By Tom Cook 

MHS Trustees Honor Montana Heritage Keepers


Edgar Richardson

The Montana Historical Society Board of Trustees honored Edgar Richardson of Scobey and Chris Fisk with their 2013 Heritage Keepers Award Friday evening during the 40th Annual Montana History Conference held this year in Sidney.

The award is for exemplary work, commitment and effort in identifying, preserving, and presenting the history and heritage values of Montana for current and future generations, Trustees President Crystal Shors said.

“All of Montana can be proud of the important work these two great individuals have done in preserving the story of our great state,” she said.

Among Richardson’s main passions are preserving the history of northeastern Montana’s homesteaders and communicating to people of all ages- locals and tourists alike- what life was like for the Montanans who settled and built that part of the state.

Richardson grew up on his family farm near Peerless joining the Navy after graduating from Scobey High School in 1944. When he returned to Scobey in 1947 he ran several businesses, served on the city council and was an active community leader.

An active volunteer in the Daniels County Museum, Richardson was the mastermind behind Pioneer Town there, which features 35 historic buildings that would otherwise have been demolished. “I feel fortunate to have lived in

Scobey and Daniels County… This is truly sacred ground,” he said.

At 84 Richardson continues to give engaging tours of Pioneer Town, impressing all those he meets with his encyclopedic knowledge of the people of the region.

Fisk began teaching at Butte High School 19 years ago, and worked to transform the school’s history curriculum. He has been honored for reaching students at all levels through projects that emphasize hands-on learning, such as an annual bison harvest, which complements more traditional lessons about Native American history and culture.

He has received honors including the Gold Star Teaching Award for Excellence in Education. His students make meaningful contributions to their community in projects like cemetery preservation work and providing meals at the Butte Recue Mission and celebrating community heritage.

Each year he provides historical trolley tours for Butte visitors, and during the school year he teaches an evening adult class that now enrolls about 100 scholars from age 18 to 90.

“He makes history real, and in so doing, he expands the audience for the Montana Historical Society’s central mission: to preserve, protect and promote our shared history,” Shor said.


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