on whether
to come here or a trip to Missoula and
we won hands down. Children like it so
much they often bring their parents and
A favorite attraction is the barrel
train pulled by a rare one-cylinder
Kara, of Bishop Sign Works
donated the smily face decal for the
barrel front which the children are sure
is Thomas The Train. We've loaned this
to Boys & Girls clubs and it is busy all
day long, usually two kids per car.
Really gets around!
A huge salute of thanks to our
New and Renewing Members:
George and Brenda Brimhall,
Bert and Grace Poloson
Chuck and Penny Jarecki
Andrew and Diane Speer
First Interstate Bank
Mimi and Irv Milheim
Western State Ins.
Whitefish Credit Union
- 20-pound gas tailoring iron
(ironing all day really built muscles) see below;
- three 1930s radiator shells,
Dodge, Durant and Chevy;
brought in a circa 1950s
pair of Wee Walker shoes in their original box,
and a Wayne Newton Record w/dust jacket.
Wayne (Mr. Las Vegas) and his daughter Lauren
were our first museum visitors of 2011;
Charley Kosker and Joe Shields
- a large, rare
and beautiful sea turtle shell;
- Advertising matchbooks from early
Polson businesses and a poster circa late 40s for an
Arlee dance - 50 cent admission and 25 cent supper;
Gary Riebe -
Raised letter sign machine,
24"x24" paper cutter and lots of letters and materials
with which to make signs.
- who is moving, wondered if
we could utilize a working 1939 GE refrigerator in
our soda fountain area. It is the first year GE had the
refrigeration unit under the refrigerator instead of on
top (Monitor) and it fits perfectly in that area to chill
water, juice and cheese snacks. Dick Schulz & his
driver, Jerry, of
picked up and
delivered the heavy unit.
- Household utensils and a rare
plug tobacco cutter, pictured below.
Newsletter layout courtesy of
Carmine Mowbray of
Can You Help?
We need another small building (say 8x10 to
12x24) to display a functional shoe shop. If you
have such a building that is solid enough to move,
and you wish to donate, please let us know.
We offer our sympathy and prayers to the families of
Dorothy Tode, Jewel Stonehocker, Tom Funke and
Wendell Burrowes. Dorothy and her husband Chuck,
were Lifetime Members. Jewel and her husband,
George, donated numerous items of local significance.
Tom Funke's photo and flight bag are on display in our
"Four generations of Funkes" display in our military
section. Wendell was always helpful with restoring our
, his son, donated a 1971
Arctic Cat Panther 292 snowmobile, a battery charger
and miscellaneous automotive tools in his father's
had been in a Nazi supply warehouse as they are in
never-used condition. They include a complete
helmet, canteen, cup, rare Shako police hat, belts
with buckles and a Luftwaffe bread bag. In used
condition are the KAR 98 Standard German
infantry rifle, Luftwaffe tunic, and hat, and Nazi
paper" jubilation" flags for parades. The latter
were very important for parade viewers as anyone
not showing allegiance to the Nazi party or
"Heiling" Hitler would be sentenced to a labor
camp or shot.
WWII Nazi Spoils of War added to collection
Ettie, (Mrs. Norman Kastella) and most of her
six daughters donated Norman's uniform and
Ettie's "sweetheart" jewelry pin. Norm was a tech
Sgt. In the Army Engineers. They tried to capture
enemy bridges before the Nazis could blow them
up. If they couldn't do that they repaired them
and/or set up pontoon bridges so the Allies could
Most GIs brought home souvenirs (spoils of
war). Norm was no exception. Some of the items
Timely, Knowledgeable Assistance
While leaving for the Memorial Day Parade, one
of the four vehicles we entered, the Freedom Truck
quit running. Evidently, ethanol in the gas had ruined
the fuel pump diaphragm.
Hal Houghton, of Classic
donated a new one and the truck is
purring again. Please check out his website to see if he
could be of service getting your antique or classic car
back on the road:
Gil's newest sculpture rings out
Gil has completed "Ring Out Wild Bells," a
sculpture made of a piano harp, scrap iron and
various cylinders, creating an amazing array of bell
The bell ringers pictured at right are Shane and
Lealyn Feightner, son and granddaughter of Gil's
good friend and black powder shooter during Live
History Days, the late Russell Feightner.
Miracle of America Museum
36094 Memory Lane
Polson, MT 59860
RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED
Membership to the Miracle of America
Museum is tax-deductible and allows you free
admission, newsletters and 10% discount in our
We really appreciate our supporters who
remember to send donations.
A star beside your name on the address label
means this may be the last newsletter you receive
unless we hear from you. If you wish to remain
on our mailing list, please let us know.
Family membership: $25 to $99
Annual Sustaining: $100 to $199
Corporate Sustaining: $200 to $999
Lifetime: $1000 or above
Thank you very much for your support
They say only two things in life are
certain: death and taxes. Well, that means we
can't always guarantee who will show up and
be an exhibitor at our annual event. Death,
illness and employment issues have affected
the ranks of our "regulars." At least two
of our most faithful demonstrators had to
move out-of-state to obtain jobs.
Live History Days will take place
anyway. Confirmed for both days -
Lord willing - are ice cream treats at
the fountain; rides on two trains and
two or three Army rigs, spinners and
a wood carver; the
Combo" of fiddlers,
pickers, singers and
accordionist will entertain
Saturday afternoon for your listening and
dancing pleasure. See the sawmill in action;
the jet trainer cockpit will be open for viewing
and photo ops.
The steam train and a steam tractor will
probably be fired up. Watch the tennis ball
cannon, blacksmith shop, some of our whirling
flywheel engines and historic movies in the
meeting room. We hope to have a reader in the
Join the fun! Sell your wares!
Be part of history!
We welcome new exhibitors and volunteers!
Vendors must have a direct link to things
historical i.e. soap making, broom making,
pottery, beading, etc. Call to check.
Demonstrators may sell their handmade wares.
One of our favorite demonstrations was a
broom maker who was just passing through and
visiting relatives. He almost sold out.
Persons interested in driving or
operating items in the museum
collection should contact Gil well in
advance, for orientation and
familiarization. Call us at 883-6264.
LIVE HISTORY DAYS -
SHOW MUST GO ON!
Saturday and Sunday July 16 and 17