Mary Schmidt Honored for Museum Remodel Project

Mary Schmidt at the Historical Museum at St. Gertrude.

Mary Schmidt of Grangeville will be honored on August 23 at the Idaho State Museum. She is a recipient of the Esto Perpetua Award, given by the Idaho State Historical Society (ISHS). 

ISHS is recognizing nine individuals and three organizations with Esto Perpetua awards for outstanding accomplishments in preserving and promoting Idaho’s heritage this year. The award is given annually and is determined through nomination.

“Each recipient has demonstrated a truly exceptional level of achievement in their efforts to preserve a part of Idaho’s heritage,” said ISHS Executive Director Janet L. Gallimore.

Mary Schmidt is celebrated for her work in leading the major remodel project of the Historical Museum at St. Gertrude in Cottonwood. After a review by an outside panel of experts in 2014, the remodel began in 2015. The project, recently completed, includes an expanded history of the Benedictine sisters, replica of the original attic museum, a celebration of notable people of the Camas Prairie and surrounding river areas, a kids’ activity center, and more. Visitors can experience the remodeled museum 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

In addition to leading the exhibit remodel, Schmidt has also served as director of Spirit Center and chief operating officer at the Monastery of St. Gertrude.

“When I became prioress on June 13, 2015,” recalls Sister Mary Forman, “Mary was invaluable in guiding me through those first few years; her knowledge of people, places and approaches to the delicate dynamics of what belongs in a museum certainly made my position as prioress navigable. I could always trust the wisdom from which she made decisions.”

The Esto Perpetua award ceremony will be hosted at the Idaho State Museum, Monday, August 23, and is open to the general public to attend. Doors will open at 5 p.m. and the program will begin at 5:30 p.m. Tickets must be purchased in advance by calling 208.514.2302 or going online to: history.idaho.gov/esto.