Forever Faithful Shep – 75 Years of Loyalty

This is a story about the never-ending love between a dog and his master. It was 75 years ago that Shep, a mongrel dog, appeared at the Fort Benton rail depot. His master, a sheepherder, had passed away and his body was being sent back east to relatives. The dog began a 5 1/2 year vigil at the depot, meeting every train that pulled in to the station in search of his master. Let’s do … Read more

Combining History and Art on the Upper Missouri

Some background: Let’s think way back to the early 1800’s when artist Karl Bodmer was born in Zurich, Switzerland. When he was about 23 years old he moved to Koblenz, Germany. Bodmer’s uncle was an engraver and taught his nephew art. Karl Bodmer ended up learning a nice variety of media and became a printmaker, lithographer, illustrator and painter. In 1833 Karl Bodmer and Prince Maximilian du Wied arrived in St. Louis, Missouri and began an arduous 2,500 mile steam and keelboat trek … Read more

Have You Ever Heard of Korpivaara

A few weeks ago I was invited to tour a nearby area with some historic preservation folks. They said the name of the little community was Korpivaara. I wanted them to think that I knew the Central Montana tourism region inside and out but this is one I had never heard of. The day came, I was ready, and off we went. We drove first to Belt, Montana. Belt is a small town about 20 miles east … Read more

Chief Joseph Ride Follows the Nez Perce Trail

Sometimes you have to be patient. Thirteen years ago I missed seeing the trail riders complete the last leg of the annual Chief Joseph Ride and enter the Bear Paw Battlefield south of Chinook, Montana. I told myself I wouldn’t miss is again. The downside – I had to wait thirteen years to see it! The Nez Perce National Historic Trail is 1,300 miles long stretching from Lapwai, Idaho through southern Montana and then ending … Read more

Lewis & Clark Festival in Great Falls

Each year members of the Portage Route Chapter of the Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation dress in period clothing at the Lewis & Clark Festival and demonstrate skills that would have been used in the early 1800s. This annual festival is held in Gibson Park, downtown Great Falls, the third weekend of June each year. The Portage Route Chapter is named after the arduous portage the Lewis & Clark Expedition did around the series of waterfalls … Read more

Passports for Dinosaur Travelers

Members of the Montana Dinosaur Trail have developed a passport for the fourteen museums on the trail. For $5 you get a very official looking passport with the logo for the dino trail on the cover, a page dedicated to each museum, fun fossil facts about the dinosaur fossil found in each area, artwork depicting each dinosaur, a place for field notes and the passport stamp. Each museum on the Montana Dinosaur Trail has their own unique … Read more

Discovering Dinosaurs – Digs, Displays and Museums

Montana has had some incredibly significant discoveries of fossils, most noteworthy are the dinosaur bones. Fourteen areas have joined together to form the Montana Dinosaur Trail coverning eastern, central and southwest Montana. This past weekend I met with the members of the Montana Dinosaur Trail and I’d like to share some information about a few of them. If you are traveling on US Hwy 2 from the North Dakota border and traveling west you could stop at … Read more

Choteau’s Old Time Threshing Bee

A threshing bee has been on my radar for several years and I finally went to one. The Teton Antique Steam and Gas Threshing Association has been in existence since 1984 and they do an annual threshing bee each September in Choteau, Montana. I decided to go early – and believe me – this event opens at 7am so I left Great Falls for the 52 mile drive a little after 6am. Ugh! The best … Read more

First Peoples Named National Historic Landmark

US Secretary of the Interior and the National Park Service director announced this week that First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park near Ulm, MT has been designated as one of four new National Historic Landmarks. Considering that there are 50 states in the US, Montana is mighty proud to have one of the new National Historic Landmark designations. So,what does it take to get this designation? I’m certain there is a ton of paperwork involved! … Read more

The Square Butte Jail Still Stands

I wouldn’t say the Square Butte jail is going to lock anyone up these days but you can tell it was built to last! On a group tour of the area I was able to “stand behind the bars” of this iconic structure. Way back, think about 1913, the Milwaukee Land Company (yes, the same as the railroad), laid out the streets of the little town of Square Butte. The town was located on the … Read more