McDonough Family Donates New Pavilion At Makoshika State Park

Miles City - On Aug. 12, a large contingent of the McDonough family gathered under a shady new day-use shelter atop a breath-taking overlook at Makoshika State Park. They were there to share family memories of time spent at the park, and to dedicate the McDonough Pavilion that they had helped to fund in memory of Russell and Dora McDonough.

The family, some of whom are based in Glendive, donated $70,000 for the project. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks contributed $15,000 and significant staff time. The idea for a shelter came about around 2019, after the parents had passed. The siblings – Mike, Ann, Mary, Kevin and Rick - had many fond memories of frequent visits to Makoshika, including fossil hunting, campouts and coasting down the switchbacks during Sunday drives. They wanted a way to remember their parents that also benefited the state park and future generations.

"I think this is something Mom and Dad would be pleased to have their name associated with," said Mike McDonough, formerly of Glendive and now of Dallas, TX, speaking to a crowd of almost 40 gathered for the dedication. Some family members traveled from several states away, with multiple generations represented.

Kathy McLane, the Glendive-area representative and member of the State Parks and Recreation Board, was on hand to thank the family for its donation, and Tim Christianson and Christy Powell of Friends of Makoshika presented the siblings with "I Love Makoshika State Park" keepsakes. Makoshika manager Riley Bell, FWP Region 7 Recreation Manager Brian Burky and other FWP staffers were present for the dedication.

The barrel vault shelter is 20 feet wide by 30 feet long. It has a steel roof and supports and a rock façade at the base of the pillars. It was manufactured by Icon Shelter Systems. Set in a beautiful location near the outdoor amphitheater at the end of the park road, the shelter offers fantastic views of Cains Coulee and of the Twin Sisters rock formation.

On-site work on the pavilion began in 2021 and finished in spring 2022. There were several delays with this project due to Covid, supply-chain issues, weather and access road problems. Fisher Sand and Gravel donated the rock and concrete for the pad. Friends of Makoshika helped process the donation. Richard Schwartz was the contractor for the project and Dave Hill did the grading and groundwork.

McDonough Pavilion will be open to everyone for day use, with no reservations required for now. Eventually it may require reservations and could be offered jointly with the amphitheater for events.


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