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Butte News

Sep 9, 2013 7:26 PM by Adam Bell - MTN News

Governor Bullock attends Bannack State Park's grand reopening

BUTTE - Governor Steve Bullock was in the crowd at Bannack State Park on Monday, as they celebrate the grand reopening of the park since a flash flood.

On July 17th, a strong storm rolled through the area creating a wall of water which washed right though the central part of Bannack State Park and now, just weeks after the event, with some work, dedication and help from the government Bannack State Park is back up and running.

"I'm an interpreter here at Bannack State Park and basically I'm an educator, I take people around and explain the history, the significance of this community," John Phillips said.
Phillips is glad to be back at work after the state park was closed for weeks.

With some rebuilding still going on, the damage from the storm in July is clearly visible. Despite that, Monday was a day of celebration because of the grand re-opening of this unique site.

"You're back open for business with this grand opening, that you can wander through the museum, you can visit the old governor's residence you can see the old school and yes the merry-go-round is still alive and in existence," Governor Bullock said.

"This is our first territorial capitol here and this place means so much to Montana's past and to Montana's future," Chas Van Genderen said. "School children are here today panning for gold, learning about Montana's history and we're just really excited."

"My favorite part is being out there with the public - if its not schoolkids, its with the visiting public and just giving them little glimpses here and there, more than you'll get out of that tour book you we're going to use," Phillips said.
And that is exactly what Phillips is doing on the first day the State Park has reopened - sharing what he loves.

Phillips said, "I love sharing history, kids are a great part of it to do it with. Just in May alone we'll run 1000 kids here on field trips and I get to work them all and I really enjoy sharing that information. I like history that is in my educational background and I love sharing it."

Phillips says he loves his job that keeps him smiling and lets him have a good time.

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