People & Place

  • Duct Tape and Barbed Wire: The Story of Dave Brown

    By Hallie Zolynski, with photos by the author
    At first glance, he wouldn't make for a Fred Astaire, but he's better than a lot of men half his age, and he likes to show it. He says the old ladies he dances with have knee issues, and can't twirl because if you spin them around they get dizzy.
  • Digging Montana's Yogo Sapphires

    By Hallie Zolynski
    Jewish traditions hold that the Ten Commandments were engraved on sapphire tablets. Some may be legend or myth, but there’s no denying that sapphires have an air of mystery and magic, not unlike Montana. 
  • Boomtown Saint

    By Christopher Muhlenfeld
    One could be forgiven for thinking that a city so drenched in decadence wouldn't have hosted one of North America's earliest saints. Yet in the midst of this hedonism and chaos, an Orthodox Christian priest named Sebastian Dabovich played a significant role in Butte, and the fruits of his labors have endured for generations.
  • 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.
  • Leo J. Cremer: the Rodeo King of Montana's Historic Cremer Ranch

    By Todd Klassy
    The Cremer Ranch served as headquarters for his traveling rodeo, which he called "Leo J. Cremer's World Championship Rodeo Company." Though it was a working ranch that raised livestock, the Cremer Ranch also raised the best string of bucking horses in the entire state of Montana. Perhaps the world. 
  • Butte, Montana: J. Edgar Hoover's FBI Siberia

    By Sherman Cahill
    In the end, Shaw had his gun and badge taken away. But the worst insult was yet to come: Hoover transferred Shaw to Butte, Montana—as close to Siberia as he could muster. 
  • 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.
  • How Bobby Became a Legend

    By Sherman Cahill
    Bobby's leg broke, and for the first time, but certainly not the last time, Bobby was lucky to be alive. Unrepentant, perversely obstinant in the way that only Butte can be, Bobby bought another bike as soon as he could and took to racing the police around the town, popping wheelies and raising hell.
  • Get To Know a County: Carbon County

    By Bryan Spellman, with Photos by the Author
    Carbon County has sixty-six listings on the National Register of Historic Places, including eleven in Red Lodge. The county courthouse and the former Carbon County Hospital and Sanitorium are both part of the Red Lodge Historic Commercial District.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Montana's Road Ghosts and Phantom Hitchhikers

    By Renee Carlson, Illustrated by Rob Rath
    Also referred to as vanishing hitchhikers, these are ghosts that haunt our roadways. Some seek to hitch a ride with the living and others simply drift through the thin veil between worlds to appear briefly on the side of the road.
  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • A Call to Serve: Rural Policing in Montana

    By Holly Matkin
    Awakening at 3 a.m. to jingling keys and the unmistakable ripping of Velcro from the unfastening of a bullet-resistant vest was always a peaceful predawn ritual for me. It was so much better than the silence that prevailed through the darkest part of the night.
  • 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.