COTTONWOOD — The Historical Museum at the Monastery of St. Gertrude in Cottonwood received a $25,000 grant from the Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation to help complete a five-year exhibit remodel project.

Mary Schmidt, project director for the museum remodel, said the contribution will allow the plan to move forward and be completed in 2020. The grant will be used for new lighting and video monitoring systems, as well as a children’s area, illustrated map and gallery signs.

The earlier phases, which began in 2015, include a history of the monastery, a replica of Sister Alfreda Elsenson’s attic where the museum began in the 1930s, local fascinating lives, a treasures gallery special collections, Nez Perce past and present and Chinese and mining.

The three exhibits remaining to be completed will focus on agriculture, the pioneer immigrants and household life.

Schmidt said the museum is an economic asset to the region and an educational resource for students who visit from neighboring schools throughout the year. The museum draws about 6,000 visitors a year.

The initial cost of the remodeling project was about $13,000 and is supported in part by grants from the Idaho State Historical Society, the Idaho Humanities Council and Northwest Farm Credit Services.

The anticipated completion date for the project is August 2020. Celebrations will be planned for October and November of that year.

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