Moss Mansion News

Moss Mansion Features Summer 2018 Farm to Table Exhibit

Family diaries are among the interesting documents to be found in the archives at the Moss Mansion in Billings. Though Melville’s are the most numerous, she wasn’t big on painting detailed pictures with her writing. Even so, it is clear she enjoyed baking, and together with several cookbooks and recipe boxes it’s clear that food was a central part of many family traditions. After exploring the subject for the last couple of years, staff at the Moss have developed the material for this year’s summer exhibit – FARM TO TABLE: Family and Food in the Yellowstone Valley.

The exhibit explores the concepts of farming, agriculture, cooking, sustainability, and tradition in Montana over the last 150 years in the Yellowstone Valley. For the Moss family, like all of Billings, local agriculture and food traditions were integral to daily life.

In this exhibit visitors will find original farm equipment used on the agricultural land owned and developed by PB Moss, Moss family recipes, and insight into PB’s entrepreneurial spirit and success that was deeply tied to local agriculture. Stories will be shared from local families and tribes about their own experiences and food traditions that have developed in the local area.

Visitors can also expect to learn about contemporary producers and how local agriculture continues to be part of the fabric of Yellowstone Valley life in 2018. We have partnered with Yellowstone Valley Citizens Council’s Food Hub to connect our community with those local producers. Watch our calendar for upcoming dates for food and agriculture events related to this exhibit in 2018.

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FARM TO TABLE: Family and Food in Montana is an accompanying art exhibit to the Moss Mansion’s 2018 exhibit. The art exhibit explores farming, agriculture, cooking, sustainability, and tradition in Montana over the last 150 years. Twodimensional works in a variety of media and styles are included in the exhibition which will be on view to a local, national, and international population from May 2018 – September 2018.

~ Written by Jennette Rasch, submitted by Corinna Sinclair

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MOSS MANSION MASTER GARDENER VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY

The Moss Mansion was home to members of the prominent Billings family for eighty years. Many changes have come to the property since its development in 1903, and it is as glorious as ever in the new millennium thanks to skilled and generous Master Gardeners.

Among the many features are ten gardens, several ‘vintage’ cottonwoods, an elderly Russian Olive, two giant spruces, a variety of crabapple, ash and other smaller trees, expansive lawn areas and a large cedar hedge. The patio and pavilion area at the back of the property features modern brick walks and patios, stone and wood benches, overflowing flower pots in season and a large pergola festooned with Virginia Creeper. You can find lilac bushes, hydrangeas, roses, and a glorious maple that flames red-orange in the fall.

Each spring, summer and fall smiling teams of Master Gardeners gather to carefully prune, plant, feed, and clean every corner of the property under the direction of current Staff Groundskeeper Linda Brewer and long-time Board of Directors Representative Stacey Jacobs. Donations from local businesses and other generous donors keep the garden shed on site well-stocked and the beds bright with color and texture. Thousands of visitors from near and far enjoy leisurely strolls, excellent photo opportunities, and unique weddings and other events among the vibrant, healthy trees and flowers – all thanks to Yellowstone County Master Gardeners!

With the huge variety of trees, perennials, and annuals to care for our board and staff is blessed and honored to have had the knowledgeable guidance and assistance of the Montana State University Extension and Yellowstone County Master Gardeners for years since the house became a museum. Without the support of Master Gardeners, the Billings Preservation Society would not be able to maintain the house and grounds. Since 1986 millions of dollars have gone into the preservation and operation of the stately mansion, and all of those dollars come from tours, fundraisers, events and rentals, small one-time grants, and generous donors. No permanent federal or state funds are available to operate or preserve the museum, and there are no private partners who provide permanent funding.

Learn more about the Moss Mansion, our mission, and other volunteer and educational opportunities on a tour or at mossmansion.com and on Facebook.

Submitted by Corinna Sinclair