In 2006, the Historical Society, through a bequest from the Thomason Estate, purchased the two buildings to house the Museum. Over the last nine years, the Society has made improvements and the Museum has been able to expand its exhibits and conduct programs and events in the buildings.
In the spring of 2014, the 100 year old clay sewer pipe collapsed and it became evident that the Museum was in need of an upgrade. The clay pipe laid at an angle under-neath the two layers of concrete floors. A new sewer line was dug along the north side of the 120 foot building. In order to connect to the city line, the City extended the main line 50 feet along the east side of the building. During this process, it was discovered the main line, also a clay pipe, was in the same condition and needed to be replaced. Construction continued through the summer and fall, and winter arrived.
Spring 2015 brought excessive water causing the ground to settle, undermining the structural support of the 95 year old Museum building. The brick wall, adorned with a mural painted by a Boulder Academy class, sank into the ditch causing damage to the wall and roof. After months of assessments and meetings with engineers, contractors and insurance adjusters, the Society was informed of solutions with pros and cons. The decision was made to construct a new exterior wall at the point of an existing truss, thus giving new support to the building’s roof and creating a firm foundation. Construction by Bonners Ferry Builders began. The process was been slow, as when dealing with an old building, many unexpected things occur.
The Society wishes to thank everyone for their patience during this process. Portrait Hall had been closed to exhibit viewing, and the annual fundraising dinner had been postponed. When the construction was completed, exhibits in the hall were made ready for viewing, and the event space was reopened and once again the Society enjoys hosting dinners and other events in the ‘new’ 95 and 98 year old Houck Building.
READ MORE about the Megquier-Houck Museum Building