People & Place

  • Headframe Spirits is Inspired By the Past, But Looks Forward to the Future

    I've been to the Tasting Room many times before, and every time someone visits me in my adopted town of Butte, I always take them there. But somehow, I never paid much attention to the bar before now. It is a long, gorgeous hardwood number that looks as if a hundred years or so of cowboys and miners have rubbed it to a reflective polish. 
  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • Get To Know a County: Toole County

    By Bryan Spellman
    Stretched between the Marias River and the Canadian border, Toole County covers 1,946 square miles, of which 30 are water (mostly Lake Elwell aka Tiber Reservoir). The 2020 census estimate showed 4,686 county residents, a drop of 12 percent since the 2010 census, and the lowest count since 1920. 
  • 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!”
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Dolly Browder: America’s First Female Firefighter

    By Joanna Pocock
    Dolly Browder’s life story is one of milestones, not simply for Montana, but for women across the United States. Along with two other women, Zona Lindemann and Marcia Hogan, Browder formed the first paid fire-fighting crew for the US.
  • 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.
  • Dorothy M. Johnson's Recycled Cinema

    By Sue Hart
    In the 1940s and early ‘50s, a double feature always included at least one Western, usually depicting Hollywood’s version of what Johnson claimed as her West—the frontier on which she set the majority of her stories.
  • For the Love Of... Chinook Horses

    The great American writer Herman Melville, author of Moby Dick, proved he knew horses nearly as well as whales when he said, "No philosophers so thoroughly comprehend us as dogs and horses." That comprehension shows itself in remarkable ways—horses will sidle up close, nuzzle you, even lovingly nip at you.
  • Get to Know A County: Lincoln

    By Bryan Spellman
    As the Kootenai River cut its canyon between the Percell Mountains (shown as Purcell on Canadian maps) to the north and the Cabinet Mountains to the south, the view is almost disorienting; it is hard to feature being at Montana’s lowest point when you’re surrounded by mountains rising 5,000 to 6,000 feet above you. 
  • The Old Broke Rancher on How Snowflake the Calf Ruined His Entire Morning!

    By Gary Shelton
    I went to the cow then, for a friendly visit, only to discover she was in a fit of bovine rage. This, too was not a good sign. As a fat old man, I figure it was about even odds in a fair fight, but I refused to die without another cup of coffee, so I started to trudge back to the house when I noticed it: a wretched little bundle of white, barely visible amidst the snow.
  • The Curious Afterlife of Montana’s Ghost Towns

    By Joseph Shelton
    Bannack, named (and misspelled) for the Bannock Indians, was the first territorial capital of Montana and was built on the spot of the territory’s first major gold rush in 1862.  The population grew to 3,000 a mere year later, and the town became famous, or infamous, when Sheriff Plummer began moonlighting as one of its most industrious highwaymen.
  • Downhill

    By William Muhlenfeld
    Woosh! Doug executed a perfect parallel stop as he reached to wipe his goggles, which again were beginning to cake with the heavy snowfall. He peered into the white, attempting to see if he could spot his ski buddies who had taken the blue run when he charged off the black diamond ridge tagged as Dead Drop.
  • Simple Practices for a Joyful, Stress-free Winter

    By Kristy LeRay
    Depression can creep in this time of year and steal your joy. The pandemic has rocked our world and caused so much stress and anxiety. Add a life crisis, divorce, or loss of a loved one to that, and you may not want to get out of bed in the mornings. I was there and can relate. The simplest actions helped transform my life.