36094 Memory Lane
Polson, MT 59860
(406) 883-6804
Miracle of America Museum A Non-Profit
501-C-3 Corp.
www.MiracleOfAmericaMuseum.org   info@MiracleOfAmericaMuseum.org
March 2008   Quarterly Newsletter
Executive Board of Directors
Gil Mangels President
Cathleen Wilde
Mel Adams
Vice Presidents
Joanne Mangels Secretary
Gracia Normandeau Jones
Kendall Dupuis
Mike Maddy
Stan Cohen
Donna Maddux
Advisory Board of Directors
Phyllis Fulkerson
Jim Pomajevich
Seen In This Issue
Quarterly Report

Spring has sprung and with it come rain showers, glorious sunny days and even snow showers. I love it all except the mud! The museum isn’t being overrun with people yet, but there’s a steady trickle every day. We’ve already had visitors from 31 states and half a dozen international countries. Easter has come and gone and we have included two of our Easter cards on the back page. I urge you to see our web page copy of the newsletter as that way you can enjoy the beautiful colors in the pictures. Easter cards used to be almost as numerous as Valentines or Christmas cards. The flowers, birds, butterflies, bunnies and eggs started out as symbols for the greater meaning of Easter, that of rebirth and Christ’s resurrection. We want to wish all of you a joyous Easter!

Missoulian “Hometown” Headlines

A visit and a subsequent full page article by Vince Devlin, mostly about Gil’s sculptures and especially his recent UFOs, has brought in many visitors already and should draw even more as the weather warms up. The UFO was seen in St. Patrick’s Day parades in Kalispell and Ronan, and April 26th will be in a Eureka parade. Ace Hardware donated metallic silver paint that Paul Benelli has applied. Paul Bonelli painting Nesbitts logoPaul Bonelli dusting alien footprints
The UFO is just one of the many painting jobs he has done for the museum. He is shown here detailing a Nesbitt’s Soda Pop cooler and dusting “alien” footprints on the UFO that mysteriously appeared shortly after it was painted!

Museum Collaboration

The Flathead Historical Museum south of Kalispell closed and donated an F-30 International tractor, horse drawn mower, walking plow, showcase and ’26 model T parts. Triple W Tractor loaded the heavier items for first load. David Bosley and Paul Bonelli helped Gil pick up the second load. We recently donated some memorabilia that would have been of some interest here, but will be more appreciated in museums in Livingston and Lewistown because it was local to them. Then we sent a unique photo of a March 3, 1918, parade in Hamilton, showing their huge WW-I Star Service Flag with 112 stars.

March 25 RSVP used our meeting room and made ornaments here for the National Christmas Tree in Washington DC.

Miracle of America MuseumMarch 2008
Quarterly Newsletter
Page 2
Financial Donors

Sustaining Corporate Members
• First Citizens Bank
• First Interstate Bank

Sustaining Membership
• Community Bank
• Glacier Bank
• Hib Hanson
• Wayne Jensen Ins.
• Moody’s Markets
• Bert & Grace Poloson
• Polson Bay Grocery
• Robert Skans
• Jim & Barb Sohm
• Stevens Brothers Concrete
• Bobby & Lisa Unser (yes, he is the auto racer)
• Western States Ins.

Family Membership
• Richard & Karen Anderson
• Paul Beckstrom
• Roger Dellinger
• Margaret Dykstra
• John & Mary Erkkila
• Ray & Joyce Kackmann
• Bob & Charlotte Marshall
• Bill & Joan McDermott
• Lt. Col. Steve & Kristi Smith
• Kenneth Soward
• Frank & Lulu Stock
• Bruce & Florence Waldron
• Whitefish Credit Union

Memorial Donation
• Lyle & Grace Larson — honoring Fred Poloson

Birthday Time

The first birthday party of the year was held Mar. 15 for Alex Stevenson. When we host these parties, the parents pay for the admissions and provide the refreshments. We provide a fun enclosed atmosphere for play, a place to eat and with enough advance notice and good weather — a ride or two. birthday photo in Huey
These kids wanted their picture taken in the Huey although some other favorites included the beauty parlor, the Paul Bunyan, and the GI Joe room.


Roseberg Forest Products of Missoula (formerly Louisiana Pacific) donated fifteen 5 X 9 sheets of particle board finished on one side that allowed us to totally finish the inside of the caboose.

cabooseThis will house Rail Road memorabilia including the foot/hand powered Velocipede inspection car (right, below). This can easily be removed for demonstrations running it on our track, and it will be protected from the elements the rest of the time. It will also house a 1911 Mudge-Adams motorized inspection car recently restored by Gil and David (left, below). It is a wooden framed, three-man car with a large tool tray. It is powered by a 2 cylinder, 2 cycle engine with a cylinder on each side of the frame. The drive wheel is equivalent to the flywheel and sits between the cylinders. The wheels have wooden spokes like early autos did.
two RR speeders


Condolences to Dee and the family of Bill Barba. Bill was one of our earliest supporters, donors and advisors. He will be missed. Sympathy too to the families of Jim Shaffer and John Petersen DVM, other long-time donors.

Miracle of America MuseumMarch 2008
Quarterly Newsletter
Page 3
Miscellaneous Donations

• Bill & Cheryl Collins — several antique weaving shuttles and spools

• Jack Collins of Ronan donated 2 tickets to the Snake River Jump, personally autographed to him and his wife by Evel Knievel. Jack was Ronan’s first motorcycle dealer (Honda) back in the ’50s and had sponsored Evel in some of his jumps.

• Bob Feil — Last spring Bob came over from Moses Lake WA for Gil’s dad’s funeral. While visiting the museum he noticed that an antique Mercury outboard motor displayed in the boat building was missing half of its motor case. His family-run boat business came in handy, as he found the missing part and sent it over.

• Darris Flanigan — 3 pieces of Polson memorabilia

• Pat Fleming — a beautiful cased set of “Yankee” screwdrivers

• Howard Hudson — motorcycle and BSA books, and numerous packaging items, office supplies, etc.

• Greg Knutson, Glass Connections — small snowplow, glass and glass cutting to fit whatever we needed

• Virginia MacDonald donated a cd of Ratatouille, an Oscar winner and fun family movie done by her nephew, Brad Bird of Pixar studios.

• Robert Wise donated a 1959 pair of giant slalom competition skis. They look so modern compared to all the older wooden ones we have, but when you think about it they are almost 50 years old.

Coming Up

• April 22 — Fiddlesticks music recital at 6:30 pm

• April 26th — Eureka parade

• May 8th, 9th, and 10th are “Merchant Appreciation Days” at the museum, from 7 am to 9 pm. Refreshments will be served and admission is free for all area merchants, their employees and their families. We want to show our appreciation for the support shown us by the majority of area businesses. We hope they will visit and encourage their employees to stop by and view our new displays. Visitors do appreciate local merchants who recommend something worthwhile to see in the area, and the longer we keep guests in the area, everyone benefits. It is hoped that the extended hours will give everyone the opportunity to attend. For free admission, visitors should identify their business in the guest book.

New Tractor Barn

With the help of Tyler Rehbein Construction, our building site for the proposed tractor and ag building is ready. It will add approximately 3200 more square feet of display area and will house restored and quality tractors and farm equipment. One portion will be finished off as an office with rare and nice paper and smaller ag related memorabilia that will be seen but not touched. It will also house our ag related research library and book collection. At this time only Jim Pomajevich has made a substantial donation and we have a couple of smaller pledges. We are hoping this donation will create interest and entice others to join him. A donation here would be a great way to remember a loved one by funding a 10 ft. wide bay in the building. We encourage our museum friends to let their loved ones know in advance if they would like certain items or memorials donated to the museum. Often when it is necessary to write an obituary, the survivors writing it are under great stress and may not remember or even be aware of your wishes.

Help Wanted

Board member Donna Maddux is looking for retired local teachers to assist with help or funding for painting the Green Mountain School and reroofing the teacherage.


With Postal rates rising again we have to remind Friends of their dues with greater regularity. If you can remember it will help, but if you forget we may be sending the reminders the month after your membership is due. We really appreciate those who donate regularly, because we hate begging.

Everyone who donates, receives at least one newsletter. After that, if you still want to receive newsletters please let us know. A star beside your name on the address label means this may be the last newsletter you receive unless we hear from you. Our memberships are reasonable, are tax deductible and provide free admission, copies of our newsletters, and a 10% discount in our gift shop.

Family: $25 up to $99
Annual Sustaining: $100 up to $199
Corporate Sustaining: $200 up to $999
Lifetime: $1000 or more
Miracle of America MuseumMarch 2008
Quarterly Newsletter
Page 4
Mailing Labels
Miracle of America Museum
36094 Memory Lane
Polson, MT 59860
Postage Paid
Polson, MT
Permit #89
[City State Zip]
Easter Cards

The real reason for Easter to Christians is to celebrate our Savior’s resurrection. Christ coming out of the tomb is represented by flowers opening and emitting their fragrance, a chick breaking the egg and emerging, and also the butterfly coming forth from the cocoon.

flowers in coach, cherub driving 2 doves

These are a couple of early 1900s Easter greeting cards.

Easter Greetings poem