People & Place

  • Get To Know Big Horn County

    By Bryan Spellman
    With the creation of Montana Territory in 1864, all land east of Bozeman Pass was called Big Horn County. So few settlers lived in this vast area that the entire eastern part of the state fell under Gallatin County's jurisdiction.
  • St. Marie

    By Ednor Therriault
    As you approach it, the shape becomes houses. Lots of them. A couple of water towers join the skyline. It looks like you’re coming up on a little Montana town, out here in almost-no-man’s-land. And it is a town, or rather, was.
  • Old Red and 27 Seasons of Calving

    By Holly Matkin    
    Her body’s muscling and fat cover rival those of cows one-fifth her age, but the reality of time is less hidden in the telltale angles and shadows of her fa
  • Beautiful Montana Roads for All Seasons

    By Todd Klassy, Photos by the Author
    These are some of my most favorite drives in Montana, regardless of the season. But I think they can be appreciated even more so in the colder months of the year. So, grab your Thermos of hot cocoa, an extra warm blanket or two, and your best winter tires. Let’s go for a drive.
  • Big Sky Bravery

    By Holly Matkin
    As a member of the U.S. Special Operations (SOF) community for nearly two decades, Rob Vaughan has accepted the likely imminence of his own death more times than he cares to count. 
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • Montana’s Sedition Act

    By Clem Work
    The sedition law said that anyone who said or wrote anything in wartime that was “disloyal, profane, violent, scurrilous, contemptuous, slurring or abusive” about the United States was guilty.
  • Montana's Mysterious Rock Show

    By Holly Matkin
    They seemed oddly out-of-place in the landscape, as if they had been dumped out of the sky and onto the forest floor below. Their rusty color contrasted with the drab gray of the boulders lying outside the perimeter of the pile.
  • 3-7-77: A History of Montana's Most Ominous Numbers...

    By Teresa Otto
    A popular theory is it’s the measurements of a grave,” Evalyn Johnson, author and archivist at the Thompson-Hickman County Library in Virginia City, said. “But no one knows for sure,” local writer Angela Mueller added.
  • The Sacred Tradition of the Sweat Lodge

    By Joseph Shelton
    From the Aztecs to the Innuit, sweat lodges were and are employed for their curative, therapeutic, and spiritual effects. And here in Montana, which enjoys a privileged relationship with its old ways, the traditional sweat lodge is vividly alive.
  • Montana’s Wild and Wooly Stagecoach Days

    By Lyndel Meikle
    A dozen passengers were aboard Gilmer, Salisbury & Company’s stagecoach as the six horses trotted leisurely up a long, wooded hill. Just as the road emerged from the timber a large gentleman with an enormous gun arose from the brush and ordered the driver to “hold up, sir!”
  • 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." 
  • Frank Conley: Warden on the Edge

    Toss a coin. “Heads,” Frank Conley was a hero. “Tails,” Frank Conley was a villain. The trouble is, no matter how many times you toss the coin, it will land on edge.
  • Unsolved Montana Murders

    By Joseph Shelton
    Every state has their unsolved murders, of which they are justifiably proud (or is it ashamed?), and Montana is no different. Here, then, are six of Montana’s most enigmatic cases. May they send a wintry chill down your spine, and make you glad of your hot cocoa.
  • Warrior Spirit: Celebrating Native American Veterans

    By Ellen Baumler
    While some of Montana’s Indian veterans have been individually honored, the contributions of many others remain unrecognized. The Warrior Spirit Project Consortium, created in 2019, aims to change that.
  • On the Trail with Sheepherders, Groundskeepers of the Land

    By Hallie Zolynski, with photos by the author
    The name Montana conjures up cowboys herding cattle on the open prairie, and gunfighters hiding out in canyons to hide from rope-swinging vigilantes. But does Montana summon images of the lone sheepherder tending his flock and enduring days of solitude, bitter cold and the intense summer heat?