Montana History

  • The American Dream Home By Mail: Kit Homes Out West

    By Lindsay Dick
    Imagine that the year is 1910 and you have just moved with your family to Montana. The last spike of the Milwaukee Road was driven in last year just west of Garrison, and the small town where you live is now accessible by rail from both the West Coast and the distant metropolis of Chicago.
  • Montana on The Move!

    By Rob Rath
    Historically, agriculture has always been Montana's foremost economic engine from jobs to exports. Because of the Great Depression and World War II, only 30% of working farms used gas-powered equipment into the 1940s, while the rest still relied on horses to work in the fields.
  • Get to Know a County: Lewis and Clark

    By Bryan Spellman
    Gold attracted people to the region, and Helena’s “main street” is a memorial to the early prospectors. Much of Last Chance Gulch is a pedestrian mall, and the turn-of-the-century architecture lining the sidewalks attracts the eye, just as the various window displays attract shoppers.
  • Constructed From a Vision: The Extraordinary Home of Chief Plenty Coups

    By Joseph Shelton
    Plenty Coup said that "The Cheyenne, and the Sioux... have always been our enemies... But when I fought with the white man against them it was not because I loved him or because I hated the Sioux and the Cheyenne, but because I saw this was the only way we could keep our lands... And it was my dream that taught us the way."
  • Butte Will Rise Again!

    By Sherman Cahill
    You already know the story: thousands of immigrants, arriving at Ellis Island, carrying signs bearing the name of their intended destination. They read, not "Butte, Montana," but "Butte, America." Because Montana, one of the biggest states in the Union, was too small to contain the legend of the Mining City. 
  • The Stench of the Frontier

    By Lindsay Dick
    If Manifest Destiny had a smell, it would surely stink of rotting garbage, excrement, and a heady whiff of BO. Literature and film have cultivated in the American imagination a highly romanticized take on the Old West, but they’ve necessarily left out some of the crustier details of day-to-day hygiene.
  • Orphan Train Riders Out West

    By Teresa Otto
    By 1854, an estimated 34,000 abandoned or orphaned children filled New York City's streets. Many of their parents had immigrated to America, lured by the promise of free land out West.
  • The Remarkable Sarah Bickford

    By Doug Stevens
    On April 10, 2012, the State of Montana honored Sarah Bickford by inducting her into the Gallery of Outstanding Montanans in the Capitol Rotunda in Helena. As a former slave who became one of Montana's most prominent early businesswomen, Bickford certainly deserved this honor.
  • Saleesh House: David Thompson's "Haunt" in Montana

    By Doug Stevens
    Those winters in northwestern Montana were very challenging, both physically and mentally, even brutal at times. There was constant repair and maintenance work on the post itself, as well as canoe building, firewood collection and hunting.
  • A Gallery of Montana Eccentrics

    By Bryan D'Ambrosio
    He was the buzz of 1900s Broadway and a gender bender of silent films. Long-forgotten actor and female impersonator Julian Eltinge was especially popular in Butte, where he accepted his first theater position as an usher at the old John Maguire Opera House at Butte.
  • Bannack - Montana's Best Preserved Ghost Town

    By Doug Stevens
    The early history of Bannack is very “colorful” and reads like a Hollywood western. With Virginia City also booming to the north, there was an active stage line between the two gold towns.