Montana History

  • Driving the Teddy Through the Treasure State

    By Todd Klassy, With Photos By the Author
    Not only did the highway contribute to the growth of businesses along its route, it also fostered economic opportunities for towns and cities that were previously isolated. And, perhaps more importantly, the route became a symbol of America's commitment to connecting its diverse landscapes and fostering cooperation between states.
  • The Kidnap and Ransom of Froggy Doo

    By Ednor Therriault
    The perpetrators were never caught, and the victim was found a short time later, dismembered, his body parts strewn along a fence line outside of town, his decapitated head hanging from a post.
  • Blood on the Wool: Montana's Sheep Wars

    By Nick Mitchell
    Try and imagine, for a moment, just how arduous it would be to beat several thousand sheep to death. How long does each swing of the club take from wind up to connection? What if the blow is only glancing, and the sheep is dazed but not dead?
  • When UFOs First Came to Great Falls

    By Nick Mitchell
    He whipped the camera into place, sighted the craft through the viewfinder, and began shooting. He managed to follow them as they passed behind a water tower, losing sight of them after they went behind the tower and into the blue sky to the southeast. He produced about 16 seconds of footage.
  • 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."
  • Who Killed John Bozeman?

    By Renee Carlson
    John Bozeman was shot twice through the chest by the native Americans, while Thomas Cover was shot once through the shoulder. According to Cover himself, he was shot while rushing to Bozeman’s side.
  • Steak and America: A Romance For the Ages

    By Sherman Cahill
    Now whenever I go to a restaurant with a price point north of McDonald's, my eyes scan the menu for steaks. Whether it's the $10 steak and eggs at a greasy spoon or the $47 ribeye at a real fancy place, or the even more dreaded "market price" cut only available to those in the know, I can't help myself.
  • A Photographic Trip to Montana's Historic Cemeteries

    By Renee Carlson
    While it is okay to leave respectful memorials to loved ones, or even toys and trinkets on a long-passed child’s grave, it is never okay to leave refuse, graffiti, or other ill-intentioned items. Please join me as we respectfully wander a few of our beautiful state’s memorial gardens.
  • The Auditor: Spirit of Butte

    By Rob Rath
    How I got into the pit isn't worth mentioning, and I don't remember much about it, anyway. The important thing is that I came here in 1986, to protect Butte, the Pit, and everything around it...
  • The Bison Hunters

    By Joseph Shelton
    There was a market for their tongues in the trendy restaurants of the East, selling for $8 - $9 for a dozen. And "buffalo hump" was also a Christmas tradition for many in the West - an 1846 holiday feast at Fort Edmonton served "boiled buffalo hump," "boiled buffalo calf," and "whitefish browned in buffalo marrow." 
  • Visiting Charlie Russell at Bull Head Lodge

    By Joseph Shelton, with illustrations by Rob Rath
    Charlie had camped and stayed in the area we now call Glacier National Park for years before he built a house there, taking inspiration from the stunning scenery and falling in love with the wildlife.
  • All Aboard the Mid-Century Empire Builder

    By Sherman Cahill
    There, as the train wound through the mountains and wilds of Montana on its way to Chicago, thirsty travelers could drink in the view. And, of course, the booze. 
  • Jackson & Moran

    By Doug Stevens
    The geyser basins had already been visited by the Washburn Expedition, but it was the Hayden group who got to see the eruptions of some of the park’s largest geysers. They gave them names such as Giant, Giantess, Grand and Castle.
  • Knights of the Tie and Rail

    By Joseph Shelton
    Names were given to ways of life that would have seemed fantastic at the dawn of the previous century: hobos, tramps, yeggs or yaggmen, bums, bindlestiffs, gentlemen of the road, knights of the tie and rail. 
  • The Stench of the Frontier

    By Lindsay Tran
    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.
  • The Distinctly Montana Interview with Michael Punke

    By Lindsay Tran
    "Here, we owe a great debt to past generations – people like George Bird Grinnell whose vision and tenacity protected places like Yellowstone and Glacier. But protecting these places did not happen by accident, or without great opposition."