The Art Work
Bill Hosko
About the Artist
The Gallery
Daniels County Museum & Pioneer Town
August 2003

A Pioneer Town worth visiting from anywhere.

In the summer of 2002, while Bill was working on the 1st Visitor Center project in Opheim (Projects: May 2003) an older couple he had never seen before stopped by to say hello and inquire about his project. That meeting has led to an ongoing friendship between Bill on the Hill and the Richardsons of Scobey, Montana; a small farm and ranch town an hour east of Opheim where a bit of the old west remains.

Edgar and Mary have for years now looked to the past as a way to help Scobey’s future. Part of that future will be a region wide attraction on the western edge of town called “Pioneer Town”. Edgar was one of its founding members back in the early 1970’s when historical preservation was largely an unknown idea in the region and even in much of the country. The word “Extensive” as a description for Pioneer Town, hardly describes what Edgar, Mary and many others have accomplished over the last 30 years. As a great lover of old architecture, Bill was fascinated with what the Richardsons showed him. And liking what they saw he was accomplishing in Opheim, he was flattered when they asked if he had any thoughts for improving their Pioneer Town.

The first two projects Bill has lended an artistic hand to...

Pioneer Town has an extensive collection of antique farm machinery, a new building was needed to house part of the growing collection. Bill listened to what the musts were regarding the new 100' long structure and came up with conceptual illustrations (below right) that helped a potentially overpowering presence in a low profile pioneer town become another picturesque attraction that will compliment its surroundings. The public responded favorably to the images and funds were raised to help the project get off the ground (see article below).

Another project the Richardsons have been working on was the relocation of the historic Tande bridge located several miles northwest of Scobey (top photo, below left). The bridge was due to be demolished by the state to make room for a new, wider bridge. The Richardsons envisioned the steel truss bridge, one of very few remaining in northeast Montana, being relocated to the southwest corner of Pioneer Town. Bill suggested a location directly on an existing trail, rather than off to the side as was first envisioned. Spanning a small coulee (second photo, below left) which if excavated deeper to create a small pond/wetland, the bridge would look more at home in its new location. The illustration Bill created (below left) helped supporters of the bridge relocation envision the completed project. Bill hopes someday a small old time gazebo can be constructed nearby, the combined efforts would be a way to encourage visitors to see an often overlooked corner of Pioneer Town. The last photo (below left) shows the bridge in its new home. Water, and perhaps a gazebo, still to come.
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