The Flickertail Village and Museum in Stanley to reopen

STANLEY The Flickertail Village and Museum in Stanley will open its doors for the first time in two years this week. It will be open from 1 to 4 p.m. on Thursday. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted.

“I hope (people will come),” said Gerry Nelson-Hennin, a museum volunteer who was cleaning the museum buildings last week in preparation for the Fourth of July. Nelson-Hennin said people have asked if the museum will be open and she thinks people have missed it. It wasn’t possible to open the museum in 2011 or 2012 while a new housing complex and a frontage road were built nearby.

Stanley, in the heart of the oil boom, has experienced rapid expansion over the past few years, but there’s still room to remember the town’s pioneer heritage too.

The museum got its start in 1977, when several Ross citizens expressed a desire to save the Burlington Northern depot that was about to be abandoned by the railroad. They took the matter before the Stanley city council, which granted permission to move the depot to a piece of land where the Stanley airport once stood.

The museum was first known as the Heritage Center but, because that name was the same as the North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck, it was renamed Flickertail Village and Museum when it opened in 1980.

There are thousands of artifacts on display in the museum’s buildings and grounds. The museum grew from one depot to include other buildings representing an early 20th century pioneer village, such as a school, a church, a barn, a doctor’s office, a blacksmith shop, a general store, a dollhouse, a miliner’s shop and a chicken coop.

Some of the items on display were donated by residents of Mountrail County while others were rescued from places like rock piles. Some were purchased.

Volunteers like Nelson-Hennin keep the place going by doing repairs, cleaning, mowing the grass and opening the museum for visitors.

Nelson-Hennin said the museum will be open by appointment only for the time being and won’t maintain regular hours. The museum board is scheduled to meet this month with the Stanley city council about the museum. Eventually, the museum board plans to resume a regular schedule of operation.

The museum is funded largely through donations and grants.

For more information or to set up a time to tour the museum, call board members Chancey Henin at 629-0091; Steve Brewer at 765-432-8700 or Thora Nelson at 627-2802.