New curator puts on a wedding

09_wedding_2761NEW CURATOR  — Kristi Grubb-Calvery, standing by a wedding dress display at the Conrad Transportation and Historical Museum, is the new curator. The wedding dress display will be up for all to see through the summer and has gowns that go back to the 1880s.  I-O Photo by Buck Traxler

By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor

Kristy Grubb-Calvery was recently named the curator of the Conrad Transportation and Historical Museum.

She graduated with the Class of 2002 from Conrad High School. After receiving her diploma, she went on to attend the University of Great Falls where she earned a BS degree in history with a minor in writing in 2007.

While in college and after, she worked for Treasurer State Lifestyles magazine writing history articles.

She recalled how much she liked listening to stories from her grandmother, Vivian Keil about their homesteading and building up their ranch.

Grubb-Calvery moved with her husband to a city on the Mississippi River, Baton Rouge, La., and while there, taught high school at an inner-city school.

“That,” she said, “was a big change coming from Montana to a place that is 99 percent Afro-American. “At first it was really difficult,” but she stuck it out and taught school for four years.

Then her father called and said a parts manager position was open in Conrad, which is what her husband does.

The timing was right to move back. She missed her family and wanted her two girls, ages one and four to have a good place to grow up.

With a fondness for writing about history and working with people, when the curator position opened, it seemed like a perfect fit. Her first museum display is one of wedding dresses, some which date back to the 1880s.

A wedding dress is the clothing worn by the bride during a wedding ceremony.

Colors, styles and importance of the gown can depend on the religion and culture of the wedding participants. A Western culture bride often chooses a dress of white to symbolize purity of the soul.

However, white did not become a popular option until 1840, after the marriage of Queen Victoria. She wore a white gown for the event to incorporate some lace she prized.

The official wedding photograph was widely published and following that many brides continued with white gowns.

The tradition continues today.

Her display will be running through the end of summer and is well worth a trip to the museum.

As for future events, she likes working with the schools and would like to put together a display of Hutterite Colony schools and country schools. “What a history they have,” she said.

Also, it is almost the 100 year anniversary of women’s suffrage and the right to vote. “I would like to tell that story, she said.

The museum is located at 402 S. Virginia and the corner of 4th Ave. The hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1-4 p.m. on Saturdays. The phone number is 278-0178.