Dale Tash was a long time Montana educator, historian, Manager of Bannack State Park and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commissioner. To many, he was a man who personified the Beaverhead Valley, its history, culture and traditions. Governor Marc Racicot called him an ardent supporter of the need to preserve Montana’s natural and cultural heritage for future generations of Montanans.
Dale served as a professor and administrator at Western Montana College in Dillon, teaching thousands of students not only how to teach, but more importantly how to appreciate history and Montana. Following a career that spanned over 50 years with Western Montana College, Dale began a second career as Manager of Bannack State Park.
His love of Montana history and his family roots in Bannack gave him special insight into the historic community. His father was born in Bannack and his grandfather owned a ranch nearby. His knowledge of Bannack and Montana history enabled him to weave together stories and tales of Bannack that made the past come alive. Countless Bannack visitors and staff members were influenced and inspired by Dale. His work at Bannack included stabilization of several historic buildings, initiation of an oral history program and a tremendous amount of research necessary to compile the history of Bannack.
In honor of Dale Tash, a Memorial Fund has been established by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. For every dollar that is contributed to the fund, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks will match that amount. The money will be used to preserve and stabilize the buildings at Bannack State Park. The park attempts to protect and stabilize the buildings at Bannack by following a policy of arrested decay. Efforts are made to slow natural deterioration of the buildings. The buildings are stabilized to ensure long term stability and public safety. Where major modifications were made over the last 20 years, efforts are made to restore the structure back to its original character.
Repairing and replacing foundations, replacing sill logs and repairing and replacing roofs are the most common areas worked on at Bannack. This work is highly specialized, time consuming and expensive. Contributions to this fund will aid in these preservation efforts and ensure that Bannack, the Cradle of Montana history, remains standing for future generations to see, enjoy and learn from.
To make contributions to this fund, checks made out to the Dale Tash Memorial Fund may be sent to:
Bannack State Park
4200 Bannack Road
Dillon, MT 59725