Fun Family Day

The C. M. Russell Museum in Great Falls hosts an open house each November where kids and parents can enjoy making some fun seasonal decorations. It looked like Christmas this past Saturday and, at first glance, it looked like chaos! In the lower level of the museum, long banquet-style tables were covered with paper and a huge variety of pinecones, paper banners, sugar cookies to decorate, sequins, chocolate candy that would become decorated mini-mice – … Read more

Wintry Day – Time for Inside Touring

Lots of snow came falling on Central Montana today, actually some yesterday and last night too. I decided it was a good day for inside touring and Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art is on my route to and from the post office. Today there were lots of “young” artists in a class that looked like pre-school children. I’m not sure what they were working on but it was good to hear young voices in this art … Read more

Montana Museum of Railroad History

A recent visit to the Montana Museum of Railroad History in Great Falls filled me with a new appreciation for the significance of rail traffic to Central Montana. Over 125 years ago (October 15, 1887 to be specific) the track of the Manitoba Road reached Great Falls, Montana Territory. The entrepreneur responsible for laying the steel trail westward was James Hill who had made a fortune with several Minnesota ventures. Part of Hill’s plan was driven by a competetive … Read more

Diverse Exhibits at Chinook’s Wildlife Museum

Chinook’s Wildlife Museum is a dream come true for many…a long dream. Plans began almost 20 years ago and fundraising started then too. It was a big dream for a small town. The building housing the Wildlife Museum is a former movie theater. And yes, I spent many a Saturday afternoon going to the movies there! It became home to a video rental business after the theater closed. Then, the Wildlife Museum organizers gave it new life as … Read more

Touring Chinook’s Blaine County Museum

The other day I visited Chinook’s Blaine County Museum. I’ve been there many times and each time I find something else that gets on to my “favorites” list. We began with the impressive multi-media presentation titled “40 Miles From Freedom”, a flash back in history to a time when the US Cavalry had an effort to round up all Native Americans and put them on reservations. I get such a sad feeling every time I … Read more

Harlowton’s Railroad History

Central Montana is a mecca for folks interested in railroad history. Harlowton was the end of the electric train line and one of the electric engines stands proud watch over the town’s Central Avenue. You can see the “pan” or square-looking antenna-like gadget on top of the E-57B electric engine and that is what connected to make electricity above the train. Every time I’m in Harlowton with friends we use the E-57B as a backdrop for a photo. Today, … Read more

Step Back In Time

Fort Benton’s Ag Museum (technically called the State of Montana’s Museum of the Northern Great Plains) is truly a step back in time. During a visit to the museum you will travel in time from 1908 through 1980 – three generations of farming in Central Montana. The building is massive (30,000 square feet) and, if you are planning a stop in Fort Benton while on a Montana vacation, my advice is to allow plenty of … Read more

Interpretive Center Dedicated at Wahkpa Chu’gn

I’d like to start out by explaining how to say Wahkpa Chu’gn…it’s easiest to say Walk-pa Chew-gun. Learning how to spell it is a completely different story! I was at Wahkpa Chu’gn, a bison kill site also called a buffalo jump, the end of May. An interpretive center/visitor center was under construction and we were able to get a sneak preview. The final unveiling of the completed center was last Saturday and they’ve done a … Read more

Rudyard’s Depot Museum – Very Cool

We made a quick trip west on US Hwy 2 to visit the Rudyard Depot Museum the other day. Rudyard is between Chester and Havre and one of several small towns on this stretch of highway. The first thing that captivates many potential visitors to Rudyard is their sign along the highway – Rudyard: 596 Nice People, One Old Sorehead! I think the very bottom part says Rip Snorting and Raring for Business. In all truthfulness, … Read more

Transportation by Bull Boat

I stopped at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center in Great Falls, MT yesterday and visited with Nancy Fonicello who was cleaning an item called a bull boat. The boat was donated by Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) to the foundation that supports the Interpretive Center. Nancy is a conservator – her goal was to clean and assess the condition of the bull boat. She was wiping the entire boat with latex sponges using no cleaning fluids, … Read more